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While We Were Watching Downton Abbey

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Overview

FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF TEN BEACH ROAD AND OCEAN BEACH, A NEW NOVEL OF FOUR FRIENDS—AND A SHARED PASSION THAT COULD CHANGE THEIR LIVES.  
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 addictive drama, and—even more unexpectedly—with...

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Overview

FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF TEN BEACH ROAD AND OCEAN BEACH, A NEW NOVEL OF FOUR FRIENDS—AND A SHARED PASSION THAT COULD CHANGE THEIR LIVES.  
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 addictive drama, and—even more unexpectedly—with each other…
Samantha Davis married young and for the wrong reason: the security of old Atlanta money—for herself and for her orphaned brother and sister. She never expected her marriage to be complicated by love and compromised by a shattering family betrayal.
Claire Walker is now an empty nester and struggling author who left her home in the suburbs for the old world charm of The Alexander, and for a new and productive life. But she soon wonders if clinging to old dreams can be more destructive than having no dreams at all.
And then there’s Brooke MacKenzie, a woman in constant battle with her faithless ex-husband. She’s just starting to realize that it’s time to take a deep breath and come to terms with the fact that her life is not the fairy tale she thought it would be.
For Samantha, Claire, Brooke—and Edward, who arranges the weekly gatherings—it will be a season of surprises as they forge a bond that will sustain them through some of life’s hardest moments—all of it reflected in the unfolding drama, comedy, and convergent lives of Downton Abbey.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"What do you get when you mix one dashing British concierge with three lonely women from diverse backgrounds, set them all in a historic apartment building in Midtown Atlanta, then turn on the television?  What you get, actually, is quite a clever, fun little novel. And could Wendy Wax be any more clever naming it While We Were Watching Downton Abbey?  That title alone is reason enough to pick up the book and see what the heck is going on. What's going on is Edward, the ever-so-dapper concierge at the Alexander, decides the tenants need to get out more and meet each other. So he sets up an evening where everyone meets in a room downstairs and watches the hit British series about landed aristocracy at the beginning of the 20th century.…But none of these women — or Edward — quite know what their future will bring, which moves this tale along. They connect with one another, and the show, and we're not saying anything more.  If you're a sucker for plucky women who rise to the occasion, this is for you….Fun reading for a spring weekend. You might even be tempted to move in. Edward would arrange everything. Of course." —USA Today

“A tribute to the transformative power of female friendship, and reading Wendy Wax is like discovering a witty, wise, and wonderful new friend.”—Claire Cook, bestselling author of Must Love Dogs and Time Flies
 
“If you’re a sucker for plucky women who rise to the occasion, this is for you.”—USA Today
 
“Wax’s trendy premise makes for a surprisingly poignant and enjoyable story about friendship.”—Booklist
 
“In the style of…Karen Joy Fowler’s The Jane Austen Book Club…the book engrosses its reader in the drama of these women’s love lives and emotional struggles.”—Deseret News
 
“A grand, well-paced contemporary read definitely deserving to be on the bestseller list!!! Great writing!”—Crystal Book Reviews
 
“Wendy Wax’s fresh approach to an entertaining storyline hooks us with the idea that other things could happen “while we were watching Downton Abbey”…Honesty in any relationship is vital, and Wax shows this truth in downtown Atlanta alongside the engrossing story of Downton Abbey.”—Bookreporter.com
 
“This warm and charming novel about struggling to redefine yourself will be your perfect escape.”—Lisa Steinke, She Knows
 
“Pulled me in… I highly recommend it.”—Night Owl Reviews
 
“Again, Wax has knocked it out of the park.”—Great Thoughts

"Wax’s trendy premise makes for a surprisingly poignant and enjoyable story about friendship. Readers need not be fans of the show to enjoy this tale." —Booklist

While We Were Watching Downton Abbey is a tribute to the transformative power of female friendship, and reading Wendy Wax is like discovering a witty, wise, and wonderful new friend.” – Claire Cook, bestselling author of Must Love Dogs and Time Flies

