The After Wife is a surprisingly hilarious, poignant yet uplifting read which I really enjoyed. Despite dealing sensitively with the serious themes of grief, loss and healing, Grazer keeps the tone light and I loved Grazer's sense of humour, wry and ridiculous in turn. Hannah is a sympathetic and likeable protagonist, her grief at losing her husband so suddenly is overwhelming and she struggles to deal with her pain. Mired in self pity, she asks 'Why?' and receives an answer from an unexpected source, the former owner of her home Casa Sugar, who happens to be deceased. Hannah is pretty sure she is going crazy, especially as spirits start to appear everywhere, desperate for her to pass on messages to their loved ones, but she doesn't have time to think about it too much, she has to deal with raising her three year old daughter, Ellie, alone, losing her job and discovering her husband's insurance has lapsed. And dating. Luckily Hannah can rely on her Grief Team for both comfort and comic relief. Loveable, if slightly absurd caricatures, Jay - her fashionista BFF with bad taste in men, Aimee who is robbed of all expression by Botox and plastic surgery, and Chloe who has a penchant for rescue dogs and bouncing cheques, support Hannah and Ellie in their time of need with questionable advice, vodka and colonics. Grazer pokes fun at the worst examples of excess by the upscale residents of California's Santa Monica and sprinkles pop culture references through out the story. I thought at times it was a little heavy handed but it provides the ideal setting for the story. Funny, engaging and moving, The After Wife is a wonderful light read sure to charm you on a long summer's day (or a cold winters eve) that proves life is for living.
About This Item
Gigi Levangie Grazer, the New York Times bestselling author of The Starter Wife, returns with a hilarious and spirited tale of love—both lost and found.
L.A. is no place for widows. This is what forty-four-year-old Hannah Bernal quickly discovers after the tragic death of her handsome and loving husband, John. Misery and red-rimmed eyes are little tolerated in the land of the beautiful. But life stumbles on: Hannah’s sweet three-year-old daughter, Ellie, needs to be dropped off at her overpriced preschool, while Hannah herself must get back to work in order to pay the bills on “Casa Sugar,” the charming Spanish-styled bungalow they call home.
Fortunately, Hannah has her “Grief Team” for emotional support: earth mother and fanatical animal lover Chloe, who finds a potential blog post in every moment; aspiring actress Aimee, who has her cosmetic surgeon on speed dial; and Jay, Hannah’s TV producing partner, who has a penchant for Mr. Wrong. But after a series of mishaps and bizarre occurrences, one of which finds Hannah in a posh Santa Monica jail cell, her friends start to fear for her sanity. To make matters worse, John left their financial affairs in a disastrous state. And when Hannah is dramatically fired from her latest producing gig, she finds herself in danger of losing her house, her daughter, and her mind.
One night, standing in her backyard under a majestic avocado tree, in the throes of grief, Hannah breaks down and asks, “Why?” The answer that comes back—Why not?—begins an astounding journey of discovery and transformation that leads Hannah to her own truly extraordinary life after death.
Praise for The After Wife
“Fans of Lolly Winston, Mary Kay Andrews, and Jennifer Weiner will especially enjoy Grazer’s newest.”—Booklist
“Hilariously funny and profoundly wise, The After Wife is for anyone who’s ever been married or widowed, in debt or in love. I could not put it down: a fabulous read!”—Nancy Thayer, author of Island Girls
“A charming tale of a grieving forty-ish widow—and the wacky friends who love her.”—Los Angeles Times
“A book that is part Jacqueline Susann, part Real Housewives . . . Gigi Levangie Grazer [is a] Jimmy Choo’ed-out satirist.”—National Post
“Fans of The Starter Wife will be equally charmed with The After Wife.”—Library Journal
“Grazer’s entertaining satire is sure to spice up any occasion.”—Publishers WeeklyThe After Wife - eBook
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Random House Publishing Group
Gigi Levangie Grazer
The After Wife is a su...
Amber Sadler While thi...
Amber Sadler While this book as good it was not my favorite by this author. The premise was interesting enough, and the narrator entertaining, but I can't say that I liked the main character. She seemed very whinny to me, but under the circumstances, I understand it. But any book that gives me multiple laugh out loud moments deserves four stars to me. Like I said it wasn't may favorite, but I would definitely recommend it as a light, fun read.
I hardly ever would ch...
