I suppose I should have realized that this was going to be a very emotional read. What surprised me though was how the author brought herself and the other women in her group to life. She devoted at least a full chapter to each woman, enough to make me feel I got to know them each individually. I don’t think anyone could read this without empathizing with their emotions. In fact, every time I think about this book, I can’t help tearing up. First of all, this book makes their situation feel so real, that you can’t help imagining a little what it would feel like to be in their position. And that’s just tough! Second of all, the sadness these women experience and the happiness they help each other find is so poignant and joyous and heartbreaking and heartwarming, it’s hard to even put into words.
The author herself was incredibly relatable. I was so impressed with how she coped and managed to help others. She faces life’s challenges with amazing insight and just the right amount of good humor. It was completely clear that she was grieving and understandable that she wanted to move on from that. Sometimes I just wanted to punch the horrible people she had to deal with. At other times, I was amazed at the kindness people showed, especially the kindness this group of women showed each other. Her inclusion of things that worked and didn’t work for the group seem like they could be helpful to other widows. As such, I would recommend this book to widows, who might benefit from knowing they’re not alone. But I would recommend it to friends of widows more. Never having lost someone, I’m sure I don’t understand what these women went through. I do, however, think this book got me a bit closer to understanding. By reading this book, we can each become less like the people who made these women’s lives harder and more like the inspiring people who actually helped them out.This review first published on Doing Dewey.