A Widow For One Year
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A Widow For One Year

3.74 (50,471 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

'One night when she was four and sleeping in the bottom bunk of her bunk bed, Ruth Cole awoke to the sound of lovemaking - it was coming from her parents' bedroom.' This is the story of Ruth Cole. It is told in three parts: on Long Island, in the summer of 1958, when she is only four; in 1990, when she is an unmarried woman whose personal life is not nearly as successful as her literary career; and in the autumn of 1995, when Ruth Cole is a forty-one-year-old widow and mother. She's also about to fall in love for the first time...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 656 pages
  • 124 x 198 x 36mm | 421.84g
  • Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • Black Swan
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 055299796X
  • 9780552997966
  • 120,640

About John Irving

John Irving published his first novel, Setting Free the Bears, in 1968. He has been nominated for a National Book Award three times - winning once, in 1980, for the novel The World According to Garp. He also received an O. Henry Award in 1981 for the short story 'Interior Space'. In 1992, he was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Oklahoma. In 2000, he won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Cider House Rules - a film with seven Academy Award nominations. In 2001, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His most recent novel is Last Night in Twisted River.show more

Review quote

"Wickedly knowing, mischievously post-modern and magical realist along the lines of Gunter Grass, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Robertson Davies" * Time Out * "Gripping, full of horror and humour" * Literary Review * "A compelling chronicle of love and loss... His most intricate and fully imagined novel" * San Francisco Chronicle * "Irving's storytelling has never been better" * New York Times * "His best since Garp" * Time *show more

Back cover copy

'One night when she was four and sleeping in the bottom bunk of her bunk bed, Ruth Cole awoke to the sound of lovemaking - it was coming from her parents' bedroom.' This is the story of Ruth Cole. It is told in three parts: on Long Island, in the summer of 1958, when she is only four; in 1990, when she is an unmarried woman whose personal life is not nearly as successful as her literary career; and in the autumn of 1995, when Ruth Cole is a forty-one-year-old widow and mother. She's also about to fall in love for the first time...show more

Review Text

"A compelling chronicle of love and loss... His most intricate and fully imagined novel"show more

Rating details

50,471 ratings
3.74 out of 5 stars
5 23% (11,434)
4 40% (20,020)
3 29% (14,583)
2 7% (3,533)
1 2% (901)

Our customer reviews

John Irving does it again! He really has to be one of my favourite authors. A Widow for One year is again an excellent story of a dysfunctional family, but he takes each character and makes you feel that you know them so well. You just have to fall in love with each and every one of them! This book is primarily about Ruth Cole and Eddie O'Hare,and is in three parts, it starts in the summer of 1958 when Ruth is 4 and Eddie is 16, he comes to work for Ruth's father Ted as a writers assistant and falls in love with Ruths mother Marion, a love he will have for the rest of his life. Ruths mother walks out on her family that summer and Ruth does not see her again for 37 years! she is brought up by her philandering father, who does love her dearly and does the best he can. The next time we see Ruth she is a young unmarried woman who writes for a living. Her choice of men has been terrible so far and her books all reflect the fact. She has been damaged by her life so far, and you get the feeling that she is waiting for something. The final part of the book we meet Ruth as a woman recently widowed with a child. She has a successful career as a writer and travels around the world. She has an idea for an extraordinary book and this ultimately brings her the love and security she so richly deserves. I loved it and would recommend it along with every other thing that John Irving has written. You cannot help but get caught up in his charactersshow more
by Penny Cunningham
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