I like smart humor, both in conversation and in writing. Thus, when I heard Sally Koslow reading from THE WIDOW WALTZ this week at a book signing, I was reminded of why I enjoyed the book so much. It’s smart writing with a humorous punch.
Georgia Waltz has little to smile about. When the book opens, Georgia’s husband, Ben Silver (of course, Georgia kept her maiden name), has a heart attack on lap three of a sprint pre-New York marathon. As he lies gasping for air, he thinks about the small cell phone that’s not at his side --- not the iPhone the world knows about, but the one that has skittered away. And he wonders, “Who would call her?” And in one five-page chapter setup, Ben exits, but leaves behind his starring role for us to unravel with Georgia.
And we learn that Ben’s life was a lie. This is pretty tough to take for anyone, but Georgia had a charmed life provided by Ben and now needs to rely on her own wits and must dust off her coping skills. She’s smart and thus peels back her comfortable lifestyle, rolls up her sleeves, and moves towards a new life with the elegance of a waltz…hence the title. She does not cower or rage, but rather moves with smooth style away from the safe life she has known to the “new” her. Along the way, we see why Georgia can buck up. She has an inner core that’s very solid, and she has humor.
Georgia tells the story the way a confidant might over a drink or a cup of coffee, which is why it works so well. Paragraph by paragraph and page by page, Sally’s smart writing makes this story sail with wonderful timing and phrasing.
It’s a great beach read, especially if you want moments where a smile or a laugh creep up as you relax by your favorite body of water this summer.