“A beautiful book about loyalty, courage, and pursuing your dreams with a little help from your friends…A novel to savor!”—Karen White, New York Times bestselling author of Sea Change

“[Wax] writes with breezy wit and keen insight.” —The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Heartwarming…[this] dynamic, fast-paced story is a loving tribute to friendship and the power of the female spirit.”—Las Vegas Review-Journal

“Great escape reading, perfect for the beach.”—Library Journal

“A terrific story brimming with wit, warmth, and good humor. I loved it!”—Jane Porter, author of She’s Gone Country

“A wry, revealing tell-all about friendship.”—Haywood Smith, New York Times bestselling author

“Captivating….Wonderfully entertaining.”—Southern Seasons

“Sexual magnetism…and a secret…add dramatic tension…showcasing three women who rise above their shattered realities with grace, determination, and a little elbow grease.”—Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425263310
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 4/2/2013
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 94,303
  • Product dimensions: 4.80 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Wendy Wax

Wendy Wax, a former broadcaster, is the author of nine novels. The mother of two college age sons, she lives in the Atlanta suburbs with her husband and is doing her best to adjust to the quiet of her recently emptied nest.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 28 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(12)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 22, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Three women living in the same upscale Atlanta apartment complex

    Three women living in the same upscale Atlanta apartment complex don't seem to have anything in common. When the building concierge begins a weekly screening of DOWNTON ABBEY the three women find themselves sitting together and striking up a friendship. The one thing they all seem to need is each other. 




    Samantha seems to have it all; rich good looking husband, a top notch social life, the best apartment in the complex, oh and is beautiful. But what people don't see is the real Samantha who is a people pleaser and is convinced her husband married her only because he felt bad for her and her younger sister and brother. She has to hold everything together or it will all fall apart. 




    Claire has just moved in after selling her home in suburbs. Her daughter has just left for college. She has already written two novels while working two jobs to support her and her daughter, so this is her chance to live her dream. She is giving herself a year to write with no interruptions. Yet words seem to be failing her.




    Brooke a newly divorced mom of two little girls isn't sure of herself. Her jerk ex-husband has made her forget the strong and capable woman she once was. He continues to lord his high and mighty self over her and rub her nose with his Barbie doll girlfriend. 




    As the women meet together each week their unlikely friendship grows, but can they really open up to each other? Share their greatest vulnerabilities? And can this new friendship withstand a shocking betrayal?




    I was super excited to review While We Were Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax. I kept hearing people talk about the television show DOWNTON ABBEY, so I decided to watch the series before reading the book. After watching the series, I get the addiction! Now you don't have to be a fan of the program to read the book (but I highly recommend the show), but it does give fans some fun flashbacks and references of the program. 




    I truly adored While We Were Watching Downton Abbey. I enjoyed getting to know the three ladies and their stories, watching their friendship grow. There were even a few times when they were hanging out I wanted to add my advice. I found myself frustrated for them, laughing with them. 




    This is a perfect book to throw in your bag as you begin those summer vacations or to read while sitting out in the backyard while the kids play. It's just a light fun feel good read. I am recommending to all my girlfriends!

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 6, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Samantha was the rich girl everyone envied. Brooke was the sing

    Samantha was the rich girl everyone envied. Brooke was the single mother recently divorced. Claire was the empty nester and author. What did these women have in common. Nothing! That was until they started to go to the screening of Downton Abbey in their building. The women started out as complete opposites and strangers and began to bond instantly. Samantha would listen to the problems the other women had and she stayed the prim and proper housewife that her mother-in-law would expect her to be. The walls started crumbling down for all three of these women. With friendship and Downton Abbey they would all live happily ever after.
    I loved the way the book spoke of friendship with all walks of life. The rich girl, the help, they all coexisted. The writing is smooth and flows easily. You feel like you are friends with the characters. I enjoyed the book and not having ever watched Downton Abbey was able to follow the book with no trouble. I think after reading this I will definitely have to get a few friends together to watch the series. I would recommend that you read this book. A nice book for any woman in your life.
    Rating: 4.5
    Heat Rating: Mild
    Reviewed By: Rae
    Courtesy of My Book Addiction And More

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2013

    Highly Recommend

    This is a wonderful book about people coming together and learning that what you think you see or think you know about another person is not always the case. I loved this book and recommended it to many of my friends.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 26, 2013

    Fans of Downton Abbey will love this one!

