Friday 2 August 2013

Book ~ "Widow Woman" (2012) Julia Tagliere

From Goodreads ~ 1962 helped kick off a decade of tremendous change. President Kennedy bans all trade with Cuba. Jackie Robinson became the first African American elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Beatles recorded their first song together, and Illinois became the first U.S. state to decriminalize homosexual acts between consenting adults.

For Audrey Randolph, a young Midwestern wife and the main character in Widow Woman, 1962 also brought personal tragedy: her mother died suddenly, leaving behind a lifetime of letters, photos and unimaginable secrets. Audrey, stunned by her mother’s death and the subsequent revelations of past loves and lovers, can no longer trust the reality she has always known. She must come to terms with dual losses, both her mother's death, as well as the unanswered, nagging question: Was anything she knew real?

Audrey has returned home because her mother has just died.  In addition to grieving the loss of her mother, she is also dealing with the fact that her husband recently had an affair (and he is trying to win her back).  As she is taking care of her mother's affairs, she is shocked to discover a secret her mother had been keeping.  Audrey doesn't handle it very well and freaks out.  She's is also hurt as she learns that people who were close to her mother knew the secret and the extent they were involved.  In today's world, the secret wouldn't be a big deal ... but in 1962 in Midwest USA, it definitely was.

This is the first book I've read by this author and I enjoyed it, though it took me a couple chapters to get into it.  I liked the writing style ... it flowed well and was well-paced. The story is written in first person in Audrey's voice ... so we always know what she is thinking and feeling.

It didn't take me long to figure out what the secret was so I wasn't shocked when it was revealed.

I liked the characters.  Audrey had a lot going on dealing with her mother's death and her husband's infidelity.  Given that it was 1962, I can see why her mother's secret would stun her and she would react as she did.  Her mother had a good support system before and after she died.

I would recommend this book and I look forward to reading others by this author.

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