Review ~ Gracious Living Without Servants by Brenda Cronin
Juliet has done the right thing all her life, and where’s it gotten her? She’s a thirty-year-old widow who’s had to move in with her parents.
Things start to look up when her glamorous—but married—neighbor Seth seems to be flirting with her and helps her land a job at a local paper.
Then she’s assigned to investigate Seth’s wife. Juliet is quickly immersed in lies, manipulation, and a deepening sex scandal. But she feels alive for the first time in a long time.
Maybe she needs to do the wrong thing for once. Or maybe she’s headed for disaster.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I received this book from TLC Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Juliet the main character was very likable and very lost. A recent widow, she tried learning how to live on her own again while living with and leaning on her parents. During this stay at her childhood home, she comes in contact with her neighbors, her parents’ friends. Oddly enough, Juliet has a severe attraction to, the 35 years older than her, Seth. Seth’s wife helps Juliet get a job at a newspaper and the story really starts there. The beginning of the book is slow, which is understandable, but I really started to feel a part of the book when Juliet was doing her investigations. She had to write a story on Seth’s wife and found out some not so flattering things about her.
I believe one of the major themes was to learn to live on your own after you have lost the love of your life. Juliet did not know who she was without her husband, they were two parts of a whole. Juliet wanted to feel again, and she did so with Seth, although I found that not so hot, in the romantic sense. I mean he was old, 65-ish to her 30-ish. The affair with Seth did jumpstart her road to feeling again finding herself.
Brenda Cronin writes for The Wall Street Journal, where she has worked since 2001. Her short fiction has been published on both sides of the Atlantic. This is her first novel. Born in Washington, she was raised in Connecticut and lives in New York City.