The Widower's Tale

By Julia Glass
(Center Point Large Print, Hardcover, Large Print, 9781602859197, 679pp.)

Publication Date: December 2010

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover, Paperback, Compact Disc

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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
Selected by Indie Booksellers for the September 2010 Indie Notables

In a quirky farmhouse outside Boston, seventy-year-old Percy Darling enjoys a vigorous but solitary life. To help his oldest daughter through a crisis, he allows a progressive preschool to move into his barn. The transformation of his refuge into a lively, youthful community compels him to reexamine the choices he's made since his wife's death three decades ago. He can no longer remain aloof from his neighbors, his two grown daughters, or, to his shock, the precarious joy of falling in love. Meanwhile, Percy's beloved grandson Robert, a premed student at Harvard, joins his visionary roommate in a series of environmental "actions" targeting the well-to-do. Though they begin as pranks, they escalate insidiously, with dire consequences for Robert's family and the people around them.

Conversation Starters from


  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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