    I couldn't wait until this book came out and I was not disappointed. I wish it had had a little bit more about Downton Abbey but once I got hooked on the characters and their life experiences I enjoyed the Downton Abbey portion fine!
    Thanks for writing a modern day book that references my favorite TV show!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2013

    A Fun Read

    If you're looking for a really serious piece of literature, this novel isn't for you. If you're looking for a fun way to escape a rainy afternoon, this is an interesting book. It tells the story of three women who live in an Atlanta high rise who develop an unusual friendship that centers around watching Downtown Abbey with the others in their building.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2013

    Not as good as Wendy's previous books

    Even though I have read several of Wendy’s other books and loved them and was so looking forward to this one as had pre-ordered; however, was a bit disappointed. I lived in Atlanta for 14 years prior to moving to Florida, in Buckhead and Midtown and loved the Atlanta highlights; however, compared to her other books, there was just something missing for me.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 2, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A motley group live in the Alexander Building, watched over by t

    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 always orders in and she can’t control her sister and brother who are money-hungry parasites and a mother-in-law who bullies her and the rest of the family.  Jonathan maintains silence throughout all this, including the grand schemes of Samantha’s brother that have made Jonathan lose thousands of dollars.  One begins to sense a constant sense of intense fear looming beneath Samantha’s exterior, an unwillingness to risk speaking truth to her husband, brother or sister.  Beginning new friendships with Brooke and Claire begins to change it all, very slowly but oh so surely!




    Claire is a writer who has written Highland romances that readers love.  But she has a massive case of writer’s block, even though she doesn’t acknowledge she has it and doesn’t seem willing to explore why this dry spell has developed.  She has this new life and doesn’t quite seem able to settle into it easily.  Then she begins to attend the Sunday gatherings around the TV series and eventually wakes up to a whole new world!
    Brook is divorced from the man she worked to put through medical school.  Now he’s threatening her with being thrown out of the Alexander and at the same time he and his new girlfriend are going to buy a new place in the same building.  He’s a Dad when it’s convenient and not financially supportive of her children; she needs money and some new confidence on the interior.  Edward sees everything and finds a niche for Brook that is life-saving in many, many different ways!




    Downton Abbey is about the ups and downs of the aristocracy and the “downstairs” help or servants of the household.  It’s about love, hate, loss of life and the birth of new life both literally and figuratively!  While there are no parallels to this story, it’s gritty and tender qualities seem to imbue these characters with the strength they need to shed old destructive patterns of life and explore new choices that could turn either way but are far, far more worthy of the their efforts than they knew in their past banal existences.




    While We Were Watching Downton Abbey is a grand, well-paced contemporary read definitely deserving to be on the best seller list!!! Great writing!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    It is always a privilege each year to see Wendy and see what her

    It is always a privilege each year to see Wendy and see what her newest novel is that year. She has also been featured in Read for Pink each of the last three years. I shared Ten Beach Road last year and this year I am featuring While We Were Watching Downton Abbey.
    Synopsis:
    Claire has just moved into the Alexander a building located in midtown Atlanta. Her goal is to work on her writing of her next novel. Samantha is a board member and has lived at the Alexander with her husband for a while. Then there is Brook who is recently divorced and still resides at the Alexander with her two daughters. None of these ladies know one another until one night they are invited by the Concierge Edward to view a screening of Downton Abbey. They find that they enjoy this considerably and a friendship develops. Will it be able to survive any conflicts?
    My Thoughts:
    I am a fan of Wendy’s work. I had heard about Downton Abbey the television show, but had never watched it. You don’t need to watch it to read the novel. I have started watching season one, and am about through season one.
    It took me a while to become more interested in the characters and their conflicts. I was hooked by end of the novel. The setting is a fictious building in downtown Atlanta located near the Buckhead area named The Alexander. Everything in the story revolved around this building. To me the one character that is most closely associated with the building is Edward the Concierge although Claire, Brook, and Samantha reside there as well.
    My favorite character in the book ended up being Claire. I think because she is a writer. I also loved those critique partners of Karen and Susie. Karen seemed so real to me! I could actually picture her sending those messages.
    My favorite line in the novel is where Claire describes 285 as the ring of fire and no one outside the perimeter would dare try to go through. This humorous statement refers to those who live in the Atlanta area. by Jencey Gortney/Writer'sCorner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2014

