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.
"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)
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.
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.
Knowledge is knowing the way. Wisdom is looking for an alternative, more interesting road to get there. Audiobooks are that road.
Well, there is 24 hours of my life I won't get back. Listening to this book was tedious at best. It is divided into 3 parts. The first part was about Ruth Cole's family. A dysfunctional group of people who lived through a tragedy which was instrumental in ripping them apart. It had potential, they even made a movie of the first part of the book called "The Door in the Floor". I can see why the film makers stopped at the first part. The rest of the book was lots and lots of filler...and really boring filler at that! Not even George Guidall could breathe life into this book. After listening to A Prayer for Owen Meany, I was looking forward to another John Irving novel. Guess I picked the wrong one.
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.
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.
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..
I mostly listen to spiritual (Eckhart Tolle) and skills enhancement books (Dialectical Behavior Therapy). I recommend all of them on here.
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.
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!
I'm fairly new to Audible books and remain impressed with the way the narration maintains the images I create when I read the stories in print. This is my third Irving Audible book. The World According to Garp and Last Night in Twisted River were very good, too. The Cider House Rules is up next.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.