The Widower's Tale

By Julia Glass
(Anchor Books, Paperback, 9780307456106, 466pp.)

Publication Date: July 12, 2011

List Price: $15.95*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Summer 2012 Reading Group
“Julia Glass follows classic tradition, proving once again that family is the original source of comedy, tragedy, and frustration. Her newest novel is a meditation on love, both filial and romantic, and how hopelessly ridiculous we all become if we don't make the effort to temper our passions with reason or our actions with accountability.”
-- Emily Crowe, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA


Description

Seventy-year-old Percy Darling is settling happily into retirement: reading novels, watching old movies, and swimming naked in his pond. But his routines are disrupted when he is persuaded to let a locally beloved preschool take over his barn. As Percy sees his rural refuge overrun by children, parents, and teachers, he must reexamine the solitary life he has made in the three decades since the sudden death of his wife. With equal parts affection and humor, Julia Glass spins a captivating tale about a man who can no longer remain aloof from his community, his two grown daughters, or--to his great shock--the precarious joy of falling in love.




About the Author
Julia Glass was awarded the 2002 National Book Award for fiction, the 2000 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in fiction, and has won several prizes for her short stories, including three Nelson Algren Awards and the Tobias Wolff Award. "Collies," the first part of "Three Junes," won the 1999 Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society Medal for Best Novella. She lives with her family in New York City, where she works as a freelance journalist and editor.


Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. From the stories that the characters remember and tell, what kind of mother (and wife) was Poppy Darling? How would you explain the very different kinds of mothers her two daughters, Trudy and Clover, have become? Discuss the choices these two women have made and how they affect their relationships with their children. And how about Sarah? What kind of mother is she? Does being a mother define any or all of these women?  

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