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The Obituary Writer

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Overview

A sophisticated and suspenseful novel about the poignant lives of two women living in different eras.
On the day John F. Kennedy is inaugurated, Claire, an uncompromising young wife and mother obsessed with the glamour of Jackie O, struggles over the decision of whether to stay in a loveless marriage or follow the man she loves and whose baby she may be carrying. Decades earlier, in 1919, Vivien Lowe, an obituary writer, is searching for her lover who disappeared in the Great ...
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The Obituary Writer

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Overview

A sophisticated and suspenseful novel about the poignant lives of two women living in different eras.
On the day John F. Kennedy is inaugurated, Claire, an uncompromising young wife and mother obsessed with the glamour of Jackie O, struggles over the decision of whether to stay in a loveless marriage or follow the man she loves and whose baby she may be carrying. Decades earlier, in 1919, Vivien Lowe, an obituary writer, is searching for her lover who disappeared in the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. By telling the stories of the dead, Vivien not only helps others cope with their grief but also begins to understand the devastation of her own terrible loss. The surprising connection between Claire and Vivien will change the life of one of them in unexpected and extraordinary ways. Part literary mystery and part love story, The Obituary Writer examines expectations of marriage and love, the roles of wives and mothers, and the emotions of grief, regret, and hope.
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Editorial Reviews

Elizabeth Berg author of The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted and Tapestry of Fortunes
“The Obituary Writer is an engrossing book, drawing you in from page one. I admire this graceful and intimate writer for her literary sleight of hand: you don’t so much read about her characters as you inhabit them. Reading this book, I felt acutely the sadness of loss, the deliciousness of gossip among a group of women friends, the frustration of miscommunication in marriage, the joys of sensuality. Creating such empathy on the part of a reader isn’t easy: Ann Hood just makes it look that way. That’s a gift, and we readers are the lucky recipients.”
Andre Dubus III
“It is a rare novelist who can summon the creative nerve to plumb the depths of grief, but that's just what Ann Hood does here with such compassion and grace. The Obituary Writer is an unflinching exploration of loss and the love that somehow remains, one that both wounds and heals. This is a deeply engaging and moving book.”
Tom Perrotta
“In this poignant and incisive novel, Ann Hood brings history back to life in the most intimate way, chronicling the love affairs and heartbreaks of two very different women in two very different times. Moving gracefully and persuasively between post-earthquake San Francisco and the early 1960s, The Obituary Writer makes unexpected connections between these two bygone eras, and in the process, manages to illuminate the present as well as the past.”
Booklist
“Hood’s language is fine and supple, the settings are lusciously rendered, the melancholy air is seductive . . . and her intricate inquiry into grief, guilt and love is haunting.”
author of The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted and Tapestry of Fortunes - Elizabeth Berg
“The Obituary Writer is an engrossing book, drawing you in from page one. I admire this graceful and intimate writer for her literary sleight of hand: you don’t so much read about her characters as you inhabit them. Reading this book, I felt acutely the sadness of loss, the deliciousness of gossip among a group of women friends, the frustration of miscommunication in marriage, the joys of sensuality. Creating such empathy on the part of a reader isn’t easy: Ann Hood just makes it look that way. That’s a gift, and we readers are the lucky recipients.”
Booklist
“Hood’s language is fine and supple, the settings are lusciously rendered, the melancholy air is seductive . . . and her intricate inquiry into grief, guilt and love is haunting.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393346770
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/7/2013
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 74,893
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Ann Hood
Ann Hood is the author of works of fiction including the bestseller The Knitting Circle and The Obituary Writer, as well as a memoir, Comfort. She is also the editor of Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting. The winner of two Pushcart prizes as well as Best American Food Writing, Best American Travel Writing, and Best American Spiritual Writing awards, she lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 32 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 1, 2013

    Loved this book. I read it in one sitting. Characters were inte

    Loved this book. I read it in one sitting. Characters were interesting and the story really makes you think about what is truly important in life. I could relate to Claire and her feelings towards her marriage and sense of hopelessness.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2013

    JUST LOVED THIS BOOK.

