The Unexpected Waltz
From the author of the “sharply written and emotionally accessible” (Kirkus Reviews) debut Love in Mid Air comes this moving novel about a middle-aged woman who regains her balance in life. 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, The 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
From the critically acclaimed author of Love in Mid Air and The Unexpected Waltz, The Canterbury Sisters is a warm, compulsively readable novel about how one woman’s mission to grant her mother’s last wishes ends up saving her own.
Che de Milan’s life is a mess. Her longtime boyfriend has just announced—in a letter—that he is leaving her for another woman and her eccentric mother has recently passed. When her mother’s ashes show up on her doorstep with a set of instructions that require a trip to Canterbury Cathedral, Che reluctantly packs her bags and embarks upon a pilgrimage. The eight women in the touring group swap stories along the length of the Canterbury Trail in the best Chaucer tradition, vying to see who among them can describe true love. Armed with wine, ashes, camaraderie, and the magic of Canterbury itself, these unlikely pilgrims help Che find the sense of peace and hope that has always eluded her.
Questions and Topics for Discussion
1. In the opening pages see more