Pen O’Grady makes her way through the first week after her girlfriend, Cara Wall, dies in a traffic accident. She confides in the reader her thoughts and reminiscences on her life with Cara, as well as on the mundane matters of taking phone messages and arranging for time off work. The humour and irreverence of Pen’s voice is charming in itself but there are … Continue reading Book review: Hood by Emma Donoghue
The English translation is available as two novellas in one book: Kitchen and then the shorter, Moonlight Shadow. In both stories young women are finding their way through the aftermath of the death of a loved one. In Kitchen, Mikage, who has already lost both parents and a grandfather, is now reeling from the death of her grandmother. Finding herself alone in the world, … Continue reading Book review: Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto
Georgia Waltz had the perfect, super-swanky everything until her husband dropped dead while training for the New York City marathon. She then discovered there was rather a lot he hadn’t told her, most pressingly, that they had no money. This is not a how-to on regaining solvency after losing it all but it is an escapist caper about rich New Yorkers, laced with some … Continue reading Book review: The Widow Waltz by Sally Koslow
Abusive late husband
Sera in Thrity Umrigar’s The Space Between Us, tries to rise above painful memories even as she tends her unpleasant mother-in-law.
Continue reading “Fiction for the widowed things less spoken about”
Nora Webster is a widowed mother of four living in the south of Ireland at the end of the nineteen sixties. With very little drama and armfuls of everyday details, we see Nora navigate the compromises and battles required to move from being an object of pity to a person reclaiming her life.
Continue reading “Book review: Nora Webster by Colm Tóibín”
Middlemarch, by George Eliot, opens with the story of Dorothea Brooke, an idealistic eighteen year old. She is keen to use her family fortune to improve the housing of the poor in her community, while her sister is more preoccupied with looking pretty and thinking about suitors. We follow their lives into very different marriages. Dorothea is a widow by the age of twenty-one … Continue reading Book review: Middlemarch