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Maria RussoAmong the many astute touches in The Widower's Tale is the fact that the action takes place within the orbit of two educational institutions looming large in the minds of today's affluent, consumerist parents: an exclusive "progressive" preschool and Harvard. If we can somehow shepherd our children through the first and then into the other, the communal fantasy goes, they'll land safely in some dreamy sphere of the elite, where there's no suffering, no strife, no failure, where the workers are invisible and all the real estate is light-filled. This energized, good-humored novel…smashes through that illusion, beginning as satire, becoming stealthily suspenseful and ending up with a satisfyingly cleareyed and compassionate view of American entitlement and its fallout.
—The New York Times