Unexpectedly widowed Gwen-Laura Schmidt is still mourning her husband, Edwin, when her older sister Margot invites her to join forces as roommates in Margot’s luxurious Village apartment. For Margot, divorced amid scandal (hint: her husband was a fertility doctor) and then made Ponzi-poor, it’s a chance to shake Gwen out of her grief and help make ends meet. To further this effort she enlists a third boarder, the handsome, cupcake-baking Anthony.
Gwen is the first-person narrator whose take on her changed life, as well as her reluctance to embark on a new relationship, drew me in with her humor and self-deprecation. Despite the urging of her sisters and the almost forceful way that Margot and the roommate Anthony try to push her toward online dating, Gwen has her own view of how these things will develop. She’s a bit old-fashioned when it comes to matters of the heart. So when she gets an unexpected e-mail from an elderly woman who has read her ad and thinks her son, who is a widower, might just be the perfect mate for her, Gwen is intrigued.
What will happen when Gwen and Eli meet? How will Margot’s ex-husband manage to insinuate himself back into Margot’s life? And what about the future of the Penthouse B residents? Will everything change if their relationship woes end?
In many ways, the situations in which the sisters find themselves are predictable; what sets the story apart is the humor and the strength of the bond between the sisters.
A fun book with interesting characters who are struggling to cope in the modern world, The View from Penthouse B was one I thoroughly enjoyed. Four stars.