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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.


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