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The Widow's Guide to Sex and Dating: A Novel

3.01  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,415 Ratings  ·  214 Reviews
TheWidow's Guide to Sex and DatingisCarole Radziwill's deliciously smart comedy about a famously widowed young New Yorker hell-bent on recapturing a kind of passionate love she never really had

Claire Byrne is a quirky and glamorous 34-year-old Manhattanite and the wife of a famous, slightly older man. Her husband, Charlie, is a renowned sexologist and writer. Equal parts A
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published February 11th 2014 by Henry Holt and Co. (first published May 7th 2013)
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Aug 16, 2013 Emily rated it it was ok
On the plus side, I think Carole Radziwill writes beautifully. The way she deploys language, in and of itself, is quite lovely.

However, here that skill is used to absolutely no end. The plot, engaging and amusing at the start of the novel, quickly turns flimsy, then flimsier, then ultimately gets buried under a pile of lovely words.

Few things actually happen in this book -- and those that do are telegraphed so far in advance that you spend several chapters aware of and waiting (with increasing
Jun 30, 2014 Bryan rated it did not like it
I really enjoy Carole on "The Real Housewives of NYC" and I absolutely loved her memoir. There, those are all the nice things I have to say. You've been warned.

This book was truly awful. It made me wish I had something next to me to barf into when I was finished. There is nothing good about this book. A completely unsympathetic character's husband dies. She spends 100 pages not really caring about his death and deciding she didn't really love him for no real reason at all. This doesn't make her
Jul 06, 2014 Michele rated it did not like it
This was a terrible book. There was no plot and no point of this whatsoever. I cannot believe the author thought she could write fiction and that this even got published. I wish she had used a ghostwriter.
Mar 19, 2014 Bobbi rated it liked it
I just finished reading this book. Although it is quite different in style and focus than "What Remains", it obviously covers some of the same ground. There are some very funny moments, but I don't think this is the "chick lit" book some have described it to be. Underneath the fictional story, she also addressed what I suspect are some timeless truths of dealing with being widowed. I recognized some of what she discussed from talks I had with my mother and she was widowed almost sixty years ago ...more
Joni Daniels
Jul 06, 2014 Joni Daniels rated it it was ok
"Blue Skies can be misleading," written on the very first page, is an example of what a good writer the author can be. Regretably, much of the book tries too hard to be clever, and the gems like that are overshadowed. The book is another variation of the wealthy, privildeged, name-dropping, peope-magazine observations of a Claire, a recently widowed wife of Charlie, a noted sexologist. Her reflections about writing are well considered, as are those of widowhood and her 'rules' carry a kernel of ...more
Jun 01, 2014 Corene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A thirty-something's older husband dies unexpectedly, and she is left to navigate widowhood, dating and sex. Breezy and smart, this is elevated chick lit, with a very New York vibe.
Feb 22, 2014 Caryne rated it it was ok
I was so excited for this book, and it just fell flat. Such potential since the author's writing style is lovely at times; however, it was just a bore with zero character development.
May 13, 2014 Dana rated it really liked it
The Widow's Guide To Sex And Dating was written with the dry witty humor I've come to love. The bizarre and tragic accident that crushed Claire's husband to death set the tone for the book: humorous yet serious, and was similar to the style of books like The 100 Year Old Man. Recently widowed Claire provided a perspective on the uncharted territory of sex and dating after death. This was a grown up chic lit comedy perfect for a summer day.

I loved the life rules embedded in the text, each one mor
Nancy Sharp
Jan 28, 2014 Nancy Sharp rated it really liked it
This was a hoot to read -- and I feel especially poised to render such commentary given that I, too, was widowed young in New York City at a time when every new venture reflected the profoundness of my seemingly singular experience. While these characters are extreme in their sensibilities, they are dear to hold. Radziwell is funny, funny, funny. She has written a real page- turner and I enjoyed every moment.
Jul 03, 2015 Jennifer rated it really liked it
This book is dry and witty and I enjoyed it in a beach read kind of way. The plot is centered on Claire dealing with the accident that crushed her husband to death, and while this may not seem funny, it is in an ironic NYC way. She then sets out to determine how to have a life while being newly labeled a widow. She lays down some rules she learns along the way, which are embedded in the book itself. Her sexual and dating encounters were always over the top, but having never been a 31-year-old, h ...more
Feb 11, 2014 Lauren rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I like Carole Radziwill. I liked her writing in this book. It was funny and light hearted. I thought the main character was a bit whiny but she made the best of her situation. The story, though, got really confusing for me towards the end. It took time to figure out who or what was doing what. I am hoping though, that Ms. Radziwill will be writing more. I'm a fan.
Jan 16, 2015 Lia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
«Spiritoso e affascinante, il primo romanzo di Carole Radziwill è una delizia.

