Book Reviews of Widow for One Year

Widow for One Year
Widow for One Year
Author: John Irving
ISBN-13: 9780965589444
ISBN-10: 0965589447
Rating:
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 7

4.5 stars, based on 7 ratings
Publisher: Random House~trade
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

75 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed 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 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 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 Widow for One Year on + 170 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 Widow for One Year on + 166 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Greatly acclaimed by both critics and readers, this sprawling book filled with Irving's usual array of quirky characters, spans 37 years in the life of Ruth Cole, the daughter of a 'lecherous Long Island children's book author.'
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 38 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Just not for me - but I had to finish it, just the same, in case I might end up liking it.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
While it is no World According to Garp, this is classic John Irving. Irving studies human nature so well, has such rich narrative, and makes you want to follow his characters everywhere.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
It was good until somewhere in the middle. Then it started to get boring.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
SOO much better than the movie. If you saw the movie and wonder what happened with Ruth, the little girl, you have got to read this book.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was my first Irving book. Loved it! It got a little slow about 3/4 of the way through, but I trudged through and am glad I did.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 46 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Broke my heart, made me hate the self-indulgent parents at the same time I felt sympathy for them. I still don't know how I feel about it.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 130 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
My second Irving book - I LOVED Cider House (didn't see the movie) and picked up this one in hopes I would love it just as much . . . not the case. It really seemed to drag, and could have been about 250 pages instead of 592. Also, the ending did not seem believeable to me at all. I will still try one more of his books, though - just not sure which one yet.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A great story... not so great movie... great real life characters... awesome
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 114 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This tale spans 37 yrs. in the life of Ruth Cole and the people around her. A moving, lusty and tragic story. Made into a movie starring Jeff Bridges.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
If you liked the movie Door in the floor..u will love that book!!! He is my favorite
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 92 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
If you're a John Irving fan, you'll like this one. Innocent young man becomes pawn in troubled marriage. Some loves do last.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
GREAT book -- keeps your attention on every page.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 7 more book reviews
I have read John Irving several times and realize he just doesn't capture me. More of a style issue than quality of writing. It is a #1 NY Times Best Seller and NY Times Notable Book. Includes a Readers Guide in the back for personal or book group use.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 78 more book reviews
Although John Irving is one of my all time favorite authors, I just couldnt get into this book.
reviewed Widow for One Year on
Not Irving's best, but certainly a terrific read. Funny and disturbing. Irving is one of my favorite contemporary authors.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 88 more book reviews
Very much enjoyed this novel by a great American writer.
reviewed Widow for One Year on
This book was really hard to get into. Did not care for it at all.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 7 more book reviews
As Always, John Irving provides us with a slighlty scewed outlook on life.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 2 more book reviews
A Widow for One Year is a complex story, but boils down to two following two authors from youth to middle age in their search for happiness, love, and closure. This is complicated by a woman (mother to one, lover to the other) who fled her family, leaving behind two people to push through their sadness to find a place of contentment. The novel is well written, and the story is good. However, the book could have used some editing. A Widow for One Year - 100 pages would've been an excellent book.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 158 more book reviews
Thirty-seven years in the life of Ruth Cole and the people around her.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 110 more book reviews
Deeply Affecting
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 5 more book reviews
heartrenching, from a great author!
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 13 more book reviews
Okay book. Pacing is a little off at times.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 34 more book reviews
Very good book. First Irving I have actually read.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 270 more book reviews
A terrific yarn that runs in many directions.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 34 more book reviews
A really terrific novel from the American Dickens! A thoroughly enjoyable read with compelling characters and a great storyline.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 27 more book reviews
"A sprawling, complex famly history, 'A Widow for One Year' will appeal to readers who like old-fashioned story telling mixed with modern sensitivities. Wisely and carefully crafted, it's a novel about grief, the kind that lingers, and bout families, the ones we're born into and ones we make for ourselves. Irving is among the few novelists who can write a novel about grief and fill it with ribald humor soaked in irony." - USA Today
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 49 more book reviews
Another good novel for John Irving fans.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 11 more book reviews
really good read
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 42 more book reviews
An interesting story with great characters. The best concept was the 40 year old undying love that Eddie feels.

