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Friday, August 26, 2011

Review - John Irving's WIDOW FOR ONE YEAR

This was a different read. So many "main" characters all important to the story. Eddie is a kind of apprentice to Ted Cole, a famous children's book author. You also get Marion his wife who is not interested in her husband or her daughter after she lost her two sons. You get Ruth never knowing why her mother is so disinterested in her/almost dislikes her it seems to the child in Ruth.

We have Eddie as a very young man madly in love with Marion - a love which he continues till the end of the book and we have Ted - almost a serial lover, seducing the young mothers of his fans, seducing anyone and everyone including Hannah - his daughters best friend. You have Ruth in the midst of this dysfunctional family - her only links to her family being the stories around her two brothers and the number of photographs of them adorning their home.

Fast forward 30 to 40 years - both Ruth and Eddie are fairly famous. Marion is missing escaping to Canada and writing under a pseudonym there. Ruth is still footloose - finding it difficult to put down roots, though she does want to get married and more importantly for her have a child. We still have Eddie hopelessly in love with Marion who is almost 40 years his senior. His love has not even waned never mind died. Ruth uses her friend's Hannah's life in her novels and Eddie uses Marion aging Marion with each book.

The story is long drawn and winding - I read the first part put it aside and then came to it much later and finished it in one go. At the end it became more tantalising as you wanted to know where Ruth was going after all this time. It came together well in the end.


  1. I recently picked this up at the library sale, since I've read a couple of his other books and enjoyed them. Thanks for the review.

  2. It's good to know it all comes together at the end. I found this book on my shelf today and hadn't realized I owned it. I think it's time to reorganize my shelves again. :)

  3. I read this several years ago now but I remember I thought it was very drawn out.

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out