The Widow Waltz

The Widow Waltz

3.3 20
by Sally Koslow, Meredith Mitchell
     
 

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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

Overview

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?"

Editorial Reviews

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
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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781452648002
Publisher:
Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date:
12/10/2013
Edition description:
Library - Unabridged CD
Product dimensions:
6.70(w) x 6.40(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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.”
Booklist

Meet the Author

Sally Koslow, who was born and raised in Fargo, North Dakota, is the former editor in chief of McCall's magazine.

Meredith Mitchell is an actress who has performed in film, in television, and on stage. Her film work includes Mona Lisa Smile and The Reunion. She has recorded numerous audiobooks, and she earned her MFA in acting from Brandeis University.

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The Widow Waltz 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did not care for this book. The writing was too flowery, overly wordy, and hard to follow. The characters were unlikable and the plot ridiculous. I finished the book but found the ending unsatisfying. I will not be reading anything else by this author as I found her writing style verbose and annoying.
StephWard More than 1 year ago
'The Widow Waltz' is a heartfelt novel that follows main character Georgia Waltz as her life spirals downward when her husband, Ben, dies from a sudden heart attack while training for a marathon. Even more surprising is the fact that Ben left Georgia practically penniless - her life of luxury had been built on lies. As Georgia tries everything in her power to keep her family together while learning about Ben's secrets, as well as her daughters' lies, she comes to the realization that nobody is perfect and we must love them - all of them - including their flaws. Amidst the pain of losing her husband, her efforts at rebuilding her life and retaining her family, Georgia will find the most surprising thing of all - self realization and - maybe - even love. This was a wonderfully written novel that was full of well rounded and realistic characters and memories along with heartbreaking realizations, self discovery, and the strength of love. The writing was fantastic and I was immediately drawn into Georgia's world. She was an interesting main character - strong and intelligent yet flawed and uncertain at times. She was easy to identify with and I was rooting for her early on in the story. The plot was fresh and dealt with deeper topics underneath the surface, especially those of family, love, the past, secrets, self discovery, and inner strength. Although there are aspects of the book that are heavy, the book itself was uplifting and a fast read. The characters - especially Georgia - and the dialogue really keep the book moving and flowing seamlessly. The writing was very well done and shows the immense talent the author possesses. Definitely recommended for fans of women's fiction and contemporary fiction! Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
anovelreview_blogspot_com More than 1 year ago
Georgia Waltz has a comfy life. A fabulous apartment over looking Central park, great daughters, jewels, art and most importantly she is still madly in love with her husband, Ben. But when Ben suddenly dies everything about Georgia's life begins to unravel. After a visit with the family attorney, Georgia and her daughters find out the money--the money is gone and that isn't all Ben was hiding from his family.  Daughters, Nicola and Louisa (Luey) are no longer sure of what their futures will look like as their whole way of life is suddenly gone plus one of them has a secret! The three women must pull together to make the best of the situation, each finding inner strength.  I really felt for Georgia. She has just lost her husband and then her whole world begins falling apart. Not only is there no money, but it doesn't make sense why there isn't any money. It just wasn't like Ben. So not only is she dealing with grief, but she is no longer sure what to think of her husband anymore.  This is a story about finding your stronger self, the self you didn't know you even had. This isn't a high drama page turner, it is a very well written story about characters filled with love, pain and discovery. I know I really connected with Georgia on multiple levels, I could see myself and this made the story more real. I even connected with the girls as they grieved their father. Don't miss this inspiring, witty and very touching story of THE WIDOW WALTZ. 
jbarr5 More than 1 year ago
The Widow Waltz by Sally Koslow Laughed when Lucy and Nicola were reciting 'good night moon' phrases as it's one of my favorites to read with my grandson. What a treasure to find it in this book. Such heartache when Georgia learns that she has not much money left-her husband rather led a different life she knew nothing of. Her brother Stephen helps her to solve some mysteries: the money, ring, etc. Besides Ben's death there is a pregnancy, mortgages where she thought they owned all the houses outright... As the story goes on we learn all the background that help you understand what's not only going on but things that happened in the past shed light on current things. Loved learning about the jewelry designing and love all the travel, NY, Paris, etc. Didn't expect the ending the book had but it was just perfect! Loved where it went! I received this book from Edelweiss by Penguin Group (USA) Inc.in exchange for my honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
STUPID ending.....
Ilovemister More than 1 year ago
Dont bother. I cant wait for this to be over. I have 100 or so pages to go. It's been a struggle. Made no sense.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't waste your time. Over the top drama. Unrealistic
arlenadean More than 1 year ago