I was not happy with the ending. It seemed to be a very simple (and way too easy) conclusion to a complicated story. I would, however, like to see the movie now. :)
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 11 more book reviews
Amazing tale sweeping the entire life of a children's book author and his daughter who grows to become an author herself. Drama, murder, true life feel. The first section is the basis of the movie by the same title. Irving at his finest.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 69 more book reviews
Not the best that Irving has to offer. It did a terrific job of following Ruth throughout her lifetime, but the story was not compelling.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 23 more book reviews
I'm generally a big fan of John Irving, but this is my least favourite of his titles. Then again, I really liked both 'A Prayer for Owen Meany' and 'Hotel New Hampshire' which many of his fans don't, so take that how you will.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 4 more book reviews
Really a compelling read. Funny and sad, you will love it.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 112 more book reviews
My absolute favorite John Irving book. This story really grabbed me. I have to reread it occasionally.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 159 more book reviews
"Deeply affecting...The pleasures of this rich and beautiful book are manifold. To be human is to savor them." Los Angeles Times Book Review

"A powerful tale to add to an already extraordinary body of work from a great American writer." -- Richmond Times-Dispatch

This book was immensely enjoyable and absorbing. I was sorry when it ended and yet very satisfied. Paul C.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 381 more book reviews
John Irving's A Widow For One Year is the epic story of a family, dysfunctional at best, unable to cope with tragedy--or with each other. The unabridged audiobook, narrated by George Guidall (The Cat Who Sang for the Birds, The Inner Sanctum, The Legacy) draws the listener in with a crisp, methodical vocal presentation. Guidall portrays each character with a convincingly distinct voice, accurately impersonating the characters' intonations and verbal habits. The interaction between characters is both conversational and believable.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 14 more book reviews
Great Irving novel. Almost feels like an epic.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 450 more book reviews
"Compelling. . . John Irving is at the peak of his considerable powers in A Widow for One Year, his most intricate and fully imagined novel. . . . Irving's narrative spans 37 years in the life of Ruth Cole and the people around her. . . . By turns antic and moving, lusty and tragic [this novel] is bursting with memorable moments." - San Francisco Examiner-Chronicle
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 29 more book reviews
John Irving writes interestingtales of quirky, dysfunctional but realistic people and families who are both ensnared and enriched by their own foibles.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 83 more book reviews
A complex family History of old-fashioned storytelling.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 114 more book reviews
A great read for Irving fans
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 4 more book reviews
I never got past the 100th page
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 526 more book reviews
This is the full, unabridged version and has 14 cassettes! This is the book upon which THE DOOR ON THE FLOOR is based
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 28 more book reviews
An interesting read. Better than the movie.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 25 more book reviews
this book is funny and well done.
reviewed 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 Widow for One Year on + 146 more book reviews
I enjoyed this book. It takes a while to get into, but then the ending goes too fast.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 4 more book reviews
I loved this book. The first half of the book was made into a movie with Kim Basinger and Jeff Bridges called Door in the Floor. The 2nd half of the book is a continuation in later years. A very good read.
reviewed Widow for One Year on
Some how this is the first John Irving book that I have read and I loved it. His ability to develop characters and story lines is amazing. The characters stayed with me for days after I finished the book.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 44 more book reviews
The author has a strange mind...
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 55 more book reviews
I am a John Irving fan so I am a little prejudiced. However, I love his characters and the detail he puts into a book.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 108 more book reviews
Not as good as Garp, but pretty good.
reviewed Widow for One Year on
My book has a different cover from the picture here.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 14 more book reviews
By the same author of The World According to Garp and is on a lot of current book club reading lists.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 158 more book reviews
Little to much sex involved in this book for my taste, but a good story.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 89 more book reviews
Good read!
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 11 more book reviews
One of my fav authors, one of my favorite books of his.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 26 more book reviews
Perfect John Irving. Right up there with Garp and Owen Meany. You'll love it.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 37 more book reviews
It's amazing how well Irving writes, this is one of my favorites!
reviewed Widow for One Year on
Another great story from Irving!
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 18 more book reviews
great read
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 75 more book reviews
Classic Irving, but not as good as "A Prayer for Owen Meany".
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 25 more book reviews
Did not hold my interest
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 163 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 Widow for One Year on + 4 more book reviews
I read this awhile back. It is a pretty good book especially on a lazy day.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 44 more book reviews
This writer is a twisted dude. The best part is the dog turd lacrosse.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 80 more book reviews
Better than being poked in the eye with a sharp stick, but not by much! Tedious and overlong.
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 1072 more book reviews
classic......
reviewed Widow for One Year on + 55 more book reviews
Also registered on bookcrossing.

"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 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 forty-one-year-old widow and mother. She's 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."