Synopsis: Claire Byrne is a quirky and glamorous 34-year-old Manhattanite who is nicely married to the renowned sexologist, Charles Byrne. He’s a man of contradictions: equal parts Alfred Kinsey and Warren Beatty; pompous yet charming; loyal yet unfaithful, and a firm believer that sex and love can’t coexist. Even though Charlie does little to hide his affairs, Claire can’t deny that her life with him is interesting. In a bizarre and comedic twist of fate, on an unassuming Monday, Charlie—fresh from a lover’s bed—is struck dead on a city sidewalk by a falling Giacometti statue.
With this deliciously irreverent opening, Claire sets out to reinvent herself and find the answer to a vexing question – Are widows the new virgins? The Widow’s Guide to Sex & Dating: A Novel is a wry take on death, sex and love, in that order, by New York Times best-selling author Carole Radziwill.
Taking place over the course of a year, Radzwill’s protagonist Claire sees two shrinks and an oracle, hires a “botanomanist,” follows a griot, eats too little, drinks too much, dates a hockey player and a billionaire, and has a heady affair with the movie star Jack Huxley. As she grieves for Charlie and begins to find her footing, Claire comes to realize that she has an opportunity to find something bigger and better than she had before: real, authentic, passionate love.
“One of the richest, most deeply satisfying stories I’ve read in a long time…[Radziwill's] spare writing and wry voice make The Widow’s Guide an exhilarating, insightful and moving story about loss and identity.”
“Witty and charming, Carole Radziwill’s first novel is a delight. I fell in love with the character of Claire—a modern-day Holly Golightly.”
—Candace Bushnell, author of Sex and the City and The Carrie Diaries
“Carole Radziwill writes like a cross between Sophie Kinsella and Christopher Buckley. Widow’s Guide is a sharp, flamboyant New York novel that revels in the tragicomic absurdities of the city. It’s a smart take on Hollywood, too, with gorgeous movie stars and a quirky cast. Cautiously romantic, unexpectedly moving, and funny!”
“Glib, comic… [a] novel about a young Manhattan widow looking for love in all the wrong places… This may be a grief and recovery story for the privileged, but sharp-fanged Radziwill can be pretty funny…. Think Sex and the City in black.”
“Claire never thought about the odds of losing her husband. But after a freak accident abruptly ends her husband’s life, she is forced to wrestle with the question, “What next?” For the next year, Claire’s life takes a wild turn… and somewhere in the middle of the madness, she begins to realize that her old life wasn’t so perfect and perhaps this is all a blessing in disguise—a second chance at life and love. Verdict: Fans of authors such as Jane Green and Madeleine Wickham will enjoy this.”
“Radziwill’s delicious debut novel… is a poignant tale of love and loss.”
“The book’s witty humor and Didion-esque raw language provide for a gripping read that triumphantly announces a profound new voice in literary fiction.”
“A hilarious account of a young widow’s journey to find herself and re-establish her identity.”
—PW Show Daily
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Carole Radziwill grew up in upstate New York and earned a BA at Hunter College and an MBA at New York University. She spent more than a decade at ABC News, reporting from around the world, and earned three Emmys. Her first book, What Remains, a memoir, spent over twenty weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. She has written for many magazines, including Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Town & Country and Porter. She currently is a star of and “the voice of reason” on Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New York. – See more at: The Widow’s Guide to Sex & Dating.
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