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In her 40s - a widow, too young, too modern to accept the role - Becky Aikman struggled to make sense of her place in an altered world. In this transcendent and infectiously wise memoir, she explores surprising new discoveries about how people experience grief and transcend loss and, following her own remarriage, forms a group with five other young widows to test these unconventional ideas. Together, these friends summon the humor, resilience, and striving spirit essential for anyone overcoming adversity.
Meet the Saturday Night Widows: ringleader Becky, an unsentimental journalist who lost her husband to cancer; Tara, a polished mother of two, whose husband died in the throes of alcoholism after she filed for divorce; Denise, a widow of just five months, now struggling to get by; Marcia, a hard-driving corporate lawyer; Dawn, an alluring self-made entrepreneur whose husband was killed in a sporting accident, leaving two small children behind; and Lesley, a housewife who returned home one day to find that her husband had committed suicide.
The women meet once a month, and over the course of a year, they strike out on ever more far-flung adventures, learning to live past the worst thing they thought could happen. They share emotional peaks and valleys - dating, parenting, moving, finding meaningful work, and reinventing themselves - while turning traditional thinking about loss and recovery upside down. Through it all runs the story of Aikman's own journey through grief and her love affair with a man who tempts her to marry again. In a transporting story of what friends can achieve when they hold each other up, Saturday Night Widows is a rare book that will make you laugh, think, and remind yourself that despite the utter unpredictability and occasional tragedy of life, it is also precious, fragile, and often more joyous than we recognize.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Sobriquet on 01-28-13
What disappointed you about Saturday Night Widows?
It was promising at the beginning, but I lost interest I mean ;I could not have cared *less* about these women by the third chapter. The writing and narration was mawkish and overwrought, fraught with ham fisted analogies between art and self growth. She bored me silly describing what each woman wore from shoes to earings;and her insights into each woman were cliched and superficial making it difficult to relate to the self awareness they developed.
"We would have memories, we would one day say to each other 'Remember Marcia and the day she defied gravity with the Hula Hoop at the Spa Weekend?" Am I supposed to care about that? Perhaps I would have, had I known more about Marcia than her boots and haircut.Having lost my husband, I don't think this would inspire or comfort your average grieving widow. How many of us could afford to take several trips across the world within a year, and stay at spas and five star hotels?
Has Saturday Night Widows turned you off from other books in this genre?
No. As a rule I like memoirs, unfortunately, being through something terrible does not by itself make you an interesting writer. Give me Mary Karr!
Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Ann Marie Lee?
Someone with a grittier more earthy voice. Her lilt added to the overall mawkish feel of the story.
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
By Pam on 02-25-13
A perfect gift if you know a widow!
Where does Saturday Night Widows rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
Right up there with the top 5.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Saturday Night Widows?
The trip to the lingerie store...such a tiny slice of real life.
What does Ann Marie Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
I am so glad I listened to the book. With voice, you absorb it in a different way, and Ann Marie's talent lets you create such a visual image of the characters and their activities. These women became my friends and I joined them on their journey.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
I'm a widow of 3 years, and as I listened, over and over I recalled my own journey of widowhood. Often through my progress I wished I had other women I could have bonded with for support and encouragement and wanted to do what Becky had done, but I was bogged down with trying to keep 2 businesses solvent during the worst economic collaspe in history. I would have joined in a heartbeat if someone like Becky could have contacted me. I did look for grief groups but found only one cancer group and it was focused to families with children, so I relied on my friends and family. Oh yes, I had tears and laughter, over so many incidents within the story. This is such a reassurance of what is normal as you go through the strange and confusing and exhausting process of grieving. Part of the magic in this was that the women were all so different, yet that common thread of grief, lifted them up out of sorrow and gave each of them the courage to rebuild their lives. Every chapter is reality. Until you get there, you just don't know. This will give the newly widowed a lifeline of hope. The been widowed a while group, the assurance they are on track, and perhaps it will inspire more women to start similar groups. According to demographics its a growing society.
Any additional comments?
I would highly recommend this as a gift to any widow. You can be sure they will get comfort, courage, and laughter from the story. Thank you Becky for sharing your story!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful