Review: While We Were Watching Downton Abbey

While We Were Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax

Published by Berkely Trade

Published on April 2, 2013

384 Pages



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 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 world charm of The Alexander, and, 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.

This first thing that grabbed me about this book was the title. It had Downton Abbey in it and I’m a DA junkie. I was so sad when Season 3 ended and I have to wait until next January for Season 4. However, low and behold here is novel set in present day about watching and bonding over Downton Abbey. I just had to read it. And guess what? I LOVED IT!!!!

Wendy Wax has written some wonderful characters in Samantha, Clair, Brooke and Edward. Each has their own story and problems. I never felt that any character’s issue overshadowed the rest. All plotlines were so well-balanced and I thoroughly enjoyed reading each page. I really enjoyed how each plotline developed to its conclusion. Ms. Wax was able to give each character his/her own happy ending.

The blooming friendship between Samantha, Claire and Brooke was at the heart of the book. I liked how three very different women were able to bond and help each other through some very difficult times. I thought Ms. Wax portrayed female friendship in a very positive light. No cattiness, just genuine friendship.

Edward is a wonderful character. He is the glue that keeps everyone together. He gives Samantha, Clair and Brooke strength that they never knew they had. The ladies rely on him for so many different things and they will don’t realize it. He is the epitome of the English gentleman, even though he could be considered “in service.”

Downton Abbey is mainly just the reason for the women to meet and bond. There is some discussion of the series but not much. I wished there was more. The funniest part of the book was when Edward had all the ladies take a Downton quiz to find out which character they were. I won’t give away any secrets but the results will surprise you.

While We Were Watching Downton Abbey is a wonderful book and I highly recommend reading it.


February Rewind

February Rewind
It’s been another wonderful month of book blogging! I really love this stuff. It’s just so much fun! This month I was able to write five book reviews, participate in two blog tours and write four posts on Why I Love to Read. I would say that was a successful month!
Blog Tours
Why I Love to Read
And last, but not least, I became a Countess for supporting Austen Admirers! Thanks, Angie for all your hard work for an amazing Austen app!

Why I Love to Read: Book Club

Why I love To Read


Book Club

I love my book club! Three years ago, nine other ladies and I, who I now call my close friends, decided to get together once a month to talk about books.  We call ourselves Books, Babes and Booze and we had no idea how long it would last or what great conversations we would have. Rules of book club is that the hostess for that month gets to choose whatever book she wants and everyone must read at least 100 pages.

As we are about to finish our third year together, we will have read over 30 books. We have read books from so many different genres. I have read books that I know I would have never chosen for myself. We read books about World War II, cancer, Nigeria, witches and vampires, other planets, carnivals, dystopian worlds and the list goes on and on. We’ve covered fiction and nonfiction alike. Some books we agree on and others we don’t; and, that’s the best part about book club.

Each person in our group has her own strong opinions about what we are reading at any given time. It is so much fun to listen to another person’s thoughts on a book that you either loved or hated. We are never mean to each other because we respect every other too much to do that. We just love to debate and enjoy the differing opinions. I really love when a book totally polarizes the group. For example, one month I picked The Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. For the group, you either loved it or hated it. We had such a loud and heated debate on why Diana and Matthew never had sex in the book. We argued and laughed. It was such fun!!

Of course, with any good book club we have wonderful food and beverage. Each hostess puts together a wonderful spread of yummy snacks and great wine. For an hour and a half, we are able to let our hair down and talk about our lives and get whatever support we might need. Because after we have exhausted the book talk, we switch to whatever is happening in our lives at the time. It’s like a good old-fashioned quilting bee but with books instead of thread and needles. It’s fun talking to other like-minded women to get their take on the world’s problems.

So, that’s why I love to read this week. Good books, good friends and good conversations!