The Widower's Tale

Front Cover
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2011 - Fiction - 466 pages
43 Reviews

In a historic farmhouse outside Boston, seventy-year-old Percy Darling is settling happily into retirement: reading novels, watching old movies, and swimming naked in his pond. His routines are disrupted, however, 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. No longer can he remain aloof from his community, his two grown daughters, or, to his shock, the precarious joy of falling in love.
 
One relationship Percy treasures is the bond with his oldest grandchild, Robert, a premed student at Harvard. Robert has long assumed he will follow in the footsteps of his mother, a prominent physician, but he begins to question his ambitions when confronted by a charismatic roommate who preaches--and begins to practice--an extreme form of ecological activism, targeting Boston's most affluent suburbs.
 
Meanwhile, two other men become fatefully involved with Percy and Robert: Ira, a gay teacher at the preschool, and Celestino, a Guatemalan gardener who works for Percy's neighbor, each one striving to overcome a sense of personal exile. Choices made by all four men, as well as by the women around them, collide forcefully on one lovely spring evening, upending everyone's lives, but none more radically than Percy's.
 
With equal parts affection and satire, Julia Glass spins a captivating tale about the loyalties, rivalries, and secrets of a very particular family. Yet again, she plumbs the human heart brilliantly, dramatically, and movingly.




From the Hardcover edition.
  

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Glass has crafted a beautifully complicated plot. - LibraryThing
Disappointing ending. - LibraryThing
For plot summary, you can read other reviews. - LibraryThing

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Betty.Ann.Beam - LibraryThing

I would highly recommend this book. It's not an entertaining page turner but the plot moves along fairly well. There are many interrelated characters in this book and sometimes Glass is guilty of too ... Read full review

Review: The Widower's Tale

User Review  - Andre Dumas - Goodreads

Great characters, great writing but I did find there to be one too many 'hot button' topics which made the entire book feel a little stretched. I'd have preferred to stay with Percy for the duration ... Read full review

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Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
39
Section 3
86
Section 4
135
Section 5
157
Section 6
174
Section 7
190
Section 8
221
Section 13
316
Section 14
334
Section 15
357
Section 16
372
Section 17
385
Section 18
392
Section 19
407
Section 20
427

Section 9
236
Section 10
269
Section 11
287
Section 12
299
Section 21
438
Section 22
467
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Julia Glass is the author of Three Junes, winner of the 2002 National Book Award for Fiction; The Whole World Over; and I See You Everywhere, winner of the 2009 Binghamton University John Gardner Book Award. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Her short fiction has won several prizes, and her personal essays have been widely anthologized. She lives in Massachusetts with her family.

Bibliographic information