Widow's Walk

Widow's Walk

by Kenneth Weene

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Overview

Mary Flanagan, caught between her sense of religion and obligation on one hand and her very human desire for love and life on the other, is in emotional limbo. When she meets Arnie Berger, who becomes both her lover and philosophic guide, Mary's world seems to be transformed.
Changes also come for Mary's children, who have been trapped in their own dilemmas. Sean, a quadriplegic, is looking for a fulfilled life. Mary's daughter, Kathleen must cope with infertility and anger in her search for happiness.
The lives of all three Flanagans are turned upside down by happiness and tragedy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780984098422
Publisher: All Things That Matter Press
Publication date: 08/15/2009
Pages: 222
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.51(d)

About the Author

A New Englander by upbringing and inclination, Kenneth Weene's career - primarily in New York - included teaching, pastoral care, and psychology. Throughout his career Kenneth has also been devoted to writing. His poetry has appeared in a number of publications - both print and web. He authored a number of professional publications. His short stories and essays have also been published. One of his short plays was recently workshopped. An anthology of Kenneth's work, Songs For My Father, was published 2002.
Kenneth and his wife, Roz, now live in greater Phoenix where he spends much of his time writing.

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Widow's Walk 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
SheilaDeeth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read about this book online and was delighted when the author offered to send me a copy for review. Kenneth Weene¿s background in teaching, pastoral care and psychology means he brings a lot of authenticity to this tale of a Catholic widow, torn between religious obligation and a longing for life. And my ¿mongrel Christian¿ background, which includes Catholicism, ensured that the subject matter would appeal to me. In the opening scenes, Mary Flanagan is introduced as a mother caring for her quadriplegic son. Her life revolves round menial tasks and church sacraments, leaving no time for anything else. Meanwhile son Sean exists in front of the TV and scarcely believes there can be more to life. And his sister Kathleen cares for the dying, believing her own hopes of a future are long gone in her state of childlessness and divorce. With such deep emotional pain in the characters, this could have been a hard book to get into. But the author cleverly tells the tale from the start with a light touch, delving deeply into one mind then shifting to another, revealing the mitigating details that make the impossible bearable. Soon the scene is shifting and the outlook brightening. Happiness, wearing its many different guises, invades all three lives, bringing promise and hope. Just as in the real world, some promises are more permanently fulfilled than others, and some might betray. But the scenes of dawning love and family life are beautifully painted with convivial humor; a real delight to read. The author¿s timing is perfect too, with problems intruding on joy, just as they do in reality. These problems lead to an absorbing darkness that threatens to conquer all, but life goes on, widows do walk, and walks do lead to pastures new. There¿s a beautifully satisfying symmetry in the final scene. The reader is left knowing a world filled with infinite possibilities for good and ill, and recognizing human hope.
ProfSC More than 1 year ago
. Novels bring us new worlds we do not live in and sometimes new insights into the worlds we do inhabit, if only partially. Hence the name. Of the seven or so billion people in the world, about one billion are Catholics. This leaves about six billion of us for whom a Catholic’s life, if not religion, is one of those unknown worlds. Kenneth Weene’s Widow’s Walk is one insight into that world. His vision is a bleak, dark, sometimes frightful and always unrelenting envelope structure of guilt with little relief, a world sometimes of hypocrisy and mis-understood true motives, with only a few temporary lapses into love outside that mind-forged manacle’s unrelenting demands. His is a family saga of three generations of wounded psyches and wounded physical bodies tortured by a God unknown and a religious mind-set unrelenting. More often than not in Widow’s Walk the physical wounds inflicted by war and the usual shocks that flesh is heir to, war and accidents and other people, are compounded by the psychic self-inflicted wounds imposed by a doctrine that does not fit the local circumstance, a central government in a celestial Beijing far away demanding local farmers plant the crops they deem fit and not the ones that will grow and flourish in the region. Sorghum where only corn will grow. The solution? Plant more sorghum. The real solution? Plant what flourishes. In this vision, this novel, love is the thing that should be grown and nourished but seems to be repressed by guilt, or a false sense of duty born out of repression and the past or resentment of past transgressions, real or perceived. Visions of boy scouts who think their duty is to take old ladies across the street even when they don’t want or need to go. Widow’s Walk is powerful indictment and a powerful vision. And beyond its story is another story of the true redemption of kindness and love.
MonicaMBrinkman More than 1 year ago
Written in the first person, a challenge to any author, I found Mr. Weenes' Widows Walk to be the best work of fiction this reviewer has read in years. From the moment you enter into the world of the pious, self-disciplined Mary Flannagan, you are spellbound. The articulation and clarity of character, the perfection of adjectives along with the perception into the very essence of our divorced mother of two, ring true. Not giving away the story, I must say that Mary Flannagan has the strength and courage to reflect upon her core beliefs allowing herself to open up after many years of solitude and lonliness. Her relationship with her paralized son, Sean and estranged daughter, Kathleen will bring great sadness and utter joy into your heart. This is a must read and I can't wait to see more of an extremely talented wrtier. Great work Mr. Kenneth Weene! Monica M. Brinkman, Author - The Turn of the Karmic Wheel
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
NarrativeNonfiction More than 1 year ago
I read this book in three days, which is fast for me. I found it a stunning piece of fiction. Weene has created believable, charismatic and utterly confused characters who stumble around large philosophical questions, possibly even finding an answer or two. Written in the present tense, Widow's Walk achieves the difficult balance of urgency and character-driven action possible with this technique. With deft humor and unexpected turns, universal dilemmas and unique perspectives, I believe Widow's Walk captures all the elements of great fiction.
Steve_Lindahl More than 1 year ago
I loved the ways that the power and the failing of religious faith are explored through the characters in Widow's Walk. Mary Flanagan and her children, Sean and Kathleen, face overwhelming problems. Sometimes their faith gives them the strength to work through those problems while at other times their faith compounds their problems. Other characters throughout the story are led to lives of charity or of bigotry by the different way they deal with their own spiritual beliefs. I found this exploration of faith to be realistic and thought provoking.
Poetess09 More than 1 year ago
In Kenneth Weene's new book, "Widow's Walk," we are introduced to Mary Riley Flanigan. Mary's life revolves around being a loyal wife, devoted mother, devout member of The Catholic Church, thinking only of her husband and children's needs with little regard for herself. Mr. Weene truly brings Mary to life in such a creative way that you can feel her pain! Her husband has died and her children left home. There is no one to fuss over. She is alone at age 63. But, Mr. Weene has plans for Mary! A new man, Professor Arnie Berger, is waiting in her future! Is it possible for a religious Catholic widow and a non-practicing Jewish divorced man to make a life together? YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK. DO NOT PUT IT DOWN. KEEP SOME TISSUES NEARBY AND PRAY FOR MARY! I am very proud to own this book. I purchased it through my college's textbook company. I keep it in a special place on my bookshelf so I will never forget all about Mary! Sincerely, Irene Brodsky Faculty Member of Brooklyn College City University of New York Adult Education Program and Author of "Poetry Unplugged" (Outskirts Press.2008)