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A Widow for One Year Audiobook

A Widow for One Year

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Publisher's Summary

Ruth Cole is a complex, often self-contradictory character — a "difficult" woman. By no means is she conventionally "nice", but she will never be forgotten.

Ruth's story is told in three parts, each focusing on a crucial time in her life. When we first meet her in the summer of 1958 on Long Island, Ruth is only four.

The second window into Ruth's life opens in the fall of 1990, when Ruth is an unmarried woman whose personal life is not nearly as successful as her literary career. She distrusts her judgment in men, for good reason.

A Widow for One Year closes in the autumn of 1995, when Ruth Cole is a 41-year-old widow and mother — and about to fall in love for the first time.

Richly comic, as well as deeply disturbing, A Widow for One Year is a multilayered love story of astonishing emotional force. Both ribald and erotic, it is also a brilliant novel about the passage of time and the relentlessness of grief.

©1998 Garp Enterprises, Ltd.; (P)1998 Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Irving's most entertaining and persuasive novel since...The World According to Garp." (The New York Times)

"Impressive....There's hardly a writer alive who can match his control of the omniscient point of view." (The Washington Post Book World)

"Wisely and carefully crafted...Irving is among the few novelists who can write a novel about grief and fill it with ribald humor soaked in irony." (USA Today)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (433 )
5 star
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4.1 (252 )
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4.3 (255 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kathryn Ashburnham, MA, USA 10-03-08
    Kathryn Ashburnham, MA, USA 10-03-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very enjoyable."

    When I first started listening, I was put off by the narrator. With time, I adjusted to his delivery, and I very much enjoyed this book. With a different narrator and some paring down of the "books within the book", I would have given this 5 stars. Even still, I was sorry to have it end.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert New York, NY, United States 03-31-07
    Robert New York, NY, United States 03-31-07 Member Since 2004
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    "I'm with June"

    This isn't among Irving's best, but even when he's not in top form, Irving writes with such flavor that the story stays in the mind long after you've finished the book. I was less than captivated by what feels like the author's over-interest in his alter ego's sexual prowess, and would have been delighted if the book had been two hours shorter.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elaine 02-14-17
    Elaine 02-14-17 Member Since 2016
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    37
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    "Irving's stories are fascinating and strange"

    A 41 year old Marian who grieves the death of her 2 sons, seduces a 16 year old boy to subdue her grief. And off we go through the lives of Marian's daughter Ruth, who is 4, and her philandering husband Ted who writes children's books and seduces the mothers of his child readers. Occasionally it seemed too long, and then I couldn't stop.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michele R. Oneill New England, USA 01-06-17
    Michele R. Oneill New England, USA 01-06-17 Member Since 2016

    BrooklynMichele44

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Once again, Irving wrote a winner"

    I found "A Widow for One Year" intriguing from the first word. Like all of Irving's books, he begins with something of the end in mind, which you can see from the first passages. I did not anticipate the twists and turns of the book--and I won't give away any spoilers here--but I did hope for the ending that Irving wrote. I will caution the reader by stating that this is a very different book from "A Prayer for Owen Meany" in that there is a lot of sex and reference to breasts therein. It isn't tasteless or purposeless, but if you are listening to this around young ones, you might need headphones.

    Irving's books satisfy me because every action and detail has a purpose that ends up being revisited at some point in the novel. This was most evident with Irving's use of Ted Cole's books for children coming back as themes in his adult daughter's life.

    If you can make it through some of the more tedious descriptions, this book is an excellent listen or read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dabney Mitchell 11-16-16 Member Since 2015
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    "A beautiful narration of a fantastic novel"

    I have read the book 4 times. It's in my top 20 favorite novels.
    I was hesitant to get the audio version because I didn't want to spoil the version I had in my head.
    I'm glad I got it, it's wonderful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shawn Fairfax, VA, United States 04-23-16
    Shawn Fairfax, VA, United States 04-23-16 Member Since 2006
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    "Amazing Performance, Very Good Throughout"

    George Guidall brought this novel to life with his well deserved award winning performance. He kept me engaged in what the characters were feeling and thinking -- he really brought them to life. This a rare instance where the performance out did the story. I enjoyed the story, but as others have mentioned, it is really three different stories connected by threads and parts of the stories pace better than others. John Irving is a master at making characters so original, so fresh, you feel that they must be real.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Xshepherdess 03-24-16

    I am a single, sixty year old woman who recently sold her home in the country, where I blissfully raised sheep and chickens. I am very intelligent, sensitive and emotional and I prefer books with these same qualities.

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    "S. L. O. W!"

    considering John Irving is one of my favorite authors, I was very disappointed be how incredibly slowly this story unfolded. I kept thinking that something exciting or at least interesting would happen to one of the main characters and really had to force myself to keep listening. my first time being disappointed by a John Irving novel. maybe I'll listen tho Owem Meany again to remind myself what an great story teller JI is..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan Lockerd 09-23-15
    Jan Lockerd 09-23-15
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    "Very entertaining"

    What do you call a page turner if it's an audiobook? This book kept me from doing things I should have been doing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly 08-17-15
    Kelly 08-17-15 Member Since 2016

    I mostly listen to spiritual (Eckhart Tolle) and skills enhancement books (Dialectical Behavior Therapy). I recommend all of them on here.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Addicting!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Widow for One Year to be better than the print version?

    It's so good, I keep listening even after I get home from my work commute. I love how he just shocks you repeatedly with some sexual stuff. I can't wait to see what happens. Do they get together? Does she come back? :) I wasn't sure it would even come close to A Prayer for Owner Meany but it's going to be up there and I'm not even finished yet! I'm so enjoying it I wanted to tell everyone. BTW I was so stoked when I saw that John Irving has a new book coming out in November!!! Avenue of Mysteries.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kandice Hawaii 05-24-15
    Kandice Hawaii 05-24-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Repetitious nonsense"

    I listened to this book after finishing Irving's previous book: "A prayer for Owen Meany" which I loved. "A widow for one year" was a disappointing follow up. Irvin's ridiculous referrals to women's breasts and their lingerie and clothing was funny in Owen Meany, but there was far too much of it in this book to the point of it ruining the story. Since there was not much of a story either, the book was very disappointing and I feel like I wasted my credit this month!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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