The Widow Waltz

The Widow Waltz

3.3 19
by Sally Koslow

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“This heartfelt, witty addition to women’s fiction will appeal to fans of Elizabeth Berg and Anna Quindlen.” (Booklist)
Georgia Waltz has things many people only dream of: a plush Manhattan apartment overlooking Central Park, a Hamptons beach house, valuable jewels and art, two bright daughters, and a husband sheSee more details below


“This heartfelt, witty addition to women’s fiction will appeal to fans of Elizabeth Berg and Anna Quindlen.” (Booklist)
Georgia Waltz has things many people only dream of: a plush Manhattan apartment overlooking Central Park, a Hamptons beach house, valuable jewels and art, two bright daughters, and a husband she adores, even after decades of marriage. It’s only when Ben suddenly drops dead from a massive coronary while training for the New York City Marathon that Georgia discovers her husband—a successful lawyer—has left them nearly penniless. Their wonderland was built on lies.
As the family attorney scours emptied bank accounts, Georgia must not only look for a way to support her family, she needs to face the revelation that Ben was not the perfect husband he appeared to be, just as her daughters—now ensconced back at home with secrets of their own—have to accept that they may not be returning to their lives in Paris and at Stanford subsidized by the Bank of Mom and Dad. As she uncovers hidden resilience, Georgia’s sudden midlife shift forces her to consider who she is and what she truly values. That Georgia may also find new love in the land of Spanx and stretch marks surprises everyone—most of all, her.
Sally Koslow’s fourth novel is deftly told through the alternating viewpoints of her remarkable female protagonists as they plumb for the grit required to reinvent their lives. Inspiring, funny, and deeply satisfying, The Widow Waltz explores in a profound way the bonds between mothers and daughters, belligerent siblings, skittish lovers, and bitter rivals as they discover the power of forgiveness, and healing, all while asking, “What is family, really?”

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Koslow (Little Pink Slips) illustrates how a family upheaval can prompt personal change in this entertaining but ultimately uninspired novel. Fifty-year-old Georgia Waltz’s husband Ben Silver has always taken care of his family, providing them with a luxurious condo overlooking Central Park and an expansive beach house in the Hamptons. But when Ben dies during a marathon training run, Georgia discovers that their life of luxury has been built on lies; the real estate is mortgaged to the hilt, they owe thousands of dollars to creditors, and Ben has left behind less than ,000 for Georgia and her two daughters, Nicola and Louisa, both in their early 20s. Georgia, determined to get to the bottom of Ben’s deceit, embarks on an odyssey that includes a new career venture and a tentative attempt at dating. Meanwhile, Nicola and Louisa stumble their way toward independence. Koslow’s novel is diverting, and the three different viewpoints add interest, but Georgia’s romance is tepid and unconvincing, and the resolution is abrupt and overly tidy. Agent: Christy Fletcher, Fletcher & Company. (June)
Library Journal
Georgia is shocked when Ben, her perfect husband of many years, dies while training for the New York City marathon. Grief quickly turns to anger and disbelief when the couple's attorney tells Georgia that Ben left her and her two college-age daughters, Nicola and Louisa, without a penny. Their extremely upper-class New York City lifestyle was a sham and mortgaged to the hilt. Georgia and her daughters attempt to adjust to their new lives—they sell their posh Manhattan apartment and move to their on-the-market Hamptons beach house to regroup. Meanwhile, Georgia is on the hunt to solve the mystery of her husband and their disappearing finances. She has a lot to deal with—Nicola is considering dropping out of school, Louisa may be pregnant, Georgia's mother, Camille, is battling Alzheimer's, and a lovely man named Nat keeps asking her out. But Georgia's brother and his partner sweep in and help as they can, and Georgia finds an untapped inner strength that keeps her newly formed family safe and afloat. VERDICT Koslow's fourth novel (after With Friends Like These) is well-written, page-turning domestic fiction about a family's reinvention and healing that will attract fans of Elizabeth Berg.—Beth Gibbs, Davidson NC
Kirkus Reviews
Former McCall's editor-in-chief Koslow (Slouching toward Adulthood, 2012, etc.) choreographs an entertaining but lightweight story about a mother and two daughters who are suddenly forced to redefine their lives and relationships step by step. Georgia Silver-Waltz becomes a 50-year-old widow when husband Ben suffers a fatal heart attack while preparing for the New York marathon. Thanks to Ben's lucrative law practice, Georgia's lived a pampered life, and the couple has always indulged their two daughters. Nicola, aka Cola, Korean-born, was adopted as a baby. She's drifted from one interest to another without much to show for it, but she can slice and dice with the best of them thanks to a stint learning a few culinary skills in Paris. Louisa, or Luey, was born to Ben and Georgia a year after Cola was adopted. She's rebellious, brilliant and often resents her older sister. But when mother and daughters find themselves virtually penniless--at least as far as upper-class New Yorkers are concerned--they come together, not always harmoniously, and do what they have to do to survive: sell their apartment, put the family's East Hampton beach house on the market, auction off valuables on eBay and--gasp!--get real jobs. Georgia edits essays for students applying to college; Cola accepts a position working at her uncle's exclusive jewelry store; and enterprising Luey starts a business as a dog walker/sitter. As the family's dynamics change, each woman discovers her own special strengths and develops stronger bonds with the others. Georgia, determined to investigate Ben's actions and uncover what happened to their holdings, works to hold together the family and support her daughters' decisions, Luey's in particular. And when the money trail finally unravels--no surprise to readers since the plot is pretty transparent--Georgia resolves issues about her own future. Koslow knows how to please her target audience; although there are a few missteps, particularly toward the end when the resolution seems hard to swallow, the perfectly frothy, romantic story will appeal to readers who want a few hours to engage in a different world.
From the Publisher
"Koslow's fourth novel . . . is well-written, page-turning domestic fiction about a family's reinvention and healing that will attract fans of Elizabeth Berg." —Library Journal

