The Merry Widow's Diary
Susan Crosby
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Buy *The Merry Widow's Diary* by Susan Crosby online

The Merry Widow's Diary
Susan Crosby
304 pages
September 2006
rated 3 1/2 of 5 possible stars
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Jill Townsend’s life changes dramatically when her husband, Wade, dies. Up until this point, Jill has lived a pampered, sheltered existence as a suburban housewife and mother. Now she is a widow, and her two daughters, Shanna and Tori, are in college. Jill has been mourning for around nine months now, and she is a bit lonely. Her neighbor, Alan, is a famous fiction author, and the two share a special friendship. Alan has been a soft place for Jill to fall since Wade’s death.

When Jill is going through her husband’s office belongings, she discovers an unfamiliar set of keys and becomes curious as to what they are for. After some amateur sleuthing, she learns that the keys are for a loft in New York City, purchased for Jill because her late husband wanted her to have a “place in the city.” Jill is surprised and touched by her husband’s act of generosity, and she hires the interior decorator, Ilene, who her husband had intended to use, to decorate the loft. Jill makes several trips to the city, Ilene takes Jill under her wing, and the two develop a friendship. Jill and Ilene spend a lot of time talking about dating, something that Jill has avoided since widowhood, and Ilene shows Jill the way around the city.

While in the city, Jill spreads her wings further by joining a grief support group. The tightly knit group has been together for several years, and at first, Jill feels unwelcome but decides to stick it out by regularly attending meetings. While she feels that she has gone through the grieving process, she is concerned about her two daughters.

Jill finds herself spending more and more time in the city - and enjoying herself. She finds men are hitting on her, and she decides to start dating but keeps in close touch with Alan, who often comes for an overnight visit to the loft. Still attending the grief support group meetings, Jill even ventures out to seek employment opportunities as a cake designer. It is clear that the loft was an excellent investment, and Jill’s life has become much more fulfilling as a result.

Reading about Jill’s life and how it changes is interesting, and Alan is an especially intriguing character. I enjoyed the latter half of the book the most, when Jill’s new life comes into focus. A good plot twist toward the end that adds interest to the story. This book is recommended to fans of the Harlequin NEXT series and to fans of women’s fiction.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Shannon Bigham, 2006

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