Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “While We Were Watching Downton Abbey” as Want to Read:
While We Were Watching Downton Abbey
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

While We Were Watching Downton Abbey

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  5,014 Ratings  ·  968 Reviews
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 addictiv
Paperback, 376 pages
Published April 2nd 2013 by Berkley (first published January 1st 2013)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jul 25, 2013 Julianne rated it really liked it
First, let me just say how happy I was to finally read a book about people who become friends by bonding over a tv show. Usually I don’t go for chick lit, but given that the television show in question was Downton Abbey, I had to at least give it a shot, right? I was really glad, though, that the book didn’t rely too heavily on the show or try to make the book characters thinly-veiled copies of the characters on the show. Instead, the three focal women are all rich and interesting characters on ...more
Rebecca Huston
This turned out to be a dud of a novel and I was bored silly by it. Three women who are living in an upscale apartment building in Atlanta Georgia are drawn together by weekly screenings of the first two seasons of Downton Abbey, arranged by the building's concierge Edward. While they all have problems of some sort or another, I just could not get into this one, and I was glad to see it end. Not even a die-hard fan of Downton Abbey would find this one at all interesting. Just barely three stars ...more
Elizabeth Eiler
Dec 07, 2013 Elizabeth Eiler rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
If you think this book is going to be anything like watching Downton Abbey, THINK AGAIN. Life is short, so I quit reading after 141 pages (of 376). This seems like a book hastily written to capitalize on the interest in Downton Abbey -- so hastily written, it apparently wasn't even edited.

The reader wades through long, clunky sentences of painstaking detail, such as, "Dutifully rallied, she threw off the covers and put on the workout clothes she left folded on the chaise longue near her side of
Jun 12, 2014 Elaine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: us-chick-lit
This is a read that I really enjoyed. It is set in The Alexander, an apartment building in Atlanta and revolves around three women who live there, all from diverse backgrounds, who get to know each other when their Concierge arranges weekly screenings of Downton Abbey.

I have only ever seen Downton Abbey a few times but it is not necessary to have watched it to understand this book, although it does really make me want to sit down and watch every season now. I really enjoyed getting to know Brook
Aug 26, 2013 Betty rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2013
What can I say about “While We Were Watching Downton Abbey”? It was one of those strange like/dislike reads… let me explain, the parts that I liked, I really, really liked; and the parts that I disliked, well, I wished I didn’t have to read at all because it was driving me crazy to read it at all. Even the parts that I did like had a few bits that drove me crazy here and there, because you just wanted to shake these women and wake them up! I’m all about the fictional character. I’m all about sus ...more
Joanne Guidoccio
May 15, 2013 Joanne Guidoccio rated it really liked it
Three women and a concierge. All residents of the Alexander, a luxury high-rise in downtown Atlanta. Each with their own story and set of problems.

Indebted to her husband for his generosity and financial support, Samantha Davis lives a life of routine and self-imposed expectations. Each morning, she wakes up and renews “her vow to make Jonathan Davis happy, his life smooth, and his confidence in his choice of her unshaken.” In addition to the beauty maintenance and hours of volunteer work, Saman

While We Were Watching Downton Abbey was completely and utterly.....delightful!! I found myself really liking Sam, Claire, Brooke, and most especially Edward. What is so funny about this book is that I suggested to my friend a few months ago that a group of us go to her house on Sundays to watch Season 3 of Downton Abbey together, which is exactly what we will be doing! There were so may parallels between the women's stories and our own and how we tend to forget all of our worries when we're tal
Feb 26, 2013 Laurel-Rain rated it it was amazing
In the historic Alexander, a lovely downtown Atlanta apartment building, an assortment of residents fill its rooms, from the gorgeous and wealthy Jonathan and Samantha Davis in the penthouse to the writer/single mom Claire in her studio apartment. And the glue that holds them all together is Edward Parker, the concierge, whose impeccable charm and manners lend an Old World level of comfort to them all.

So when Edward invites his fellow residents to join him for weekly screenings of Downton Abbey,
Apr 13, 2013 Linda rated it really liked it
Shelves: from-library
Smart marketing to cash in on Downton Abbey mania, strike while the iron is hot. I'm not sure how popular the story will be once the show loses some of its popularity. Still,chick lit always has a place on a bookshelf or e-reader.

Wendy Wax shows us once again that a beautiful facade doesn't tell the whole story. That's true of the Alexander, one of Atlanta's most desirable addresses and the people living in the 1913 building including the concierge Edward and his tenants Samantha, Claire and Bro
Jun 22, 2013 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book - chick lit for the over 40s!!! With subtle ties to the much loved TV show, this has a story that can stand alone with a trio of characters that will take you on their journey of development!
Penny McGill
May 31, 2014 Penny McGill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a treat of a book in two ways. A friend passed the title on to me which is always worth 2-3 published book reviews AND I had such a nice time reading it. I've since passed it on to two other friends because it is interesting enough to grab you right away but not so dark that you feel like it will bring you down.