Title: The Widow Waltz Author: Sally Koslow Publisher: Viking Adult Genre: Mainstream Reviewed By: Arlena Dean Rating: 4 Review: "The Widow Waltz" by Sally Koslow... What Is This Book About? "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?" What I liked from the read.... "The Widow Waltz" was a intricate story that had many twist and turns that you may find hard to believe...but maybe not. I will say this story really take the cake and icing when all is said and done...and that ending leaving only for me to say Wow...I was all caught up in this story until that ending? I will say that this novel was a fast paced read for me because I couldn't put it down once I had started reading from it. This was truly a story that was woven into many lives with such intermingle with all the discoveries that would be found out in the process of it all was deliciously presented by this author. I liked how this author was able to give us a good read of how this main character (Georgia) was able to deal with her unexpected circumstances of life. This was quite a family of dynamics which involved the widow(Georgia), two, daughters (Luey & Cola), brother (Stephen) and I think even the brothers' partner too. For the heroine along with the daughters had to learn to re evaluate the life they had lived and enjoyed and for a live of change. I did like the interchange between the daughters because I felt it was real. Be ready for some side stories in the rich tale as Georgia life crumbles, stories about a ring, stolen necklaces, French chefs, rock stars, dog watching...all coming to emotional roll coaster as she finds that she really didn't need her husband to feel useful and or productive. Thank God for that assurance! What I also liked from the read... When all is said and done this could be any women who suddenly loses her husband and you are caught having to deal with something like this can really give us something for all to think about. In the end "The Widow Waltz" showed that change is possible for one through loving and healing. What gave me cause to wonder ...WHAT IN THE WORLD...JUST HAPPENED???? That ending and I won't spoil it for you but that left me saying W O W and a few more words! Is that believable!...OK...I know it's fiction but really????
AnnieMcDonnell More than 1 year ago
You will learn that I am not one to give many details about a book, so that you can read it and have the story unfold in your own time. This books hits on the highs and lows of familial and other relationships; regarding stability, trust, loyalty and financial security. You name it; “The Widow Waltz” has it! This is a perfect summer, vacation, and weekend or truly “anytime” read! Sally Koslow’s writing is superb. I was entertained by the way she methodically introduced characters and told this story…She gave you the next piece to this huge conundrum, piece by painful piece. Georgia Waltz’s husband, Ben dies suddenly and her world is truly scattered. She learns that she was living a life without all of the puzzle pieces; even though; she definitely thought her puzzle fit nicely together and was undoubtedly whole. I cannot imagine moving forward after losing a husband that you love so dearly and thought was perfect in every way. She believed their love to be that of a fairy tale. Exactly, how do you move on when everything you know to be true, begins to unravel into falsehood? Ben and Georgia have two daughters that are in their early 20’s, Nicola (Cola) and Louisa (Luey), and Georgia needs to carry them through their grief along with her own. All while trying to remain afloat financially as Ben’s money is being hunted down, with the hopes of finding it fast. This is a story about sustaining life without the man of the family, and moving forward and being able to look up again. Becoming motivated to travel to the next chapter in her life; Georgia’s story is a true delight. Even with all of the kinks. Get this book! Devour it! It is one now one of my favorite books, quickly adding Sally Koslow to the list of authors that I absolutely adore. Can something new and beautiful come from such a tragedy?
quaintinns More than 1 year ago
The novel starts out with Ben who dies and leaves his wife Georgia (clueless), like a lot of men do when their wives do not participate in the family finances. (Totally do not get this). Even though a health nut, he dies while training in NY for a marathon. Georgia and her daughters discover they are penniless. Immediately after this discovery, the lawyer sets out to look for hidden assets. After they put the NY apartment on the market, Georgia moves to the beach house where she discovers the whereabouts of those assets. Does she know her husband at all? Georgia meets a guy and enjoys her time while she is awaiting her grandchild (her daughter is not married and goes back and forth about adoption). There are many challenges with her two daughters and they become friends. Georgia has no job skills and begins writing. I never connected with the characters in the book and not sure I even liked any of them. Even though lots of words; however, for me it was all about – keep reading and maybe it will be better. Even though the author I am sure is very talented – this book was not for me (the audio was very boring). I may try another book by this author; however, not sure I would recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not find one redeeming quality in any of the characters in this book. I got tired of reading it, skipping to the end to see what happens. A very unsatisfying read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
the author spent the entire book describing her surroundings and walks in New York and all the interesting things that happened were explained as an afterthought in the last chapter! All the things she said happened in the last chapter were the things I would have loved to read about! PISSED OFF I WASTED MY MONEY!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this book, especially the surprise ending. Easy read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was ok...a beach read for sure. Would not recommend for book club discussions...it was not a thinking book
Senna119 More than 1 year ago
This was my first by this author. I will like it. Had a surprise ending. I will be reading more from her.
J-in-Florida More than 1 year ago
A women finds out that not only did her husband cheat on her before he dropped dead of a heart attach, but he spent all their money and she is broke. The story tells how she and her two grown daughters deal with this after math. I loved the charter and how she dealt with her problems. She had a Corgie and that made her special to me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kudos to you, Sally Koslow. Your fourth book is the best ever! The Widow Waltz is fast paced and witty, a commentary about family, and what it means. Georgia Waltz, once the cosseted wife of a successful attorney, descends from riches to rags after her husband's attorney reveals that she has been left with nearly nothing. As she copes with a mother who suffers from Alzheimer's disease, two pampered daughters who find that their hoped for trust funds have evaporated, and the fear that her beloved husband has been cheating, Georgia Waltz ransacks her posh New York City apartment searching in vain for clues. What happened to all her lovely money, and how can she get her life back? This book is a page turner, and I read it on a ten hour flight from Turkey to New York, happily foregoing the in flight movies for the wonderful distraction of this entertaining read. I recommend this book very highly, especially for women who love to read about family relationships.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mediocre writing. Banal plot.