From the author of Ten Beach Road and Ocean Beach, a new novel of four friends - and a shared passion that could change their lives.
When the concierge of The Alexander, a historic Atlanta apartment building, invites his fellow residents to join him for weekly screenings of Downton Abbey, four very different people find themselves connecting with the addictive drama, and - even more unexpectedly - with one another....
Samantha Davis married young and for the wrong reason: the security of old Atlanta money - for herself and for her orphaned brother and sister. She never expected her marriage to be complicated by love and compromised by a shattering family betrayal.
Claire Walker is now an empty nester and struggling author who left her home in the suburbs for the old-world charm of The Alexander, and for a new and productive life. But she soon wonders if clinging to old dreams can be more destructive than having no dreams at all.
And then there's Brooke MacKenzie, a woman in constant battle with her faithless ex-husband. She's just starting to realize that it's time to take a deep breath and come to terms with the fact that her life is not the fairy tale she thought it would be.
For Samantha, Claire, Brooke - and Edward, who arranges the weekly gatherings - it will be a season of surprises as they forge a bond that will sustain them through some of life's hardest moments - all of it reflected in the unfolding drama, comedy, and convergent lives of Downton Abbey.
©2013 Wendy Wax (P)2013 Penguin Audio
I love everything about this book. I listened the first time without watching Downton Abbey and loved it; now that I have binge watched all 6 seasons and reread the book it's that much better. But this story is so much more than DA. The character's issues are real; so real for so many of us. I found myself identifying with all of the main characters at some point. I fully and 100% recommend this book to anyone, Downton fan or not.
The narrator does a fantastic job as well. All accents are believable and extreme in their differences, Southern and British! Fantastic job all around.
I most enjoy reading spiritual books to nourish my soul; psychology books to enhance my profession; & psych thrillers for fun escapism.
I typically don't read novels set in contemporary time. But I needed a lighter read and so chose this one. Before I knew it, I was pulled into the story and began to connect with and care about the characters. The book could have used a bit more editing out of repetitive descriptions of almost nearly identical scenes (for example,the detailed aides descriptions of the beverages and food at each showing of Downton Abbey). But, once I became used to this, it wasn't enough to keep me from eagerly coming back for more.
Much has already been said about the narration by Orlagh Cassidy. Yes, she did seem to need more more training in British and Southern accents. Other than that, her actual narration of the book was fine and I came to enjoy her voice. Please don't give up on her. I noticed that she was the narrator of the wonderful book, The Shoemaker's Wife, and remember Ms. Cassidy's narration as one of the most beautiful I've ever listened to. And as far as accents go, almost then entire novel required that it be read with a Northern Italian accent, one which she captured beautifully.
Lover of life!
What an outstanding book for anyone who loves a great story about finding friends, ourselves and what makes us happy with the outstanding back drop of the series Downton Abbey. This was our book club pick for the month, which I think will be a hit! 4 stars
I loved this book. It will be fun for anyone who is a "Downton" fan. If you aren't yet a follower, this would be a chance to get started. The book is a light "summer" read. I enjoyed the characters and got into their lives and stories. There is a character for everyone to relate to. Enjoy!
I use audio books to help me survive my 35 min drive to and from work each day. I had a little trouble separating all the characters in the beginning and would rewind for clarification. This book was so enjoyable that i found myself unable to turn it off once home. It's a sweet story about friendships and relationships....i was sad when it ended.
Enjoyable, laughter, light
Can't think of any off the top of my head.
Anytime the gals and guys were watching Downton Abbey, then eating the great food.
Whenever the "butler" would see to the needs of others. Nice touch
After listening to so many "heavy" books, I needed a light, happy, didn't have to know anything about Downton Abbey book. I truelly enjoyed it!! The narrator did a fantastic job and it was just an book that left you feeling good. Thanks, I needed that!!
Yes! I love Wendy Wax books! Always exciting with a great story line with serious and laugh out moments. Wendy has become one of my most favorite authors!
I over all the characters.
There are too many to list because I enjoyed every part of the book.
A must see!
I have yet to read a Wendy Wax book I don't like. This one is entertaining, relaxing and a great getaway!!
Only if they were bored and liked chick-lit a lot. Plot and characters both ran thin.
John and Samantha's marriage and love story was the least interesting, simply because it made no sense. It's hard to get invested in a romance when the feelings behind their relationship aren't clear to you. The fact John seemed like an ass didn't really help (seriously, who freezes out their partner while they're in the middle of a depressive episode and tells them to suck it up or else?). "Prince Charming" my foot.
The most interesting aspect was probably Brooke's story; unfortunately, I don't feel like she really got a proper ending.
Eh, none of them really. I like Orlagh Cassidy a lot in general, but I have no idea why she was cast to do a book with Southern characters when she cannot do a Southern accent. When she tried, she ranged from channeling Texas to Mississippi to the Midwest...and basically anywhere but Atlanta or even Georgia. It got a little distracting. So yeah, unfortunately I can't say I had a favorite character performance from her.
It's a bit off-putting that the author chose to set the book in Atlanta, and then did nothing with it. She didn't use the city to provide any atmosphere or sense of place, but instead just randomly keep dishing out references to cliche/touristy locations. I never got the sense Wendy Wax had ever lived in, or even visited, Atlanta—only that she'd bought one travel book to pull dated references from. As a result the book completely lacked a sense of place and immersion was lessened.
For comparison, it's like if an author decided to set a book in New York, and just randomly peppered the story with references to bagels and Times Square, but nothing else. Weird and bad writing.
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