The Alexander is an upscale, historic apartment building in downtown Atlanta. It is one of those prestigious apartments that gives it's residents instant status among Atlanta society. The Alexander comes with it's very own Englishman as the Concierge and has a wide variety of residents. There is Samantha David and her husband, Jonathan, in the penthouse. They have been married a very long time and Samantha does everything in her power to make Jonathan's life as easy as possible since he rescued her from a live of poverty and took in her siblings all those years ago. There is also Clare Walker, a recent empty-nester who traded life in the suburbs for a bohemian life in one of the Alexander's studio apartments. She is taking the year to write her book and hopes it is the start of her full time writing career. There is also Brooke MacKenzie, recently divorced, Brooke is a full time mother to her two daughters. She was devastated by her divorce and is struggling to regain the self-esteem her ex-husband destroyed. The three women become friends while attending the weekly screenings of Downton Abbey in the Alexander's club room. The Concierge, Edward, has gone of his way to make the weekly sessions special and is thrilled that the three women have started to form a real friendship. He just hopes that they all can help each other grow while developing their friendship and help to make The Alexander a real community.
I am one of the few people who did not get swept up in the epic story told by the PBS show Downton Abbey. Yet reading While We Were Watching Downton Abbey made me want to run out and immediately start watching the show. The Alexander seemed like an absolutely wonderful place to live, grand and majestic. Edward added to the atmosphere of the grand apartment, too. Clare, Samantha, and Brooke were three different women at different places in their lives. At first they seemed like unlikely friends, but with each passing episode their friendship grew. It was just a real heartwarming friendship book. Of course all three women faced adversity of some kind, which of course they helped each other through, but it didn't seem too hokey. It was completely enjoyable.
Bottom line - While We Were Watching Downtown Abbey is a total brain candy kind of book. No, brain candy is wrong. It is more like chicken soup for the soul. An easy, fluffy kind of read.