A deliciously smart and funny debut novel about loss, libido…and true love
A decade ago, Claire Byrne, now thirty-two, put her biggest career aspirations and deepest personal desires on hold when she became the wife of Charlie Byrne, the famous sexologist and man about town. Equal parts Alfred Kinsey and Warren Beatty, Charlie is charming yet pompous, supportive yet unfaithful, a firm believer that sex and love can’t coexist. When Charlie is killed one day, in an absurd sidewalk collision with a falling sculpture (a Giacometti, no less!), his death turns Claire’s world upside down. She misses Charlie. She needs to reinvent herself. As unseemly as it may be to admit it, she longs to lose her “widow’s virginity.” And she wants love.
Over the course of a year, Claire eats too little and drinks too much. She sees first-and second-opinion shrinks, the Village griot, a psychic, and a “botanomanist.” She dates a billionaire, a journalist, a hockey player, and even Jack Huxley—the movie star.
And, as Claire moves on from Charlie and searches for herself, she comes to realize she’s been given a second chance to live the meaningful and passionate life that passed her by once before.
Listeners of Carole Radziwill’s debut memoir, the lauded and New York Times bestselling What Remains, know well that she has a particular talent for writing about friendship, loss, and love. And listeners of The Widow’s Guide to Sex and Dating will discover that those gifts extend delightfully and tenderly to the literary screwball comedy. In spinning Claire’s story, Radziwill limns a world where glamorous movie stars fall for brainy working girls and where true friends must be leaned on until true love arrives, and she reports back with a novel that is as romantic as it is funny and wise.