Title: The Widow’s Season
Author: Laura Brodie
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Publisher: Berkley Books
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
First line: Sarah McConnell’s husband had been dead three months when she saw him in the grocery store.
When I picked up Laura Brodie’s The Widow’s Season and read that delicious first line, I was sure I was in for a great read – and I was right. This book grabbed me from the first page, and wouldn’t let me go until I turned the last with a satisfied sigh. I read this book in less than twenty-four hours, and it’s one of the reasons I didn’t come up with a favorites post for Friday – I didn’t want to do anything else until I finished it.
Sarah McConnell’s husband disappeared in a kayaking accident during a flash flood. His body is never found, but some of his personal items are, and so he is declared dead. Sarah starts to navigate the waters of widowhood with the help of her neighbor and best friend, Margaret. Then she sees David – at the store, at home. Is he really there? Is she going crazy?
I can’t give you more of a synopsis than that without giving away major plot points, and believe me when I say you don’t want to have this book spoiled for you. Brodie tells a spine-tingling story, and she also deals with the emotional issues we all experience at one time or another: loss, love, grief, disappointment, and renewal. As Sarah walks through her widow’s season, she comes to know herself and her husband in a way she didn’t before she grieved his loss.
As I read, I came to know Sarah, came to understand the hidden nuances of her marriage to David. The character of Sarah is so well-written that I found myself responding as if she was someone I knew, being glad that she had Margaret in her life to help her through this season – wishing she would confide more and ask for advice. I cheered some of the choices Sarah made, disliked others – but all of them felt inevitable in the face of what she was experiencing. When I finished the book, reading the last few pages and the story’s starting conclusion, I found myself wishing that there would be a postscript, telling me where Sarah is now, what her life is like – like you find at the end of movies based on the lives of real people.
The Widow’s Season is a terrific read, the kind that keeps you guessing until the final few pages. Highly recommended.
Thank you so much to Laura Brodie for sending me her book. Stay tuned tomorrow for a Q&A with Ms. Brodie.