I hardly ever would choose a book marketed as funny and even more so would I not choose a book that was a ghost story-but The After Wife-received as an Early Review copy-had both..and I loved it. The setting is Southern California; some of the characters fit stereotypes ie the Ambitious Actress, the Earth Mother who only eats organic, the Fun Gay Friend-but they were all real people and very funny. The story centers around Hannah, whose husband was just killed in hit-and-run car accident. She is suddenly left a single mother with no income and no direction-but somehow she has been given the gift of seeing and hearing dead people who converse with her and pass on messages to people left behind.The story about her healing and her friends-alive and not-was entertaining and even a little inspiring. It all sounds pretty ludicrous but I liked it and would recommend it!
The After Wife, by G...
"The After Wife", by Gigi Levangie Grazer, took me outside of my reading box in an enjoyable manner. I believe that everyone has a right to grieve in their own way, and each of us moves on with our lives in our own time. Sometimes you have to face your biggest fears in order to poke holes in them, and then you can really learn to live. Hannah Bernal is a happily-married forty-something mom to a three-year-old girl. Life in L.A. is good for Hannah and her happy house-husband, John, a chef and cookbook author. When John is killed in a tragic accident, Hannah can't go on--can she? She tries her best to survive with the help of friends and family, some of whom are no longer among the living. That's right. Hannah sees dead people. That includes her late husband and also the deceased former owner of her home. If that's not enough to drive a widow-woman bonkers, Hannah loses her job. Life throws one curveball after another at Hannah, but eventually gets herself a catcher's mitt and throws a few fastballs of her own. The humor here is as sharp as the sense of loss, and the story line is reminiscent of a 30's screwball comedy. A zingy, zappy, sweet & snappy read that will tug a few heartstrings at the same time it tickles the funny bone. Review Copy Gratis Library Thing
When David Lee Roth sa...
When David Lee Roth sang, "Well East coast girls are hip I really dig those styles they wear And the Southern girls with the way they talk They knock me out when I'm down there The Mid-West farmer's daughters really make you feel alright And the Northern girls with the way they kiss They keep their boyfriends warm at night I wish they all could be California I wish they all could be California I wish they all could be California girls," the implication, of course, was that California girls are the cream of the crop, close to perfection. But what if you aren't perfection in California and specifically in LA? What if the person who loved you, imperfections and all, died, leaving not only you but your life less than perfect? Hannah Bernal, the main character in Gigi Levangie Grazer's newest novel, has to face that very reality after her beloved husband John dies after being hit by a car. Hannah's a young widow in a place that doesn't accept death well. Her finances are in a shambles and when she's fired from her latest producing gig, she might just have to sell her house. She's slowly going off the rails. And it's not just Hannah living this new unwanted life, she's got a sassy, fashionista, daddy's girl of a three year old daughter Ellie who misses the dad who was always her primary caregiver. Luckily Hannah also has a cast of loving, if off-beat, friends, Chloe, Aimee, and Jay, who rally around her to bail her out and to try and help her face her grief and the new normal of widowed life. That they cannot keep Hannah from seeing and speaking to the dead is not a mark of how ineffective they are or of how nutty they think Hannah is getting, but is an unexpected but factual reflection of Hannah's new life. Apparently with John's death, Hannah has become more sensitive to the spirits around her and she can in fact talk to dead people. She can pass messages on from them to their loved ones. But telling work colleagues or perfect strangers things from the deceased is a sure way to make people look at you askance. As if Hannah's very widowhood hadn't already made her a bit of a pariah, her messages from the beyond positively freak people out and make her kooky friends wonder if she's not going completely insane. Grazer has written a light, entertaining, and even playful novel about life after death, both the living going on after losing a loved one as well as the idea of an after life for the dead and the ways in which they remain with us. Hannah's grief is palpable and her floundering in the wake of John's death is very realistic. That she cannot even remember to care for her own child, leaving her at school long past pick-up time and avoiding the difficulty of telling her that her beloved daddy is gone forever, is completely believable given her own withdrawal from the world. She's a mess, that Hannah, but a mess with whom the reader feels a connection. The idea of a person suddenly being able to talk to the dead is handled interestingly and makes for a humorous plot twist given the situations in which Hannah's new gift and her inability to keep quiet about it lands her. The secondary characters here are fairly stereotypical and the book on the whole doesn't delve deeply into the issues it touches on, staying firmly on the light and playful surface. An entertaining read, this is a sitcom of a novel about death and grieving, light on the depressing sadness and heavier on the simple enjoyment factor.
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