Published by Ballantine Books on June 1st 2004
Richly comic as well as deeply disturbing, this is a multilayered love story of astonishing emotional force. Both ribald and erotic, it is also a brilliant novel about the passage of time and the relentlessness of grief.
My Thoughts Now:
I’m a little sad as I do not remember this one at all. I read it in 2012 and I did read a LOT of books that year but I thought this one would stay with me. There are some scenes that I remember very well but most are gone. I read the synopsis and my review and I remember mostly none of this. I also have not read another John Irving since and I really meant to so that’s a little sad but really there are just too many great writers in this world! Definitely not something to complain about.
So, looking back, it seems it didn’t stick with me as much as I thought it would but of all the books that I would prefer to re-read, this would be on that list.
My thoughts Then:
My very first book club book! And I’m super excited because honestly I may never have picked this one up. I enjoyed it quite a bit and although I do like John Irving’s eccentric style of writing I’ll have to read another of his books to see if I’m a new fan or not. So far though, so good.
A Widow for One Year was an interesting story. And I’m not saying that in a ok, that was weird kind of way. It was good, really good. Kind of convoluted at times but still overall John Irving was able to bring every aspect of the book together at the end. And there were a LOT of different ends to tie up.
I enjoyed Ruth’s relationship with Eddie. Actually, I really liked all of the characters, even the abused and really messed up Marion. She helped the book move along even though she wasn’t really a part of it for 95 percent! Everyone’s lives were still centered around her even with her gone. In each important event Ruth waits to see if her mother will show up, waits to know if her mother will ever explain why. Until one day when Ruth understands because of something terrible that happens to Ruth. Death is the changer of everyone and we can not judge how one person or the other will grieve. But that is not all this book is about, it’s about finding love in the most difficult of times and really being able to lay it all on the table with that person. It’s an amazing thing that can never be replaced no matter how each character in this novel tried.
Although this was a long read and a bit slow at times I do recommend it. It’s a bit of a mystery, a bit of romance and a bit of fun!