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Customer Reviews for

The Widower's Tale

Average Rating 3.5
( 131 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(30)

4 Star

(38)

3 Star

(31)

2 Star

(20)

1 Star

(12)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

A Tale Told by a Master

Open Julie Glass' book The Widower's Tale anywhere and you know you're in good hands. The prose is always pitch perfect, from the description of a moonlit night as experienced by Robert, a Harvard student on cross country skis: "The moon stood out from the sky like a me...
Open Julie Glass' book The Widower's Tale anywhere and you know you're in good hands. The prose is always pitch perfect, from the description of a moonlit night as experienced by Robert, a Harvard student on cross country skis: "The moon stood out from the sky like a medal. It cruised along beside them, calm and vigilant, passing behind tree after tree as their skis hissed through snow on the path that skirted the pond and then branched away into acres of trails winding through Matlock's fairy-tale forest." Or the wonderful description of his female friends as seen by Ira, a gay nursery-school teacher: "The women around Ira were losing it. Their grip, their composure, their stamina, their footing-each falling out of balance in some essential way." Julie Glass spins a sprawling tale of family and relationships with characters so true you feel you know them. This is a book you will take to your heart.

posted by Loraine100 on September 24, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Great writing - Story not believable

Excellent writer - Beautiful descriptions So why didn't I like the book. I was prepared for a "cannot put the book down" experience. Started fine and then the story (at least in my opinion) became convoluted and not believable at all. Too many situations that simply mad...
Excellent writer - Beautiful descriptions So why didn't I like the book. I was prepared for a "cannot put the book down" experience. Started fine and then the story (at least in my opinion) became convoluted and not believable at all. Too many situations that simply made no sense. I will list only one - the medical insurance situation - but there are so many others. I stayed with it to the end hoping for the best. Way too many "headline grabbing issues" for my taste. Would not recommend it. And by the way I am a burning liberal and the issues are important but not all together the way they appeared in this book.

posted by 352072 on October 26, 2010

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 131 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted September 24, 2010

    A Tale Told by a Master

    Open Julie Glass' book The Widower's Tale anywhere and you know you're in good hands. The prose is always pitch perfect, from the description of a moonlit night as experienced by Robert, a Harvard student on cross country skis: "The moon stood out from the sky like a medal. It cruised along beside them, calm and vigilant, passing behind tree after tree as their skis hissed through snow on the path that skirted the pond and then branched away into acres of trails winding through Matlock's fairy-tale forest." Or the wonderful description of his female friends as seen by Ira, a gay nursery-school teacher: "The women around Ira were losing it. Their grip, their composure, their stamina, their footing-each falling out of balance in some essential way." Julie Glass spins a sprawling tale of family and relationships with characters so true you feel you know them. This is a book you will take to your heart.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2010

    Excellent Read!!!!!!

    Julie Glass continues to excel at bringing us new and interesting charcters with her latest book The Widower's Tale. Celestino, Robert, Arturo, Ira, Percy's two daughters, etc.... all add color and dimension to the wonderful fabric of this story about Percy Darling, a 70 yr old widowed New Englander, forced to let go of the past at so many levels. I love how Julie so masterfully brings together all the charcters of the book through their somteims intimate, some times distant association with Percy Darling or his wonderul old home and barn in a small town in Massachusetts. This book reminds us of how often in life it is the unexpected or trying times which makes us feel alive. This book is a must read!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 19, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    An enjoyable read.

    This is a lovely story of a 70 year old, long time widower and a retired librarian, Percival Darling, who lives in upscale Matlock, Massachusetts. He realizes that the world is changing, whether he tries to stop it or not. Percival is a witty, intelligent, loveable man but known to be a little cranky and reclusive, who cherishes his family more than anything. As the story progresses, other strong, interesting, believable and likable characters, enter, his two daughters and his Lady- Friend, Robert, Percy's grandson who's in pre-med at Harvard, Cellestino, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala, and Ira, a popular teacher who got canned from school because there was a complaint that he was gay. After so many years of self-imposed detachment with women, Percy meets Sarah, a fifty-one year old single mother who he falls head over heels for. There are the many typical complications of life as these people learn to meld and struggle with conflicting ideas, class and individual impulses. As is human nature, each thinks he is right. Great heart and the fine points of living go hand in hand in this real life story. An enjoyable read.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Oh please. . .

    I read the book through but had I lost it on a bus I would not have replaced it nor would I have made an attempt to find out how the story ended. None of the characters were very well drawn. Too many improbabilities and too many convenient plot points. The daughter just happens to be a brilliant oncologist; Ira's boyfriend just happens to be an attorney; some guy just happens to have great insurance and is willing to marry someone so she can get coverage. And really, HE finds the lump in her breast?! Ms. Glass tried to portray the title character as a grumpy curmudgeon whose charm and wit made everyohne love him in spite of his stodgy views and disdain for things modern. But to me he falls flat. As did the book.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2010

    Great writing - Story not believable

    Excellent writer - Beautiful descriptions So why didn't I like the book. I was prepared for a "cannot put the book down" experience. Started fine and then the story (at least in my opinion) became convoluted and not believable at all. Too many situations that simply made no sense. I will list only one - the medical insurance situation - but there are so many others. I stayed with it to the end hoping for the best. Way too many "headline grabbing issues" for my taste. Would not recommend it. And by the way I am a burning liberal and the issues are important but not all together the way they appeared in this book.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2010

    A wonderful novel

    This tale only partly about a widower -- his family and other acquaintances also figure heavily -- is told with humor, pathos, and enormous insight (as always with Glass) into the web of relationships of families and friends. I found the plot of this novel more compelling than those of some of Glass's other works: the too-perfect lives of so may characters could not be sustained; when the bubble of privilege is popped, a very loud and painful noise must result. This book was a pleasure to read -- and I read it as quickly as I could.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Great story!

