The Unexpected Waltz
Kelly Wilder becomes recently widowed from a much older wealthy man with whom she spent her married life doing charity work, building a lovely home, and, as she says, “pretending to be a whole lot more conservative and stupid and nicer than I really am.”
Now, with too much time and money on her hands, Kelly has absolutely no idea what happens next. So on a whim she signs up for a ballroom dancing class, and slowly, step by high-heeled step, begins to rebuild her life with the help of friends old and new: Nik, a young Russian dance teacher who sees the artistic potential she left behind; Carolina, a woman in hospice, anxious to experience a whole lifetime in a few months; and Elyse, Kelly’s girlhood best friend who knows all of her past secrets—including the truth about the man who long ago broke Kelly’s heart.
In the vein of Jennifer Weiner's novels, Unexpected Waltz is a deeply felt story about moving on after loss and finding a new walk—or dance—of life through the power of second chances.
Reading Group Guide
At the age of fifty-two, Kelly Wilder Madison finds herself with a beautiful house in a gated community, a pretty face, and more money in her trust fund allowance than she can spend each month. From the outside looking in, she has it made. But when her late husband’s attorney assures her that “nothing has to change,” something inside of her awakens and sets in motion a quest for a way of life that can’t be bought or acquired through social connections. Unexpected Waltz is the story of her journey of transformation that begins with a single step—onto the dance floor.
Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. In the first chapter of the book, Kelly Madison says, “I want things to change.” Precisely what is it about her life that she wants to change? What words would you use to describe her at the beginning of the story?
2. What are the similarities and differences between Kelly and her best friend Elyse? Kelly calls Elyse a “witness” see more