A Widow for One Year

  • by John Irving
  • Narrated by George Guidall
  • 24 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Ruth Cole is a complex, often self-contradictory character — a "difficult" woman. By no means is she conventionally "nice", but she will never be forgotten.Ruth's story is told in three parts, each focusing on a crucial time in her life. When we first meet her in the summer of 1958 on Long Island, Ruth is only four.
The second window into Ruth's life opens in the fall of 1990, when Ruth is an unmarried woman whose personal life is not nearly as successful as her literary career. She distrusts her judgment in men, for good reason.
A Widow for One Year closes in the autumn of 1995, when Ruth Cole is a 41-year-old widow and mother — and about to fall in love for the first time.
Richly comic, as well as deeply disturbing, A Widow for One Year is a multilayered love story of astonishing emotional force. Both ribald and erotic, it is also a brilliant novel about the passage of time and the relentlessness of grief.

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What the Critics Say

"Irving's most entertaining and persuasive novel since...The World According to Garp." (The New York Times)
"Impressive....There's hardly a writer alive who can match his control of the omniscient point of view." (The Washington Post Book World)
"Wisely and carefully crafted...Irving is among the few novelists who can write a novel about grief and fill it with ribald humor soaked in irony." (USA Today)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

More than a door in the floor

So many characters! Eddie, Marion, Ted, Thomas, Timothy, Ruth, Hannah, Harry, Mrs. Von, Alan, Graham; I would write Mr. Irving to tell him how I loved this book; how it made me feel, but when you read the book, you would know why I won't.

Give this book a try. I disagree with those that cannot find the beauty in it. I never have made comments on books I've read before because I've never felt I could write in a way that would have accurately conveyed how they make me feel.

You will be able to relate to the story and the characters. You will envy the author and his imagination. You will know and understand the characters. You will enjoy this book; immensely!
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- Grace

Returning to Amsterdam

John Irving has a fascination with the red-light districts of Amsterdam, detailed in another novel "Until I Find You." This setting and the author's exploration of many controversial sexual themes keep his books lively, entertaining, and engaging. His tight control of the narrative is also an hallmark of his method. I have enjoyed all but one of John Irving's books and would welcome audiobook versions of all of older works. We have too few of his many great works.
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- P. Carson

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-30-2006
  • Publisher: Random House Audio