    I loved this book and I don’t give books 5 star reviews freely. This book captivated me from the very beginning. Most books seem to be written about women and from their point of view. To find this refreshing book that was centered around one elderly man with three strong story lines attached to him by three other men was such a treat. I loved Percy from the first chapter. He was a person I’d love to meet. I enjoy books that have deep characterizations and each of the players in this novel is intricately webbed. The story line feels natural and believable, not exaggerated or overly fictionalized for drama. It just feels, well...real.

    I hated to say good-bye to Percy and his friends and family. I have thought of this book often since I finished. This is what you do when you read a good book yes?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    Loved the language in the book. However, the ending was disappointing compared to the interesting beginning

    When I started reading the story I loved the language. I was excited to be reading a story where the author cared so much about word choice. I really enjoyed the beginning of the story and the introduction of some seemingly interesting characters. I was prepared to enjoy this story from beginning to end. However, about 1/3 of the way into the story it seemed to lose its way. Plot lines came out of nowhere, and as a reader you really stopped caring about many of the characters. As other reviewers have posted, so many things seemed to oddly fall into place. I finished this book, but the ending did not live up to the potential indicated in the beginning. I was really looking forward to reading a very different book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 19, 2011

    Characters you want to dream about

    The Widower's Tale is another of those rare books that you never want to stop reading. I'm hoping for a sequel with less of tedious Clover.

    It would be great to see The Widower's men finally meeting some worthy women.

    Celestino's Isabella could maybe get over her shallow self.

    Robert should stop thinking about Clara. She was way too intrusive, needy, and controlling. Would she have enjoyed a boyfriend invading her privacy by rummaging through her drawers of clothes?

    And Sarah - geez, however we may admire her strengths, she's lied too much and is rudely ungrateful for way too many things. Obviously, she did not deeply love Percy the way he so richly deserves. He'd be a lot happier and more fun with a woman as intelligent, compassionate, kind, and witty as he is - what wonderful dialogue to look forward to as the new couple hopefully finds another place with a pond.
    That harbor is truly uninviting unless the author is foreshadowing a disaster.

    It would also be most welcome if the Elves and Fairies owners would build a strong backyard fence so the darlings cannot reach the tempting pond.

    Gracias!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Brilliant!

    I loved this book and I don't give books 5 star reviews freely. This book captivated me from the very beginning. Most books seem to be written about women and from their point of view. To find this refreshing book that was centered around one elderly man with three strong story lines attached to him by three other men was such a treat. I loved Percy from the first chapter. He was a person I'd love to meet. I enjoy books that have deep characterizations and each of the players in this novel is intricately webbed. The story line feels natural and believable, not exaggerated or overly fictionalized for drama. It just feels, well..real.

    I hated to say good-bye to Percy and his friends and family. I have thought of this book often since I finished. This is what you do when you read a good book yes?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 4, 2011

    disappointed

    I don't give up easily on books, but this one kept me waiting...and waiting... and waiting for some hint of what I thought would be brilliant writing. I liked (didn't love) 3 Junes, so expected at least that level of literary fiction. Halfway through the book I thought about dropping it for something more interesting. Nothing exciting or intriguing happens.... dull, dull, and... disappointing.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 17, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    not as good as The Three Junes

    The book is very readable but doesn't have the depth and detail that I enjoyed in Glass' last book, The Three Junes... I just could never understand what real connection there was between the widower and his new love. It was all too unbelievable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2011

    Boring

    Too much description about nothing. Could not finish this book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 23, 2011

    Disappointing!

    I found this book to be phoney & filled with author "wanna be's". Tried to cover too many topics with no firm resolutions. Characters not believable, trying to be too good.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 8, 2011

    Great read-hard to put down.

    For anyone who enjoys a relaxing, though capturing fiotion novel. Full of interesting characters and a surprising ending..that does not let you down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2011

    Highly Recommended!

    Julia Glass' style of writing is refreshing, clever & insightful. She truly stands out in today's mass-produced literary world. She develops her characters beautifully & weaves them together, and describes the settings so well you feel like you are there. I could not put this book down and eagerly await her next one. It's perfect for book club discussion; there's to much to cover!

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  • Posted August 8, 2011

    Difficult to meander through

    I like the characters, and it was much like a soap opera in that every one of them had some dilemma they seemed to be struggling with, but about halfway through I was counting the pages I had left because now I was the one struggling...to get to the end so I could move onto a new book. Too many huge words that I needed a dictionary for, too many characters. I wish there had been more focus on the likeable ones and left the silliness of the political escapades out of it altogether. When I finally did make it to the last page I was so bored with it all that I am sure I most likely lost the entire meaning of the ending because I felt like I was left hanging in the tree house. So hard to decipher. Wish the author would just say what she means.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 131 Customer Reviews
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