Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Book Review: The Widower's Tale

Julia Glass is one of my favorite authors. It's always with a bit of trepidation that I read new books from old favorites. The mysterious combination of my too-high hopes and the lower standard known authors must meet to be published often ends with disappointment.

But not this time. I wouldn't say The Widower's Tale was Glass' best novel - she'll be hard pressed to outdo The Whole World Over, in my eyes - but I enjoyed every minute of this read.

The plot is not something that I would have thought would appeal to me and I was surprised to find myself so interested when the four POV characters were all men, none of whom I have much in common with (the old widower, the Harvard boy, the gay teacher, the undocumented day laborer). But Glass' strength is in creating characters that are so three-dimensional with complicated, unique histories that make them come alive and make you root for them.

The plot doesn't matter. This is character-driven fiction about family dynamics and community inter-connection. If, like me, you like being lost in the believable lives of imaginary people, you'll enjoy this book.

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