“How To Talk To A Widower” by Jonathan Tropper

Doug Parker has been widowed for a year, and is consumed by self pity and alcohol. When he met Hailey he was a young, carefree bachelor with a Manhattan lifestyle and she was ten years his senior. After their wedding he moved to the suburbs to live with her and her teenage son, but three years later, Hailey has died in an air-crash, Russ has moved back with his father and Doug’s family think it’s time he got his life back together.

Claire – Doug’s twin sister – has left her husband and moved in with Doug, while Russ is struggling to deal with both his mothers death and living with his father, and is getting into all sorts of trouble, resulting in trips to the guidance counsellor. Doug’s mother is also worried about him, on top of the fact that she’s having to deal with her husband’s brain damage following a stroke, and his younger sister Debbie is trying to prepare for her wedding to one of Doug’s ex-friends.

Trying to make sure his writing career doesn’t fail completely, Doug’s been writing articles about dealing with his loss, which to his chagrin are very successful, and his agent is trying to broker a publishing deal based on them. Doug is totally against profiting from his experience, and doesn’t want to be a poster boy for bereavement, so has to find other ways to try and rebuild his life and move on.

This is a moving and funny story, whilst also being true to life. I’m quite a cry-baby and it was very emotional and I don’t mind admitting to tears running down my face quite a few times throughout the book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, as it will bring a smile as well as a tear to the eye, and was a great, relaxing holiday read.

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