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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

4.1 (466 )
5 star
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4.1 (284 )
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1 star
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Story
4.3 (287 )
5 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    David 11-21-10
    David 11-21-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
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    44
    14
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    "Definitely John Irving"

    I downloaded this John Irving novel after having read many of his books years ago. I jumped in with this recent novel and found it to be the John Irving that I read years ago. The style and motif are the same and I was not disappointed. The narration in this case was good, but not great. I think I'd have appreciated it more if it had been dramatized, not just narrated.

    I love John Irving's books (and authors) inside books. And he takes it one degree further in A Widow for One Year. I just couldn't bring myself to give this selection five stars though.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathryn Ashburnham, MA, USA 10-03-08
    Kathryn Ashburnham, MA, USA 10-03-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    75
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    37
    22
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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
  •  
    C. Carl 05-30-17
    C. Carl 05-30-17 Member Since 2016
    ratings
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    7
    2
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    Story
    "A Favorite Book."

    This is one of the best John Irving stories. So many stories in one book. The characters are so familiar like I know them. George Guidall is so good with the voices it makes me believe everything. Love it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BWillis 05-20-17
    BWillis 05-20-17 Member Since 2017
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    Story
    "boring "

    I struggled to finish the book. I felt the story was disconnected and mostly boring.

    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
    19
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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
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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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
  •  
    Benjamin 03-22-15
    Benjamin 03-22-15 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    23
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    Story
    "Wow!!"

    Great book like most Irving books.
    Loved every aspect. If you like J.I you would like this book. Audiobook is excellent

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-17-15 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Captivating"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Boyce Brentwood, TN, United States 11-04-14
    Boyce Brentwood, TN, United States 11-04-14 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    43
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    83
    54
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    1
    15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good and Not So Good!!"
    Any additional comments?

    The Audible.com intro notes that this is really three stories, and so it is. Connected by threads, but really three separate tales. Story #1 was enthralling. I absolutely loved the characters, the story, the suspense, the interactions. It was both sweet and erotic, and with George Guidall as the narrator (performer), I will listen to it again.

    As for the second story, not so much. I skipped often as I went through it. Even George couldn't rescue #2.

    The third story was much shorter than the first two, but everything I noted for the first story is true of the third, and I would recommend "A Widow For One Year".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diana Vilas 08-17-13
    Diana Vilas 08-17-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    96
    5
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    0
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    "Boring!"

    I loved A Prayer for Owen Meany so I thought I'd listen to other Irving books. This one is a turkey. There seems to be no plot, just a series of anecdotes about sexual exploits and marital infidelity. The characters lack depth. There are huge gaps of elapsed time in which the characters aged, but didn't really grow. The pace of the novel isn't helped by the narrator whose reading is slow and ponderous, when there isn't really anything to ponder. Huge disappointment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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