"Perfect reading for the summer", seems like the right thing to call it but lately I have friends who need "perfect reading for a person who is accompanying loved ones to medica
Bonnie Kitts
Jun 28, 2016 Bonnie Kitts rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved it. It is a light read, and I picked it out just because the title caught my eye. While the book is mostly not about Downton Abbey, I liked how it referenced the show (which I adore). I was rooting for the main characters and enjoyed the friendships that were built.
Robin Benoit
Not really a bad book, this is basically a chicklit book for the beach or a rainy day when you have nothing else to do.
Apr 21, 2013 Jaxmarie rated it really liked it
Loved this book! Somewhat "predictable" but very very enjoyable!!
Dark Faerie Tales
Apr 18, 2013 Dark Faerie Tales rated it really liked it
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.

Quick & Dirty: A refreshing tale of three women that are so different from one another, but come together for a great friendship.

Opening Sentence: As a child Samantha Jackson Davis loved fairy tales as much as the next girl.

The Review:

I was drawn to Wendy Wax’s While We Were Watching Downton Abbey mostly because of the infamous TV show. For those of you who don’t know, Downton Abbey is a period drama about life in the early 1900s, between the life of thos
Apr 02, 2013 Michelle rated it really liked it
Posted on Dark Faerie Tales.

I was drawn to Wendy Wax’s While We Were Watching Downton Abbey mostly because of the infamous TV show. For those of you who don’t know, Downton Abbey is a period drama about life in the early 1900s, between the life of those upstairs (the wealthy) and downstairs (the help). I am a huge fan of the show, so when I read that the premise was about three women coming together for weekly screenings of the show, I had to read it. Wax is marvelous writer, bringing me the liv
Pam Jessen
3.5 stars. This book better than I expected, but still a little "fluffy" for my usual tastes. It was a fun, easy read though, and I thought the three female characters were well-developed. They had very different lives, yet all seemed like women I could know. And this is one of the only books I've ever read that delves into the life of a butler/concierge, so that was interesting, too. I should also mention that I've never watched Downton Abbey, but this book made me want to!
Meredith (Austenesque Reviews)
Friendship, Personal Struggles, and Downton Abbey Viewing Parties

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Purchased

TYPE OF NOVEL: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

SETTING: Modern-day Atlanta, GA


- Samantha: a married socialite living in the lap of luxury. Older sister/parent to two younger, irresponsible, and entitled siblings.
- Claire: a divorced empty-nester who has saved up enough to pursue writing full-time for the next year.
- Brooke: a single mother of two young girls who is still strugg
After the books that started my year, I needed something light and sweet. This was perfect.
Viviane Crystal
Apr 02, 2013 Viviane Crystal rated it it was amazing
A motley group live in the Alexander Building, watched over by the gentleman Edward, who sees to the needs of the building and arranges for a weekly showing of Downton Abbey, the British serial show that millions around the world have been avidly following and immensely enjoying. This is where Samantha, Claire, Brooke and other minor characters live and where they bond through their Sunday evening gatherings!

Samantha and her siblings were poor when she met her rich husband. She can’t cook and al
Julie Valerie
May 25, 2013 Julie Valerie rated it really liked it
Lovers of Downton Abbey will enjoy how author Wendy Wax weaves episodes into the narrative about three women (Samantha, Claire, and Brooke) and one man (Edward) and their lives in the Alexander, a prestigious condo complex in Atlanta, GA.

