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Title: How to Talk to a Widower
Author: Jonathon Tropper

I’ve really grown to love Jonathon Tropper’s writing. While some of his plots are zany to the point of almost unbelievable, there’s still a realistic edge to his characters to which I’m drawn.

How to Talk to a Widower follows Doug Parker who finds himself suddenly a widower after his wife Hailey dies in a tragic plane crash. Doug goes through all the usual steps of grief, but Tropper gives him a bitter edge that most authors don’t address. Grief is not an easy process. And most people expect you to be over it in X amount of time. But Tropper shows how some people take longer than expected to go back to some semblance of normalcy.

Doug struggles with every day activities like changing the sheets on his bed because they still smell like his wife. He spews forth all the miserableness in his life to complete strangers. In short, he’s not doing so well. Tropper realistically captures the awkwardness of a first date, first sexual experience, first serious interest post the death of his wife. It’s not a smooth transition, and Tropper lets you see that.

While I’ve not lost a spouse, I have dealt with the death of someone close to me. And I could relate to Doug’s stages of grief. I have spewed forth inappropriate comments not realizing how harsh it sounded on the other hand (here’s where I apologize to everyone at that New Year’s Eve party where I was “sad girl”). And Tropper accurately depicts the miserableness of losing someone you love, but ultimately gives you hope that you can move on. Even if it’s an incredibly bumpy road.

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About indie librarian

a recently MLS librarian's observations
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