Sweeping. Julia Glass constrained herself to just over 400 pages as she combines a truckload of contemporary issues with a busload of characters in her novel, The Widower’s Tale. The widower is 70-year-old protagonist Percy Darling, who lives in a historic home on a pond outside Boston where he grieves the death of his wife decades earlier. From that sentence, I’ve already disclosed that Glass is dealing with the issues of aging and loss, which could be enough. To those, she adds love, eco-terrorism, historic preservation and adaptive reuse, cancer, illegal immigration, inter-generational relationships, gay marriage, health insurance, and others. All the issues come to life through characters that most readers will find interesting, and the time spent with them enjoyable. The sweeping scope that Glass tackles could be overwhelming, but somehow she pulls it off, leaving readers with ample satisfaction by the end of the novel.
Rating: Four-star (Highly Recommended)
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