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The Widow's Season Paperback – June 2, 2009
The Amazon Book Review
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From Publishers Weekly
Brodie weaves an engaging tale of grief and loss in her What if? debut. When Sarah McConnell's husband of 17 years dies in a kayaking incident, she is left widowed and childless at the age of 39. But David's body is never recovered, and after three months of seeing glimpses of her husband at the grocery store and her home, Sarah wonders whether she really is a widow. On Halloween night, David shows up at her front door and offers a plausible explanation for his absence, and Sarah is, understandably, relieved yet also distraught—since she's the only person who has seen him, is he real? Or is she going crazy? Brodie expertly walks the line between reality and fantasy, life and death, heartache and love, leaving readers hoping for the best and prepared for the worst—without ever really knowing the truth—until the final five pages. (June)
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"In The Widow's Season, Brodie draws on literary traditions, but hides the academic stuff under the flow of smart dialogue and sharp detail. This is a work of craft and imagination."
"In The Widow's Season, Laura Brodie confronts all the twists and turns of grief and loss, love and marriage, and the human heart with honesty, humor, and great intelligence. This novel is spellbinding, right up to its surprising and poignant final page."
-Ann Hood, author of The Knitting Circle
"The Widow's Season is far more than what it seems to be at first - a straightforward story of a woman getting used to a crushing loss. It's smarter, slyer, and more unconventional than that. It's haunting-and haunted too."
-Elizabeth Benedict, author of Almost and The Practice of Deceit
Top customer reviews
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This book is gripping, missing a lot of sleep! Her charecterizations are clear and believable. Hope to learn from her in Taos.
I like books that kept me questioning and wondering what's true and what isn't. Good book.
I purchased this book while I was "stuck" writing my own story RiverRun: Adventures on the Edge of Enlightenment. How similar! My friend Scott died on the day I was to meet him while kayaking Great Falls of the Potomac. He and five other river friends who perished on whitewater haunted my psyche, and their "ghosts" served to wake up as my sister was faced with the choice of whether to live in a hospital in the hopes of a heart-lung transplant.
Thank you, Laura Brodie, for the story, and the kick-start. You compare favorably to that other great Appalachian female writer in our time.
He invites Sarah to join him and she does, bringing him food, supplies, and even funds while he continues to make new art. Is Sarah widowed - or abandoned?
Laura Brodie drove me crazy with this beautiful tale set in the hills and valleys of the Alleghenies. I could NOT "put this book down," and I could NOT stop talking about it when I was not reading it. I don't know how, or why, I chose this book...
Applause, applause for this first novel!
Sarah McConnell is married, childless and 39 years old when her husband doesn't return from a solo kayaking trip. After authorities do a thorough search of the river and his kayak and other equipment show up, there is no alternative but to presume him dead. Sarah has the memorial service, joins a widow's support group and tries to go on with her life. Three months after her husband's death she sees him in the grocery store. Is it really him? Is he really dead? Is this a ghost? Is she losing her mind?
As the story unfolds, we get glimpses into their marriage and understand the status of their lives at the time of David's disappearance. We are welcomed into Sarah's mind and emotions and we discover that all was not well at the time and how that came to be. While not making either character "guilty" of any great sin, the pushes and pulls of daily life and taken a toll on the marriage and the honeymoon phase has been over for them for awhile.
This is a beautiful novel that examines the complexity of a marriage - the expectations that are and are not met. How the decisions made by one spouse effect the other and the personality of one can dominate the other. The opportunity to experience her life after David's death and how that develops is a great study in grief.
In addition to the examination of the marriage, the question hanging over the entire narrative of whether David is alive or a ghost adds a delicious tension and intrigue. Some of the writing reminds me of Anita Shreeve.
Good, engaging read -