Customer Reviews for

The Widow's War

Average Rating 4
( 235 )
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(88)

4 Star

(84)

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(33)

2 Star

(20)

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(10)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

26 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

The Widow's War: A Much Welcome Historical Novel

Sally Gunning's The Widow's War places the reader in an historical time that we all think we know about, (18th Century New England - specifically, Cape Cod), since so many of us had years of American History in school and had possibly visted myriad historical sites with...
Sally Gunning's The Widow's War places the reader in an historical time that we all think we know about, (18th Century New England - specifically, Cape Cod), since so many of us had years of American History in school and had possibly visted myriad historical sites with classmates and/or family. This novel, however, brings an intimacy with the times, which may have been lacking in history classes, that not only makes the time period live, but makes the characters interesting and worthy of our compassion. It is not a 'Woman's' book. At a recent meeting of my book club, we were fortunate to have Sally Gunning as a guest who shared much of her detailed research, historical models for her characters, and why she turned from writing mysteries to penning an historical novel. She mentioned that men who had read the book were clear that they felt it was not a feminine read. It is for anyone who enjoys an engaging story steeped in historical fact. The characters, the place (Brewster, Cape Cod, Massachusetts), 18th Century mores, and the smells and textures of a community that depended on whaling, are drawn so vividly that details are immediately turned into pictures in the reader's mind. Lyddie, the main character, is like no other 18th century woman that I've ever read about--she is so real and vibrant. The dialogue is rich and the vocabulary full of 18th century meanings. But you won't need a glossary of terms. You'll learn, for example, what a 'necessary' was in those days. The relationship between Native Americans and colonists, the role of law in the society, and a strong hint of the burgeoning idea of freedom from England in the person of an historically accurate James Otis, all contribute to this engaging novel. It is a window into one woman's world, that in its detail gives an encompassing view of part of the 18th Century, in New England, in all of its complexities and richness.

posted by Anonymous on March 27, 2006

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Not my cup of tea

I read this hoping for a good historical fiction, however, other than references to some political going-ons of the day, the point of view of the main character had little to do with the 1700s. A pet peeve of mine is when "historical fiction" is infused with 21st centu...
I read this hoping for a good historical fiction, however, other than references to some political going-ons of the day, the point of view of the main character had little to do with the 1700s. A pet peeve of mine is when "historical fiction" is infused with 21st century thoughts and ideas which usually take the characters down a road of "sexual liberation" and 20th century feminism. The main character was not believable and I found most of the supporting characters to be flat and caricature-like. I also did not feel invested in any of the relationships, except maybe the widow's relationship to her dead husband.

posted by Too_Busy_Reading_To_Write on April 12, 2010

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 235 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 12
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2006

    The Widow's War: A Much Welcome Historical Novel

    Sally Gunning's The Widow's War places the reader in an historical time that we all think we know about, (18th Century New England - specifically, Cape Cod), since so many of us had years of American History in school and had possibly visted myriad historical sites with classmates and/or family. This novel, however, brings an intimacy with the times, which may have been lacking in history classes, that not only makes the time period live, but makes the characters interesting and worthy of our compassion. It is not a 'Woman's' book. At a recent meeting of my book club, we were fortunate to have Sally Gunning as a guest who shared much of her detailed research, historical models for her characters, and why she turned from writing mysteries to penning an historical novel. She mentioned that men who had read the book were clear that they felt it was not a feminine read. It is for anyone who enjoys an engaging story steeped in historical fact. The characters, the place (Brewster, Cape Cod, Massachusetts), 18th Century mores, and the smells and textures of a community that depended on whaling, are drawn so vividly that details are immediately turned into pictures in the reader's mind. Lyddie, the main character, is like no other 18th century woman that I've ever read about--she is so real and vibrant. The dialogue is rich and the vocabulary full of 18th century meanings. But you won't need a glossary of terms. You'll learn, for example, what a 'necessary' was in those days. The relationship between Native Americans and colonists, the role of law in the society, and a strong hint of the burgeoning idea of freedom from England in the person of an historically accurate James Otis, all contribute to this engaging novel. It is a window into one woman's world, that in its detail gives an encompassing view of part of the 18th Century, in New England, in all of its complexities and richness.