Il personaggio di Claire è irresistibile, una moderna Holly Golightly di Colazione da Tiffany.»

Candace Bushnell, autrice di Sex and the City

Il romanzo d’esordio
Carole Radziwill


La trentenne Claire Byrne, fin dal primo istante del suo matrimonio, deve averlo creduto, visto che il noto sessuologo e autore del romanzo vincitore del National Book Award La speranza del
'Real Housewives' star surprises with a sympathetic debut novel
BookPage Review by Amy Scribner

I was skeptical when I found out the author of The Widow’s Guide to Sex and Dating stars on “The Real Housewives of New York.” And when the epigram was a Lady Gaga quote, I thought I was in for a long slog. What a pleasant surprise, then, when the book turned out to be one of the richest, most deeply satisfying stories I’ve read in a long time.

At 32, Claire Byrne is smart, beautiful and married to famou
Mar 19, 2014 Diane rated it really liked it
Claire Byrne is married to Charlie, a reknowned sexologist, author of many books on the subject. One day, he is killed by a huge statue falling from a crane on Fifth Avenue in New York. Claire finds herself a widow in her 30s and completely lost as to what to do next.
She goes to two different therapists, visits psychics and even follows a griot, a storyteller who travels the city sharing stories about famous New York City dwellers, to try and find her way to a new life. Then she meets Jack Huxle
Rosie M.
Aug 11, 2014 Rosie M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Charlie è un uomo sopra le righe, un uomo scrittore-sessuologo, un uomo che della carnalità ne ha fatto una forma mentis, un po’ come Bill di Masters of sex. Beh, anche la morte di Charlie è sopra le righe: una statua di bronzo gli piomba addosso, facendolo letteralmente secco. Claire, quindi, rimane vedova a circa trent’anni. Lei è una giornalista, forse è più corretto definirla una freelance, perché la sua vita lav
Jul 11, 2014 Beth rated it it was ok
I was so excited about this book because I loved the beginning. The story development was fun and intriguing, but it fell flat after that. The whole fortune teller, story teller, etc. storyline was odd. What was the point? To say "Oh New York is so quirky and so am I!"? Radziwell lost me after that. I only have it two stars because I enjoyed the beginning so much. Otherwise, I would've gone with one star.
May 29, 2014 Erika rated it liked it
I'm generous in my rating, to say the least. This book is like reading a 300 page long People magazine. People is a fun magazine, but it is not a novel. The book is entertaining, but that is much as I can give it. Every stereotype in the world--from having a crazy, brazen, bold best friend (who tries to pull the boring, stay at home character to go out at night), to the gay best friend who tells it like it is, to the stodgy boss. Every character is what a NYC character "should" be, including the ...more
Sasha Strader
Dec 30, 2013 Sasha Strader rated it really liked it
There's a very different pace to this book than I had expected. It isn't a campy, laugh-a-minute chick lit novel or a mopey tale of woe. Frankly, I feel it is probably more truthful (minus the celebrities) to what a widow actually goes through than any book I've read to date. I really enjoyed the protagonist's wry wit as she pulled herself to a new normal.
Sep 02, 2015 Terri rated it it was amazing
Personally I love this is what it promises to be - an unpretentious, funny, quirky, good read.

I'm slightly baffled by some of the other reviews and can only think that the disappointment stems from mismanaged expectations.

This is not a continuation of the author's original memoir - no one person should have more than one memoir's worth of heartbreak. If you expect this book to be like the author's first work, you will be disappointed.

This is not an actual manual for widows with step
Floriana Amoruso
Onestamente definire spiritoso questo romanzo è esagerato, potrei magari dire che è ironico, esilarante, disastroso, e anche un po' troppo pensante, questo sì, perché la mia domanda sorge spontanea: ma davvero una donna se resta vedova deve sottostare a tutta una marea di regole che definire pazzesche è un eufemismo? Ci sta che sicuramente (spero) è pura fantasia, ma mamma mia...
Claire, resta vedova, non riesce a capacitarsi cosa e come sia successo, lei n
Eva Thieme
May 12, 2014 Eva Thieme rated it liked it
This was a quick and pleasant read and therefore fulfilled the purpose I'd picked it up at the library for, but nothing more. I liked it, but I wouldn't say it's a must-read book, and neither am I rushing out to find more by this author.

