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The Widower's Tale by Julia Glass

The Widower's Tale

by Julia Glass

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6323915,341 (3.7)32



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An intriguing tale of a family dealing with the curves offered by life, some of it seemingly far fetched and including more families than the primary one. ( )
  snash | Aug 25, 2015 |
It felt to me like the well-mannered sibling of "The Corrections." ( )
  ptdilloway | Nov 21, 2013 |
I would highly recommend this book. It's not an entertaining page turner but the plot moves along fairly well. There are many interrelated characters in this book and sometimes Glass is guilty of too much character development. Many of the characters in this story deserve to be featured in a novel of their own. The story itself is told with a lot of humor interjected. I will definitely plan on reading THE THREE JUNES to explore what else Glass has to offer. ( )
  Betty.Ann.Beam | Nov 19, 2013 |
Just started today
  lynnwords | Aug 29, 2013 |
I have read all of Julia Glass's books and I thought that this one was the best. Although the cast of characters may have seemed excessive she eventually made it all work together. There were elements of the story that seemed hard to accept in terms of how a character might react, but that was my personal bias. It did a great job of portraying an upper class community. Glass had her elements of satire and poking at this upper crust group and of course the overall tone of the book has a liberal slant. If you have not read anything by Julia Glass, I suggest starting with "Three Junes" but then read this one next. I was happy to see her 4th novel take an uptick from the previous 2. A good sign that the author may have peaked earlier. ( )
  nivramkoorb | Jun 25, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
Each strand of this narrative macramé is surprisingly supple, offering a convincing illusion of lives roundly lived. The effect is one of remarkable expansiveness, in which a rather modest small-town story is able to incorporate all kinds of contemporary social issues, including illegal immigration, eco-terrorism, health-care coverage, divorce and gay marriage....The older characters sometimes lapse into "On Golden Pond" parodies, and Glass gets the lively, profane patter of college students entirely wrong.

Even so, it's wonderful to see Glass recover the unforced flow of her first two novels, a rhythm that convincingly imitates the shifting fortunes and allegiances of daily life. Once again, she's proved to be a master of milieu, an old French word that means "middle place" -- the place in which all her characters, young and old, continue to engage with the world and where she, a novelist in mid-career, keeps refining their stories.
Reviewers have praised "The Widower’s Tale" for the author’s satiric wit, her ability to write from male perspectives, and for her talents in conveying a sense of place, which may have arisen from Glass’s early training as an artist. Los Angeles Times reviewer Helen McAlpin comments that humor does not mean Glass has become “all bounce and no bite,” noting that "The Widower’s Tale" takes on concerns from her previous novels, including breast cancer; mortality; mourning; rivalry between sisters; romantic relationships, both gay and straight; as well illegal immigration, gay marriage, and cultural decline.
This energized, good-humored novel, Julia Glass’s fourth, smashes through that illusion, beginning as satire, becoming stealthily suspenseful and ending up with a satisfyingly cleareyed and compassionate view of American entitlement and its fallout.
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In the way that a gambler who has lost can easily imagine himself again in possession of his money, thinking how false, how undeserved was the process that took it from him, so he sometimes found himself unwilling to believe what had happened, or certain that his marriage would somehow be found again.  So much of it was still in existence.

James Salter, Light Years
For my parents
my three Jewish mothers
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Enjoying an active but lonely rural life, seventy-year-old Percy allows a progressive preschool to move into his barn and transform his quiet home into a lively, youthful community that compels him to reexamine the choices he made after his wife's death.… (more)

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