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A Widow for One Year

A Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


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--on Long Island, in the summer of 1958--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 forty-one-year-old widow and mother. She's 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.

Customer Reviews

An epic.

My single favorite work of fiction. Expertly layered and told. Every emotion is here, raw and true Bravo, sir, bravo.


This is my first novel with Mr. Irving and I find myself still reeling from this incredible book. His command of language, plot and details are incredible. The author suffuses his characters with such richness that you know from the first sentence you are hooked. More than my first impression, this novel is about the lives of one family who, being all writers' , find their lives intermingled and rooted in their beginning of " the summer of '58 ". With this, it spurns a thirty year span of love, passion, books, murder, and suicide. Read it. Then call your friend to read it as well. John Irving is an author you want to note as " your author to look for and buy from name alone". However, you have been warned that when reading this book, plan to be up all night and day. Highly recommend this novel and urge you to purchase and read his other books. You won't be disappointed.

A Widow for One Year
View in iTunes
  • $4.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: May 05, 1998
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 608 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings