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A Widow for One Year
A Widow for One Year
Author: John Irving
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--on Long Island, in the summer of 1958--Ruth is only four. — The second window into Ru...  more
ISBN-13: 9780345424716
ISBN-10: 0345424719
Publication Date: 3/23/1999
Pages: 576
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.

3.6 stars, based on 304 ratings
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed A Widow for One Year on + 34 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I liked this John Irving book the best with Garp a close second. He is my favorite author and I was very pleased with this book. Anyone who has not read Irving may like this book as a first read as the characters and story are well developed and not as quirky as others he writes about (not that quirky is a bad thing).
reviewed A Widow for One Year on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
After my hungry consumption of the "The World According to Garp" I was anxious to read this but also worried that it wouldn't live up to my high hopes. I had nothing to fear, however. Like Garp, the novel follows a single person, yet many of the supporting characters have richly developed backgrounds of their own that spring off into short stories sometimes. While it may sound distracting, it lends a completeness to the book that one doesn't often find elsewhere.

We start with four-year old Ruth Cole, whose parent's marriage is fractured, to say the least. Haunted by the death of their two teenaged sons years earlier, both her mother and father have coped in vastly differnt ways. When her father hires an assistant for the summer, his presence leads to an event that will forever change the course of Ruth's life. From there we follow Ruth throughout her young adulthood and into middle-age, weaving a very differnt tale, yet still bringing in the characters from the past.

A great read that I highly recommend!
reviewed A Widow for One Year on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Not one of my favorite Irving works. The characters felt weak to me in this one, something that I don't generally see in his other books. There really wasn't anyone to root for as far as I could tell.
reviewed A Widow for One Year on + 167 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I enjoyed this book, it is a long book at times it felt long, it did drag a bit a few places, but it was an entertaining read. I like John Irving's style of writing, he truly brings places and people to life, the quirks were different and made the book very interesting. I would recommend this book.
reviewed A Widow for One Year on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A great story... not so great movie... great real life characters... awesome
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reviewed A Widow for One Year on + 158 more book reviews
Maybe I wasn't in the mood for John Irving, so it's my fault, but when the first hundred pages had boarding school, dead kids, New England, major characters who happen to be authors, and smatterings of German, I spent the rest of the book waiting for a bear to ride through the door on a motorcycle.

It's almost like a self-parody, this book. He tries a female protagonist this time 'round, but that "woman" struck me as John Irving in drag - her competitive machismo is in full force as she builds up her squash game, practicing all day, icing her shoulder, and impressing every person who sees her with how strong her right arm is. She even beats a guy up at one point.

Anyway, the last 150 pages really picked up and bumped it up from 2 stars to 3, for me.

And I realize that no matter how much I make fun of John Irving's stock elements, I keep reading him.
reviewed A Widow for One Year on + 2 more book reviews
a great read; fabulous characters who draw you into their lives in a seamless tale of family, connections and relationships
reviewed A Widow for One Year on + 83 more book reviews
A complex family History of old-fashioned storytelling.

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