Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Widow's Season by Laura Brodie

Book Synopsis:
Sarah McConnell's husband had been dead for three months when she saw him in the grocery store...

What does a woman do when she's thirty-nine, childless, and completely alone for the first time in her life? Does it mean she's crazy to think she sees her late husband beside a display of pumpkins? Or is it just what people do, a natural response to grief that will fade in time? That's what Sarah McConnell's friends told her, that it was natural, would last a season, and then fade away.

But what if there was another answer? What if he was really there? They never found the body, after all. What if he is still here somehow, and about to walk back into her life?

My thoughts:

What would you do if you saw your dead husband while grocery shopping? Would you chase after him demanding answers? Would you silently think you're losing your mind due to your grief? Or would you shake off the image as simply wishing it to be your husband, but knowing it is just a complete stranger?

Having read glowing reviews about The Widow's Season, I was eager to read it. Unfortunately, it fell flat for me. As I read Sarah's story, I realized I didn't feel anything for her...nothing. Here's a story about a woman who recently lost her husband and thinks she sees him and I don't feel any sympathy? Compassion?

The characters in The Widow's Season were hard to connect to. Sarah and her brother-in-law, Nate, seemed to be somewhat aloof. Perhaps it was their reaction to losing David and the events (which I won't share to avoid spoilers) that occurred after his death. Or maybe it was Ms. Brodie's intent to write the characters this way. To be honest, this was the third consecutive book I read dealing with the death of a love one. It's possible I just felt numb after reading two previous tragic stories.

I think The Widow's Season would be an excellent selection for a book club. I figured out the ending pretty early in the book and wondered what other readers thought as the story unfolded. I wanted a chance to speak with other readers about my feelings (or lack thereof) for these characters and hear their thoughts as well. Perhaps speaking with other readers would challenge my opinion about the novel. (If you're interested, the author provides a reader guide that could be used for a book club discussion.)

Despite my disappointment with this novel, I would recommend it to other readers. I enjoyed Ms. Brodie's ability to write in such a way that I could instantly see the scenes in my mind. I plan to read Ms. Brodie's future novels.

Recommended for: book clubs

Book details:
ISBN-13: 978-0-425-22765-7
Pages: 303
Year Published: 2009
Genre: Women's Fiction
Date Finished: August 28
Rating: B

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry you were disappointed by this novel! I was one of those that loved it.