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The Widow's War

Average Rating 4
( 235 )
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(88)

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(33)

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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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  • Posted September 7, 2011

    Well written

    I enjoyed reading this story. It was a good plot.

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  • Posted July 8, 2011

    3 stars

    This book gives you a look into the past and makes you happy to be a woman living in this century. It was entertaining.

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  • Posted July 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Good read

    Decent

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