An Amazon Best Book of the Month: Biographies & Memoirs
“Television writer Gould’s gripping debut memoir captures the traumatic experience of suddenly becoming a young widow…Her narrative is remarkable in how she skillfully dissects the day-to-day minutiae of grief, particularly the strange ways in which surrounding herself with community provided comfort but also reminded her of what she lost…Gould brings a unique vulnerability to this memoir that will encourage readers to hold their loved ones closer and celebrate life.” —Publishers Weekly
“An award-winning screenwriter’s account of how she survived the unexpected death of her beloved husband and learned to navigate life on her own…The main strength of this memoir is Gould’s insight into the impact that spousal loss has on personal identity…Gould’s book will appeal to women seeking to understand the meaning of widowhood. A candid…memoir of coping with grief and moving forward.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Melissa’s young husband gets bitten by a mosquito in their backyard pool in L.A. and somehow catches West Nile virus. He tragically dies, leaving Melissa behind to pick up the pieces of her life, raise their young daughter, and find herself—and love—again in this relatable, unforgettable, funny (yes, funny) read.” —Good Morning America
“An impressively eloquent, deftly written, exceptionally candid personal story of love and loss and adaptation, Widowish: A Memoir [is] a truly memorable read from cover to cover. While especially recommended for community library Contemporary American Biography collections, and unreservedly commended to the attention of anyone who has suffered the loss of a loved one in this age of pandemic.” —Midwest Book Review
“This memoir by a woman whose husband falls ill and succumbs to the West Nile virus after getting bitten by a mosquito by their pool in California is one of my recent favorites. A medical odyssey, parenthood, friendship, a new love affair and a sense of humor combine to make the author someone you want to hug and befriend.” —Zibby Owens, Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books
“In Widowish, Melissa Gould takes readers on her journey through grief in all its complexity, reminding us, in the end, of our endless capacity for love.” —Lori Gottlieb, New York Times bestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone
“Widowish is an unputdownable modern love story, the kind you don’t ever want to end. Except when it does, Melissa Gould has given us a transformational tale of modern loss and how grieving doesn’t always have to look the way we thought. One of my favorite grief memoirs to date.” —Claire Bidwell Smith, author of Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief
“No one gets through this life without suffering some kind of loss, and Melissa Gould shares her journey with honesty, humor, and surprising insights. I read it straight through and now want regular updates on her life. Widowish is going to break your heart in the best way possible. I love this book!” —Annabelle Gurwitch, author of I See You Made an Effort and You’re Leaving When?
“In Widowish, you can acutely feel Melissa Gould’s struggle to maintain normalcy as her husband slips away. This book is a brave and powerful examination of all the ‘shoulds’ that sometimes get in the way of our forward movement and evolution. I found myself rooting for Melissa the whole time.” —Vanessa McGrady, author of Rock Needs River
“A personal and heartfelt memoir that will inspire and give hope to anyone grieving the loss of a loved one or having to make the hard decisions when someone may be going through a medical condition that isn’t going to get better. Melissa’s courage and warmth will make the reader feel like they are hearing the story of a close friend. Intimate and hopeful.” —Gabby Reece, professional athlete, model, and podcaster
An award-winning screenwriter’s account of how she survived the unexpected death of her beloved husband and learned to navigate life on her own.
Gould had been married for 10 years when doctors diagnosed her healthy, athletic husband, Joel, with multiple sclerosis. Joel managed his illness well with drugs, but as he neared his 50th birthday, "the MS was getting hard to ignore.” Then, two months after he turned 50, Joel suddenly became ill with West Nile virus, which left him paralyzed and brain damaged. Gould had to make the extremely painful decision to end life support. Afterward, her life felt like an "uphill" climb that offered no reprieve from the feelings of loss she suffered, and she spent each night remembering Joel with her daughter. “In the dark weeks that followed,” she writes, “there were beacons of light shining a path for Sophie and me to follow.” Financial worries added "to the stress of grief.” She began looking for signs of Joel's love for her and believed she found it when she accidentally stumbled across a Joel Osteen radio program that promoted positive spirituality and gratitude. A psychic medium later told the author that Joel “was still with” her and that he approved of the new man that the psychic predicted would enter her life. Not long after that, Gould finally began to refer to herself as a widow despite her preconceived notion that such women were "old, wrinkled, tragic. Wearing black. Maybe even a veil.” Acknowledgment of who she had become led to other breakthroughs, including friendships with other widows who led full lives and a passionate connection with a musician. The main strength of this memoir is Gould’s insight into the impact that spousal loss has on personal identity. Though not a standout in this genre, Gould's book will appeal to women seeking to understand the meaning of widowhood.
A candid, sometimes prosaic memoir of coping with grief and moving forward.