Samantha married for money and then struggles with family members who take advantage of her husband's wealth and success. Her brother, Hunter, emerges as the novel's villain. Claire has one year to write a novel and struggles with writer's block, feelings of ins
May 06, 2013 Kristen rated it it was ok
This one goes on my list for, "good airplane book". A fast read which does not require a big investment of brain or emotion. And, I can't imagine anyone enjoying it who isn't a woman over 40. It's three story lines about women who live in the same apartment complex. One is a recent empty nester who was a single mom and is a frustrated author - her whole life has changed and now she has writers block and is under pressure from her publisher. One is a recently divorced mother of two who is in the ...more
Kylie Purdie
Jul 25, 2013 Kylie Purdie rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-read
This book came to me through a review by Sheila on Book Journey.
And can I just say thank you Shelia, for introducing me to the girls - they are a great bunch!
So Edward, the concierge of The Alexander apartment building decides to foster a little community spirit in the building by hosting a weekly screening of Seasons one and two of Downton Abbey in the lead up to season 3. As residents gather for their weekly "fix," friendships are formed, support is given and much wine is drunk! Sounds like my
Devon Hernandez
Jun 07, 2013 Devon Hernandez rated it really liked it
Pretty good! Very entertaining contemporary novel about 3 very different women brought together in friendship through the community screening of Downton Abbey in their apartment building by the concierge, who also gets a little slice of the plot. Most of the characters are fairly relatable except Samantha. I warmed to her more by the end of the story. Maybe because I'm a Yankee, I can't grasp "old Southern money" and marrying into, and living a life suppressing your feelings and desires because ...more
(Lonestarlibrarian) Keddy Ann Outlaw
The Downton Abbey hook is what pulled me in to this tale of unlikely friendships. Set in Atlanta, Georgia at a very tony apartment complex, three women bond over watching the Downton Abbey series at a regular Sunday night viewing party replete with a pseudo-housemaid and butler. The tv parties are the brainchild of concierge Edward, a British charmer who is out to make a success of his small personal services company. The unlikely friends include: Samantha, wife to a rich lawyer who for various ...more
Jun 08, 2013 Katherine rated it it was amazing
I picked up this book simply because I love Downton Abbey, and was curious about the title. It took only a few pages to get me hooked on the three main characters. Samantha, married to a rich lawyer; Clair, a frustrated novelist; and Brooke, a divorcee.
The women meet each other in the club room of a high rise condominium where Edward, the concierge, has combined a weekly showing of Downton Abbey with treats from early 20th Century England. As the book unfolds, the women become good friends, shar
I am a huge Downton Abbey fan & that was the draw for me reading this one. Unfortunately, I didn't think this was very good. Downton was barely a backdrop & basically seemed like any popular show could have been plugged in for the very same story (While We Were Watching The Walking Dead or While We Were Watching Scandal). The characters were stock & flimsy, doing nothing unexpected & ending up exactly where you would predict. Aside from the descriptions of the posh building, I ne ...more
Sep 18, 2013 January rated it really liked it
I give this book a solid three stars.* It is true chick lit: very predictable and cheesy. I enjoyed the character development though ; yes in chick lit fashion there was a happy ending, but hey happy endings aren't bad; that's why this genre sells. My one con I would say is that I had a tougher time believing Samantha was really that dense. I understand she is meant to be like the Granthams allegorically, but man people who are rich rich (Lords/Lady style) can be mysteries sometimes. Overall wor ...more
Mar 09, 2013 Nicole rated it it was amazing
Shelves: firstreads
I was very excited to win this book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway! I love Downton Abbey. I love books about women coming together as friends. I love happy endings. This book was perfect for me. The author told the story very smoothly of three women meeting during critical times in their lives, and described the impact that these new found friends had on decisions they were making. It demonstrated how friendship can heal us during the most wretched times in our lives. I connected with each ...more
Jan 30, 2016 Kristi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of four people from different walks of life, who happen to live in the same condo building in Atanta, GA, and are brought into one another's sphere by the television show Downton Abbey. The book is not about Downton Abbey, and the show plays a minor character, but if you haven't watched the series and plan to, please wait to read this, since there are plot spoilers in the book. As the characters meet weekly to watch their new favorite television show, their relationships with o ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Madison Mega-Mara...: #124 While We Were Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax 1 4 Jul 14, 2015 06:42PM  
Downton Error. 4 63 Sep 07, 2013 09:44PM  
  • Somewhere Between Luck and Trust (Goddesses Anonymous #2)
  • Out of Warranty
  • The Good Wife (A Brennan Sisters, #3)
  • Wallflower in Bloom
  • What Love Sees
  • Finding Colin Firth
  • Sweet Expectations (Union Street Bakery #2)
  • The Sassy Belles
  • Falling Home
  • The Chronicles of Downton Abbey: A New Era
  • Behind the Scenes at Downton Abbey
  • Beaded Hope
  • Foal Play
  • Nobody's Fault
  • Blue Christmas (Weezie and Bebe Mysteries, #3)
  • The Dashwood Sisters Tell All: A Modern-Day Novel of Jane Austen
  • The Guest House
  • If You Could See What I See
I write novels that explore friendship, self-discovery and the challenges life brings us, leavened with a touch of humor. I'm proud of all my books and perhaps best known for my "Ten Beach Road" titles including the USA Today bestsellers, Ten Beach Road and The House on Mermaid Point, and for While We Were Watching Downton Abbey.

I was born in St.Petersburg, Florida and grew up on St. Pete Beach wi
More about Wendy Wax...

Share This Book