Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Saturday Night Widows by Becky Aikman

I got nothing but mad respect for the six women who shared a piece of their lives with us in Saturday Night Widows.  Without having ever been through something as tragic as these women have, this book allowed me the opportunity to be a fly on the wall and observe the struggle and transformation from deep sorrow to indescribable joy.  And I also appreciated the frankness with which they shared how friends to those who are grieving, can best support them - what to say and what not to say. Trust me, I was taking notes. 

One of my closest friends growing up lost her dad to suicide in our early twenties and I wish I had read this book back then, just so I had a better idea of how to respond or what to say or understand a tiny piece of how she was feeling.  As tragic as it is to lose someone so unbelievably intertwined in your life, I finished this book encouraged and hopeful that through it all, time can heal and you can make a choice to grow and heal, ESPECIALLY with the help of friendships.

The first thing I did do upon finishing Saturday Night Widows, was look up Becky Aikman's site to see if she had posted any pictures of these fabulous women - and she did!  Click here for pictures!

Saturday Night Widows was graciously given to me as an Advance Reading Copy by Random House Publishing.  Look for it on shelves, January 22nd and pre-order your copy today!

Description: In her forties – a widow, too young, too modern to accept the role – Becky Aikman struggled to make sense of her place in an altered world. In this transcendent and infectiously wise memoir, she explores surprising new discoveries about how people experience grief and transcend loss and, following her own remarriage, forms a group with five other young widows to test these unconventional ideas. Together, these friends summon the humor, resilience, and striving spirit essential for anyone overcoming adversity.

Meet the Saturday Night Widows: ringleader Becky, an unsentimental journalist who lost her husband to cancer; Tara, a polished mother of two, whose husband died in the throes of alcoholism after she filed for divorce; Denise, a widow of just five months, now struggling to get by; Marcia, a hard-driving corporate lawyer; Dawn, an alluring self-made entrepreneur whose husband was killed in a sporting accident, leaving two small children behind; and Lesley, a housewife who returned home one day to find that her husband had committed suicide.

The women meet once a month, and over the course of a year, they strike out on ever more far-flung adventures, learning to live past the worst thing they thought could happen. They share emotional peaks and valleys – dating, parenting, moving, finding meaningful work, and reinventing themselves – while turning traditional thinking about loss and recovery upside down. Through it all runs the story of Aikman's own journey through grief and her love affair with a man who tempts her to marry again. In a transporting story of what friends can achieve when they hold each other up, Saturday Night Widows is a rare book that will make you laugh, think, and remind yourself that despite the utter unpredictability and occasional tragedy of life, it is also precious, fragile, and often more joyous than we recognize.
Rating: ****

Recommend: Absolutely.

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