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Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Praise for The Widow Waltz:

***Chosen by People magazine as a Great Summer Read***

***Chosen by USA Today as a Hot Summer Read***

“Witty and insightful.”
People magazine (A Great Summer Read Pick)

“Lovers of breezy beach reads . . . will enjoy the journey.”
Real Simple

"Well-written, page-turning domestic fiction about a family’s reinvention and healing that will attract fans of Elizabeth Berg."
Library Journal

"Wry and funny."
More magazine (A Summer Book Pick)

"An inspirational piece about rising up to meet challenges, valuing family, and finding independence, inner strength and new perspectives. . . . Those of you looking for a breezy summer book should thoroughly enjoy Koslow's latest effort."
Book Reporter

“Sally Koslow delivers another winner, a smart and hopeful story of a mother and daughters growing up and starting over—together.”
Eleanor Brown, author of The Weird Sisters
"I devoured this book."
 —Jesse Kornbluth, The Huffington Post

"Entertaining . . . Koslow knows how to please." 
—Kirkus Reviews
“Pop Quiz: Your beloved husband dies suddenly, leaving you penniless and perplexed. Do you  (a) climb into bed until your house is repossessed (b) find another, wealthier man to pick up the tab, or  (c) take a  deep breath, grab hold of your daughters, and dive into the mess? Because I myself lean toward (a), I was charmed and inspired by Georgia Waltz, heroine of The Widow Waltz, who in the face of calamity, digs deep for answers and discovers her better self in the process. By turns lighthearted and insightful, The Widow Waltz is a clarion call for any woman who's been disappointed by love:  Take a chance! Forgive yourself! Forgive each other! Buy this book!”
Jillian Medoff, author of Hunger Point and I Couldn't Love You More

"Sally Koslow gives us a portrait of female fortitude and reinvention in her tale of how fifty-something Georgia must start again from 'Go’ after her luxurious Manhattan life implodes overnight. Reading a Koslow novel is like eating a top-of-the-line gourmet truffle: exquisitely and carefully constructed, ultimately pleasurable—yet there's iron in it, too. Readers of Anne Tyler, Elin Hilderbrand, Cathleen Schine, and Randy Susan Meyers will devour this book as I did."
Jenna Blum, author of Those Who Save Us and The Stormchasers
“Sally Koslow takes economic downturn . . . and turns it into an urban fairy tale featuring plucky heroines, wolfish villains, a magic garden, and one unlikely knight. The Widow Waltz tells a story of reinvention with humor, intrigue, and just the right touch of mid-life romance.”
Ann Bauer, author of The Forever Marriage

“Poignant, charming, and funny, The Widow Waltz is a wonderful reminder that we are never too old to grow up. A must-read.” —Julie Buxbaum, author of The Opposite of Love
 “With style, wit, and unflinching honesty, Sally Koslow explores the devastating confusion of a woman and her daughters betrayed by their beloved husband and father, who has died suddenly and taken secrets with him, and how these women summon wisdom and power to help one another heal.”
Erika Robuck, author of Hemingway’s Girl and Call Me Zelda
"The Widow Waltz is as smart, savvy, and clear-sighted as its heroine, a woman who searches for the truth beneath her dead husband's betrayal. Sally Koslow has written a warm and buoyant story about marriage, motherhood, and second acts."
Caryn James, author of  Glorie and What Caroline Knew

“This heartfelt, witty addition to women’s fiction will appeal to fans of Elizabeth Berg and Anna Quindlen.”

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