If you like the New York scene, a little like in Sex and the City (or perhaps more like Breakfast at Tiffany's?), then you might like this book. The main character, Claire, is lovable, you root for her to, well, finally have sex again after her husband unexpecte
Carol Wiilliams
Apr 08, 2016 Carol Wiilliams rated it liked it
I loved Carole's first book, What Remains, which was a biography about her life with and loss of her husband Anthony. That book was engrossing. I was caught up in it from the start. This book, The Widows Guide was basically pretty boring and almost transparent. I felt like I really didn't even know who any of the characters really were. They were just these ghost of characters that floated through the book and I could never really grasp their true substance.

I was determined to finish the book, b
Kristiana Alex
Když je vám dvaatřicet, život máte před sebou. Tak jako Claire, která žije spokojený život vedle manžela, uznávaného sexuologa a spisovatele. A tenhle stereotyp změní jediný moment – padající socha Kráčející muž od Giacomettiho. Tenhle kus bronzu zamává Claiřiným životem a ona je nucena se světu postavit nikoliv jako Charlieho manželka, ale jako vdova. A cesta to není jednoduchá.

Claire by mohla být sympatickou hlavní hrdinkou. Když vezmeme v potaz, že se vdala příliš mladá, nezkušená, vzala si d
Aug 03, 2014 Mandy rated it liked it
First: I haven't read What Remains. Second: If you enjoy Carole on Real Housewives, I do think it's likely will enjoy this book> It's witty and hilarious, just like Carole is.

I whipped through this book in one day on vacation, and found that it held my attention, was funny at times, and overall an enjoyable read. Is it the best written novel I've read this year? No. However, I'm not sure that's what this book is intended to be. The plot is a little flat at times, but I enjoyed Radzwill's ligh
Apr 12, 2014 Alison rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, literature, 2014
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Connie Weiss
Jul 29, 2014 Connie Weiss rated it really liked it
I read this book as a fan of Carole Radziwill's writing, having previously read her other book recently. I enjoyed this book very much and actually imagined Carole as the main character and heard her voice in my head while reading it. For the record, I imagined George Clooney as the LA guy. This is a fun read even though it deals with death and grief.
False Millennium
Mar 10, 2014 False Millennium rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I read Radziwill's other book about her marriage to the cousin of John F. Kennedy, Jr., and her relationship with her husband, his cousin and his wife, through the fatal plane crash and the demise of her husband a month later. She wrote on a very painful topic with honesty, tenderness, and in a manner you could respect. This book. Such a disappointment. "Sex and the City," "The Devil Wore Prada," blurbs from the shiny famous on the back dustjacket. Made for a movie. You can already cast the char ...more
Tamsin Wilhelm
Apr 03, 2014 Tamsin Wilhelm rated it liked it
Just finished this book and it's a pretty big departure from Carole Radziwell's last book, her heartbreaking memoir What Remains, but still engaging. She is a great writer, but the story, as some other reviewers mentioned, was pretty fluffy and improbable. The plot revolves around Claire Byrne, married to a famous sexologist who is killed by a sculpture that happens to fall on him one morning in NYC. What follows is a story about Claire's dating life after her husband's death which includes a fe ...more
Christine Bass
May 26, 2014 Christine Bass rated it really liked it
After seeing the author on RH and hearing about her other book (which gets high praise), I decided I wanted to read this one. As I started reading, I literally was taken aback at the authors casual use (in the beginning chapter or two-not sure which) of a certain "C" word! Now, I'm no prude, I did read all 3 50 Shades books but I was, truthfully, a bit disgusted at the use of that "C" word as if it is the usual word to use when referring to a certain female body part. So when I titled my review ...more
Apr 26, 2014 Jennifer rated it really liked it
I love Carole Radziwill. She's smart, funny, and very clever. I adore everything about her, so I'm biased. While her first book (What Remains) was an intensely immediate and painful memoir about her late husband's battle with cancer and other headline-making tragedies she experienced first hand, this novel is a lighthearted romp (as lighthearted as a story about a new widow in NY can be). It reads delicously like the fictionalized memoir it likely is of her affair with George Clooney after her h ...more
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