Book review: The Widow’s Guide to Sex and Dating

After a break from my grief books (thank you Life After Life, for a fantastic detour), I picked up The Widow’s Guide to Sex and Dating: A Novel by Carole Radziwill (a work of fiction).  To begin with, this is the second book I’ve picked up where the (dead) husband is a philanderer.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the novel – but I don’t understand why this plot point is necessary.  Thus far, the books seem to kill off the husband by either mostly ‘tragic freak accident’ or ‘long debilitating illness.’  With the freak accident storyline, the dead husband has been cheating on his wife (now widow).  I’m not really sure why this is.  In working on my current manuscript (so close to being finished), I never once thought to make Joe someone who cheated on my protagonist.  It would feel very cheap to do so.  While she (I’m still debating the name) does learn plenty about her husband after his death, there are no ‘other women’ waiting in the wings.  Do the other authors make this choice to justify their characters sleeping with new men?

I was also a bit intrigued with the chosen voice of the book.  It’s very…atypical.  I warmed up to it at the end, but having the narrator be…no one involved with the story, I wasn’t sure why Ms. Radziwill would choose to present the book this way.  Additionally, while I was sympathetic to the protagonist, I never connected with her the way I have with others.

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Would I recommend? Maybe, but I think the price needs to drop about $5.

As always, I’m curious what reviewers think.  The readers seem mostly happy with this book, although the average is currently lower than my own Room 702 on both Amazon and Goodreads – where ouch! the readers are truly brutal.

What are your thoughts?

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