    Pleasant, superficial, fast read, and totally forgettable.  The

    Pleasant, superficial, fast read, and totally forgettable.  The character Samantha is unbelievable:  After 25 years of marriage, she's still so uncertain about her relationship with her faithful husband? The other characters were more interesting.  The Downton Abbey theme is cute and there is a tie-in with one of the characters, but references to the program are minimal.  There is drama, but like books by Maeve Binchy or Rosamund Pilcher, everything gets tied up in a relatively neat and tidy bow at the end.   



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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2014

    Loved it!

    Enjoyed every page.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2014

    A sweet story of making new friends

    Loved the book - would love to see this story line turn into a series. A little predictable, but still very enjoyable!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2014

    Highly Recommend!!!!

    I Loved this book! Best book i have read in a long time!

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  • Posted January 14, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Kayti Nika Raet for Readers' Favorite While We Were

    Reviewed by Kayti Nika Raet for Readers' Favorite

    While We Were Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax follows the lives of  three Atlanta based women: Claire Walker, an empty-nester and struggling author; Brooke MacKenzie, newly divorced and struggling to pick up the pieces of her shattered self-confidence; and Samantha Davis, who's seemingly perfect life and marriage may not be so perfect after all. The three women, living in an historic Atlanta apartment come together when Edward, the concierge, hosts weekly screenings of Downton Abbey. Forming a tight bond over the lush Edwardian TV show, it carries over to some of the women's hardest moments and reveals the heartwarming power of friendship. 

    While We Were Watching Downton Abbey is a beautiful, heartwarming novel that is nonetheless fast-paced and entertaining. As a fan of Downton Abbey, reading about Claire, Brooke, and Samantha's experience with the British drama was thoroughly entertaining and made me want to watch all four seasons all over again. Of course, since While We Were Watching Downton Abbey is set in the South, there were many analogies made between the characters in Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind and Downton Abbey, as well as delicious descriptions of food whether it was traditionally English, Italian, or Southern. 

    Anyone who considers herself a genteel Southern belle, or just Southern at heart, will love and relate to the women in While We Were Watching Downton Abbey and smile at the power of true friendship. A book best enjoyed with a shandy, your own friends and perhaps a season or two of Downton Abbey.

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  • Posted November 16, 2013

    A fun read

    I love Downtown Abbey and it was fun to see how this "addicting" series transformed the lives of three women. Although the story was predictable, it was a light, relaxing story and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2013

    Very Nice

    This was a very nice book Weaving in Downtown Abbey was a nice touch

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2013

    Delightful

    I found this a delightful read, predictable but still worthy of your time. I enjoyed the reading about the growing friendships and the references to Downton Abbey.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2013

    Loved It

    Another hit by Wendy Wax......really enjoyed it!

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  • Posted June 20, 2013

    I really liked this book! The characters are great. It switches

    I really liked this book! The characters are great. It switches back and forth between characters every other chapter or so. I found myself getting attached to one character's story when the chapter would end. I would get so frustrated but it wouldn't take long for me to get lost in the next chapter. I would love to see a sequel or series out of this one.

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  • Posted April 11, 2013

    Clichéd, Predictable, Cheesy: Underwhelmed

    Clichéd, Predictable, Cheesy: Underwhelmed

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews

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