Oct 20, 2009

The Widow's Season by Laura Brodie

Laura Brodie's debut novel, The Widow's Season, is a dirge of grief, wraiths, and resurrection of a professional woman whose been lost in of the song's cadence for far too long.  Set in Jackson, Va., in a small college town, the season's change and sweep the protagonist, Sarah McConnell along.

"Sarah McConnell's husband had been dead three months when she saw him in the grocery store.  He was standing at the end of the seasonal aisle, contemplating a display of plastic pumpkins, when, for one brief moment, he lifted his head and looked into her eyes."  (First line, Page 3)

Not only does Sarah mourn her husband and the life they had, but she also mourns the life they dreamt about, the life that was snatched from them time and again, and the illusion of their future happiness.  The Widow's Season is a character driven novel that teeters on the brink of despair as Sarah attempts to navigate her after-life alone.  Nate, her brother-in-law, has lost his mother and his brother in such a short time, and he, like Sarah, does not grieve in an outward display of sobs and outbursts, but turns inward.  Sarah's friend Margaret anchors her to reality and persuades her to meet for tea every Friday and join her widow's group once a month.  Unlike, Sarah, Nate's support system is gone, but he has his investment work to bury himself in.

"An hour later, when she pulled up at the cabin, she had the old sensation of arriving at an empty house.  No lights shone in the windows; the grass was still unmowed.  When she unlocked the door, an immense stillness confronted her."  (Page 151)

Told in third person, Brodie's language has a eerie, otherworldly quality that will suck readers easily into an alternate reality.  Grief drips from the pages of Sarah's life and will consume readers in its wake as she lifts the fog that has surrounded her existence and uncovers her strength, poise, and determination.  Fresh and frank is Brodie's writing as if she has first hand knowledge of deep desolation and how it can twist reality into alternative that is more palatable.

A great selection for the Fall and Halloween holiday, though it is not a ghost story in a traditional sense, The Widow's Season is about transformation and living with ones ghosts.


Thanks to Laura Brodie for sending me a free copy of her novel for review.

If you missed my interview with Laura Brodie on D.C. Literature Examiner, you should check it out and find out what she recommends for Halloween reading.  Stay tuned for Laura Brodie's guest post later today.


Also Reviewed By:

As Usual, I Need More Bookshelves
Missy's Book Nook

20 comments:

Shona said...

I want to read this book after reading your review. Thanks

Sandy Nawrot said...

I've had this book sitting on my shelves since this summer! The reviews have been great, and I really want to read it too. So little time!

Eva said...

I love those excerpts you posted! This isn't usually my style of fiction, but I do enjoy anything with ghosts in it. :)

violetcrush said...

lovely Review. I think I might like it, I hope it's not too sad though.

bermudaonion said...

Wow, that sounds like a very powerful book. I may have to be in the right mood to read it.

Julie P. said...

I enjoyed this book too and I thought it was very well-written!

Diane said...

Such a great review. I don't know why I have not read this one yet. I want to. Thanks Serena

anniegirl1138 said...

Good review. Grief fiction intrigues me - widowed stuff especially if the author has been widowed. It's interesting how they manage to get some things very right without having been there. Speaks to the universal horror of losing the person who is most part of one's soul.

Andreea said...

Sounds interesting! Thanks for this great review!

carolsnotebook said...

Sounds like a beautiful, heart-breaking book. I love the cover, too.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I'm so pathetic that, after reading the review of this on She's Too Fond of Books, I couldn't stand not knowing, and wrote Dawn and asked to know what REALLY HAPPENED in the book! She was kind enough to accommodate me!!!!

Staci said...

I checked this out once but ran out of time. Now I really need to request it again and finish it!!

She said...

Oooh! Sounds interesting & it is set in Virginia. Can't go wrong with that! :)

Jenners said...

I've been hearing a lot about this book and the examination of grief is one that I can (unfortunately) relate to. I think it is a book I want to check out and consider for my mom as well. But it may be too soon after my dad's death for this.

Anna said...

Great review! I'm reading this right now and am enjoying it.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

stacybuckeye said...

I have this one on my shelf. Can't wait to read it.

Elizabeth said...

"Grief drips from the pages" - love that quote! What a perfect way to describe this book. Great review - I enjoyed reading it!

Wanda said...

As ghosts stories go, I'm kind of skittish but The Widow's Season sounds like a hauntingly beautiful novel I could handle.

Glad I stopped by this morning! It's always a treat to learn of work by poet/novelists. I'll bookmark this one as a future read, thanks. :)

Jen - Devourer of Books said...

Beautiful review, I really liked this book.

S. Krishna said...

You're so right, this is a great book for fall. Your review was incredibly well-written!