    WHAT A BREATHTAKING AND ENJOYABLE ADVENTURE IN WRITING.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted March 17, 2013

    Unusual.

    Different but interesting story. Sometimes characters were a little creepy. In many ways, it reflects some of the shallow thinking of today. The idolization of weak leaders. This book is worth reading just for reflection on what is important. I would rate it an A for that reason alone.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 15, 2013

    Even More In Love With Ann Hood

    I have been a huge fan of Ann Hood's work since I picked up a carefully worn copy of THREE LEGGED HORSE at a used book store several years ago. It was one of those books I felt the need to loan out after I had cherished it. Now, when I go to purchase fiction, I almost always look for Ann Hood's name first. I was thrilled to pull out my Nook before a recent vacation and see that she had a new novel published. As always, I had difficulty not reading when I had other things to do, and the characters and story sucked me in completely. Hood writes from the deepest part of her heart, and there is no greater compliment I can give to a writer. I loved this book.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2013

    For a rainy day

    An average novel, but you can use it to escape a rainy day. The chapters go back and forth from the early 1960s to San Francisco and the wine country with the main characters. The author's description of housewives in the early 1960s sounds very authentic. She cleverly disguises Birdy, the mother-in-law. I was very surprised to find out Birdy really was. My advice: wait until it comes out in paperback.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 8, 2014

    How can a book filled with adultery pull at your heartstrings so

    How can a book filled with adultery pull at your heartstrings so? You want the best for Claire and Vivian but both are so blinded by their love of a man, they seem to forget to love themselves. I greatly enjoyed the storylines and the way it was written. I definitely recommend it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Ms. Hood speaks of death and great love.  She shows us how deep

    Ms. Hood speaks of death and great love.  She shows us how deep love can be. Living in that past and only hanging on to lost love can wound us deeply and cause us to miss life. Death is a wounding that rarely heals, but softens as the years and experiences go forward. If we insist on the living in the past, we cannot go forward into a future we deserve. She teaches that truth is not always what we think it is. . . and in guessing we mistakenly hurt ourselves and others. It is a story that is complex but relevant in knowing how to live a full life. The writer is an expert at emotions and feelings.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 24, 2013

    I liked the story. It was a little too short for my taste.  I wo

    I liked the story. It was a little too short for my taste.  I would have liked to more about all the characters, and certainly and ending that was more fleshed out. The novel ended abruptly, and I felt that the reader deserved more. There were editing issues as well.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2014

    Very easy read.

    Good

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 14, 2014

    Pretty much fluff

    Perhaps a good beach read. I read in two sittings. Clearly Ms Hood was not an adult in the 60s and her timeline for Vivien's life is troubling. If Vivien was in her mid-thirties in 1919, it is unlikely she had a child 15 - 20 years later. Characters are stereo-typical and thin. Plot is so PREDICTABLE.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2013

    Liked the characters, story, but the ending still puzzles me.

    Liked the characters, story, but the ending still puzzles me.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 1, 2013

    Interesting perspective well worth reading!

    This novel is written from the point of view of two women 50 years apart in time, but with a connection that is unknown to the reader. The author paints a credible and well wrought picture of the 1920's and 1960's - different customs, mores, dress and emotions.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2013

    !

    Its bad enough we have plot spoilers and kittycat games, and kids playing gsmes on here, now we have horse games?

    1 out of 33 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2014

    Definite recommend!

    I really enjoyed this book. It had enough of a mystery to keep it intriguing, while is also had a sweet love story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2014

    Starr-Theo

    Oops. Res five :/

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

    Posted May 18, 2014

    Writing Contest

    Here. Results on May 22nd! Good luck!

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

    Posted December 13, 2013

    Dont let the Title Fool you!

    This book is one of the most well written books that I have read in a long time. The title might appear to be a bit morbid; but the author justifies it by the way that the book is written. If you want to read a book about, Love, Loss,and the lengths that a person will go for Love; THIS IS THE BOOK!!!!!

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

    Posted December 1, 2013

    Ptive rediculud!

    16.49!!! No way!

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2013

    Fabulous

    I loved this book.

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

    Posted May 20, 2013

    Readable

    Interesting read, but I was looking for more in the ending.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews

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