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Saturday Night Widows: The Adventures of Six…
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Saturday Night Widows: The Adventures of Six Friends Remaking Their Lives (edition 2013)

by Becky Aikman

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Member:pagei
Title:Saturday Night Widows: The Adventures of Six Friends Remaking Their Lives
Authors:Becky Aikman
Info:Crown (2013), Hardcover, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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Saturday Night Widows: The Adventures of Six Friends Remaking Their Lives by Becky Aikman

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Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
As a young widow, Becky Aikman is looking for help moving on with her life. After attending a disastrous support group meeting at which everyone is depressed and angry, she decides to start her own group. Through friends and acquaintances, she finds a group of six young, recently widowed women. Since Saturday night is a tough night to be alone, that’s when she convenes her first group of the Saturday Night Widows. This inspiring story is about not only helping each other survive their grief, but also about going on to make a new beginning together.

I suppose I should have realized that this was going to be a very emotional read. What surprised me though was how the author brought herself and the other women in her group to life. She devoted at least a full chapter to each woman, enough to make me feel I got to know them each individually. I don’t think anyone could read this without empathizing with their emotions. In fact, every time I think about this book, I can’t help tearing up. First of all, this book makes their situation feel so real, that you can’t help imagining a little what it would feel like to be in their position. And that’s just tough! Second of all, the sadness these women experience and the happiness they help each other find is so poignant and joyous and heartbreaking and heartwarming, it’s hard to even put into words.

The author herself was incredibly relatable. I was so impressed with how she coped and managed to help others. She faces life’s challenges with amazing insight and just the right amount of good humor. It was completely clear that she was grieving and understandable that she wanted to move on from that. Sometimes I just wanted to punch the horrible people she had to deal with. At other times, I was amazed at the kindness people showed, especially the kindness this group of women showed each other. Her inclusion of things that worked and didn’t work for the group seem like they could be helpful to other widows. As such, I would recommend this book to widows, who might benefit from knowing they’re not alone. But I would recommend it to friends of widows more. Never having lost someone, I’m sure I don’t understand what these women went through. I do, however, think this book got me a bit closer to understanding. By reading this book, we can each become less like the people who made these women’s lives harder and more like the inspiring people who actually helped them out.

This review first published on Doing Dewey. ( )
  DoingDewey | Mar 8, 2014 |
A book about friendship among women who lost their husbands. it is also a book about grief and how it is possible to move on with one's lives. ( )
  teeth | Feb 18, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
"Grief is a process of finding comfort" and what a journey that can take. We are a culture that doesn't handle interacting well with grievers, as evidenced with Becky's expulsion from a grief support group. Disillusioned but yearning for connection, Becky embarked upon creating her own group, a group committed to spending time together once a month for a year. "We would simply live and explore and share together and apart, out there in the world, whatever that world might hold." This is their story. While each of these women suffered the loss of a spouse, grief can also be felt in the loss in other areas...a job, a home, etc. This is what makes this book a read for all. Grief is all around us. Becky gives light into the grief cocoon by describing it as clicking her ruby slippers eager to escape the world she has found herself but she remains. The final group adventure was a trip to Morocco. A day of this trip is spent navigating through the medina - twisty, easy to lose one's way, needing a guide to not become lost, some areas darker than others - the symbolism of this stop and their journey through grief leaped off the pages. The personal story of loss for each of the women is revealed sporadically. While this made it difficult to track who was who, it also made the point that the who was immaterial to the story. It was the story, the journey, not the individual woman, that needed to be felt. As a culture, we shy away from understanding what those who experience the loss of a spouse go through, almost as though it is contagious. This insightful read gives voice to how we might better aid those along this painful journey. I received this book as part of LibraryThing's Early Reader's program. ( )
  Dawn1361 | Feb 6, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I loved this book! Though I'm not a widow, I've experienced death of loved ones, and like these women and most of us, come out of it changed. Like these women I've learned to value those supportive people in my life. Becky Aikman combines rich story telling with research so smoothly. I can understand the great success of this book. These women are inspiring in their growth and success in courage, love, & friendship. One hopes we can all reach into our depths and get out there and live our life fully. ( )
  EllenH | Feb 3, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A book about friendship among women who are brought together by the early death of the their husbands. A book about grief and about finding joy. Read the full review on my blog at: http://memoriesfrombooks.blogspot.com/2014/01/saturday-night-widows.html

*** Reviewed for LibraryThing Early Reviewers program *** ( )
  njmom3 | Jan 27, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0307590437, Hardcover)

Q&A with Becky Aikman

Becky Aikman

Q. What gave you the idea of forming your own widows’ support group?

A. Losing someone close to you has to be one of life’s most universal experiences, but it wasn’t until it happened to me at a relatively young age that I realized our culture doesn’t provide much guidance about how to reinvent yourself afterward. I hoped that by joining with other young widows, we could lighten the task by facing this daunting transition together.

Q. What kinds of things did the group do together?

A. I had joined a traditional support group before, but the goal seemed to be to sit in a circle and talk about how sad we were. And there weren’t even any snacks! So I put together more of a renegade group, looking to the future, and focused on doing, not talking. Although we did wind up talking our heads off, too, we also cooked together, volunteered, invited widowers to meet us. We went through the family home of one of the women when she was packing up to move. We even went lingerie shopping together when some of the women started to look for love again. Ultimately, we took a transforming trip to a place none of us had visited before. Along the way, we shared a few tears, but a lot more laughter.

Q. How did you put the group together? Did their differences create conflict?

A. My process for finding the other women, mostly by asking around, couldn’t have been more random. Then when I introduced everybody the first time, I thought, “Wow, did I make a mistake.” It was a crazy mismatch of personalities. All we had in common was that each woman had suffered through a tragedy that had turned her life upside down. I was afraid that this was going to be one sad story, snacks or no snacks. But instead, it turned into an adventure story, not only the adventures we shared, but the adventures each of us encountered as we navigated our way through incredible changes.

Q. Did the group help you, too?

A. When I started the group, I viewed myself as the journalist who would chronicle our story. I had remarried four years after my husband died, shortly before the group’s first meeting. But my grief was still fresh, and I was coping with all the upheaval of trying to cobble together a new life, with a new career, new husband, new stepdaughter, new home, and new dog. I began to rely on the example of the group, and its good, old-fashioned girlfriend advice, for how to put a new life together and keep it in balance with my memories from the past.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:46:39 -0400)

Describes the author's experiences as a young widow and the pivotal relationships she forged with five other widows, recounting the stories of their losses and bravery as exchanged throughout a year of monthly Saturday night meetings.

(summary from another edition)

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