    26 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted September 19, 2008

    This book has it all!

    I liked this book so much, I have started giving it to my friends for a birthday present. I have gotten more ''thank you''s for The Widow's War, than from any other present I've given.

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted September 8, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Brilliant provocotive read

    I enjoy historical fiction very much and this ranks with the best of them. Lyddie could be any woman, any era. She is strong, frank and forthright about her concerns and decisions. The issue of racial prejudice was handled with wonderful candor and honesty. The conclusion of the story made sense, without giving us a fairy tale ending. This would be a great discussion book.

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted November 5, 2006

    THOURGHLY ENGAGING, A PAGE TURNER

    Stunning (the story, not the setting) historical novel of a women fighting for her human rights in extremely hard times with rigid rules. Don't forget to read the Historical Notes at the end of the book. In fact, read them first.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted September 9, 2006

    A must read

    This is one of the best books I've read in awhile. Bravo!

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 12, 2010

    Not my cup of tea

    I read this hoping for a good historical fiction, however, other than references to some political going-ons of the day, the point of view of the main character had little to do with the 1700s. A pet peeve of mine is when "historical fiction" is infused with 21st century thoughts and ideas which usually take the characters down a road of "sexual liberation" and 20th century feminism. The main character was not believable and I found most of the supporting characters to be flat and caricature-like. I also did not feel invested in any of the relationships, except maybe the widow's relationship to her dead husband.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted July 12, 2006

    Engrossing

    Great read - engaging, enlightening and thoroughly enjoyable. Leaves a 'good taste'.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 2, 2012

    PG49er

    Loved this book. The strong female character was refreshing and the way she managed her struggles was inspiring. There were even a few chuckles to be had.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2011

    Totally mesmerizing read

    I totally enjoyed this book and realize much appreciation of our present day situations regarding property and widowhood. Women have come quite a long way since the days of this character. Great weaving of the tale; I wanted to cheer this widow on!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 8, 2011

    Interesting look and a widow's social status in days gone by.

    Interesting how little value women had in the early days of America. I usually avoid books that are focused on women's issues as the story is lost in the political stuff. But this one is very good, with focus on history and the character.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2011

    Problem!!!!!

    My nook said the cost if this book was 99 cents!!!! I was charged $9.99. I see others have complained about this. Sure hope they credit my account!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 26, 2011

    Price?

    What was the price of this book when others bought it? I could have sworn when I clicked buy, it was just a few dollars, but then i was charged $9.99. I'm fine paying that for a book, i just dont think that was the price when i bought it (yesterday, aug. 25). Anyone else seen this happen?

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2014

    What a good book

    It was a bit slow for me to get the language and writing style, but holy cow THIS IS AN OUTSTANDING BOOK!!!! I will remember and think of how far women have come in america. I loved the story and the characters so much. This is one of those books that you just cant get out of you head. I eish i could give it 10 stars

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

    Posted December 14, 2013

    Excellent historical fiction

    One of my all time favorite books. Love how character,.plot, and setting waswritten to perfection.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2013

    What a delight!

    This book is such an eyeopener to what life for women was like in the mid-1700's. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. The story was gripping and you feel like you know her and want only good for her.

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

    Posted February 3, 2013

    EXCELLANT READ

    Having grown up in MA this book was so interesting to me. I was captivated from the first page to the last.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2013

    Loved this srory

    A great read the widow was a strong woman ahead of the times

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2012

    Nice

    First I want to say this is not my usual reading material, but I really enjoyed this story. I was hooked from the start and never got bored. I found the subject of life for a widow during this time period awful, but enjoyed reading how this women tried to change her fate and succeeded. Bravo. The fact that I visited Cape Cod once and knew of the locations mentioned at the end of the book, made it that much more believeable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2012

    Historically interesting; Couldn't get through

    Just couldn't get through to finish this. Potentially interesting story, but took too long to get to the point. Not a good read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2012

    A keeper

    I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and look forward to reading more Sally Gunning.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 235 Customer Reviews
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