'One night when she was four and sleeping in the bottom bunk of her bunk bed, Ruth Cole awoke to the sound of lovemaking - it was coming from her parents' bedroom'. This is the story of Ruth Cole. It is told in three parts: on Long Island, in the summer of 1958, when she is only four; in 1990, when she is an unmarried woman whose personal life is ...
'One night when she was four and sleeping in the bottom bunk of her bunk bed, Ruth Cole awoke to the sound of lovemaking - it was coming from her parents' bedroom'. This is the story of Ruth Cole. It is told in three parts: on Long Island, in the summer of 1958, when she is only four; in 1990, when she is an unmarried woman whose personal life is not nearly as successful as her literary career; and, in the autumn of 1995, when Ruth Cole is a forty-one-year-old widow and mother. She's also about to fall in love for the first time...
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John Irving's novels have a tendency to push the reader to the edge of their seat. There are no dramatic fight scenes or improbable scenarios. Rather, Irving understands what it is that makes the reader feel uncomfortable, what is just a little too much, but not so much that it becomes unbelievable.
If you read Irving simply for an entertaining story, you will absolutely get it with A Widow for One Year, but if you enjoy experiencing the writer's more subtle tricks, playing off of first sentences and pulling on scenarios from 200 pages earlier to tie together a plot line ever so gracefully, you will be thrilled.
Irving is a master of first sentences (one of his literary passions) and is incredible at pushing the reader to experience his characters in a personal way.
I take a rather long time to read novels, sometimes putting them down for weeks mid-read. But with this particular book, I couldn't put it down. In fact, I was late to more than a few events and dinners because of it.
In other words, highly recommended.
Apr 3, 2007
This is the BEST John Irving book I have read. The story grabs you and pulls you in and keeps a hold on you right to the end. You will be sad to see it end.
The scenes are set with such skill that you can actually see them.
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