Sunday, September 09, 2007

A WIDOW FOR ONE YEAR by John Irving (1998)

About a week ago I watched the film THE DOOR IN THE FLOOR, based on this Irving novel, in which Jeff Bridges and Kim Basinger give riveting performances as the grief-stricken parents Marion and Ted Cole. I had forgotten how much I enjoy Irving's quirky and flawed characters and how I am swept away by his epic storylines.

So, I went back to my bookshelf and picked up A WIDOW FOR ONE YEAR which tells the story of Ruth Cole, Ted and Marion's only daughter, the summer she was four in 1958 and then in 1990 when she is thirty-six and a famously celebrated NYC novelist who has a penchant for picking unsuitable men, and then in 1995 when Ruth is a widower raising her son Graham and falling in love for the first time.

Irving inhabits landscapes in the Hamptons, Vermont, Amsterdam and Toronto in this fascinating book wherein sympathy for a murdered prostitute is a touchstone.

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