Book Review: The After Wife

The After WifeThe After Wife by Gigi Levangie Grazer
Publisher: Ballentine Books
Publication Date: July 10, 2012
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Publisher’s Description:

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.

In The After Wife, Gigi Levangie Grazer has done what I would have thought impossible and made Hannah’s journey after becoming a widow light-hearted and funny. And it’s not in a zany, slapstick way, which I would not have liked. This book has smart humor and a Sex and the City type vibe. I loved the characters in her “Grief Team”, especially Jay – he was hilarious.

I don’t want to give too much away but I will say that after her husband is killed, Hannah discovers she has a unique talent. This talent made the book take an entirely different direction than I thought it would but I think it was what helped keep the story from becoming dark and depressing. I was pleasantly surprised with the unexpected twist the plot took. This was definitely not your typical chick-lit novel.

I think The After Wife is well-written, funny and would be a great summer read.

Buy this book at:
Amazon Kindle Store Powell’s Books

(I received a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher.)