ALONE: Surviving as a Widow by Elizabeth C. Mooney

ALONE: Surviving as a Widow

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When her husband of 30 years died of cancer--a death foreseen by everyone but her--Elizabeth Mooney made a number of unconventional decisions. Left nearly penniless by her husband's borrowing against insurance in his last months, and used to the pampering of a child/wife dependency on him, she nevertheless determined to keep possession of the house, expend her savings on a trip to visit her daughter in France (and other self-indulgences), and take up a long-abandoned writing career. She locked horns with an unsympathetic supervisor at an ad agency, and was fired; then took up freelance writing--first for a scholarly sex researcher, later for a mean-paying ecology magazine. A bittersweet relationship with the editor of the magazine--an Ichabod Crane look-alike who courted her slowly, gently--ended in an impasse when she realized her own lack of romantic feelings for him. Her story is rich in interior monologue--the usual scenarios of severance from suburban couplehood, old friends dying, worries about burglars getting the silver; but it is also invested with just the right degree of irony, and a wrenching sense of the healing process. Like Mooney's earlier account of her mother's death (In the Shadow of the White Plague, 1979), this memoir, too, offers women in a similar position a vibrant model for identification.

Pub Date: July 10th, 1981
Publisher: Putnam