Sunday, December 29, 2013

First Chapter Review: While We Were Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax

It's been a while since I wrote a first chapter review. While We Were Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax is scheduled for release on December 31. As a fan of Downton Abbey, I requested to review this book through the author's publicist.

BLURB:  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 each other...

Samantha Davis married young and for the wrong reason: the security of old Atlanta money for herself and 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.

COVER: Perfect. Just what I would expect of the genre. I also like how we can see parts of the women's faces, but not their entire faces; making it seem like these women could be any women at all struggling with similar issues.

FIRST CHAPTER: The book opens by introducing the reader to Samantha Davis. Married for twenty-five years, her life is a series of commitments and "maintenance" for her middle-aged body, complicated by a tense relationship with her mother-in-law.

KEEP READING:  Definitely. Wax has a gift for painting a wonderful picture for her readers. Though I've never been to Atlanta, the setting details she drops make me feel like I've seen the inside of the Alexander and already have a feel for some of the neighborhoods. Samantha is an intriguing character. Because of her affluent life, it's tough to feel too sorry for her, but the fact that she is stuck in an unhappy marriage because she had to find a way to support herself and her orphaned siblings after the sudden death of her parents makes her more sympathetic. In addition, she's got this nagging mother-in-law who doesn't accept her--definitely tough to deal with for a quarter of a century. I'm eager to meet the other women in this novel and see how Downton Abbey brings everyone together.

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Berkley Trade (December 31, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0425263310

I received a copy of this book from the author's publicist. This first chapter review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

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