THE YOUNG WIDOWER'S HANDBOOK by Tom McAllister

THE YOUNG WIDOWER'S HANDBOOK

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Twenty-nine-year-old Hunter Cady, who describes himself as “actually about fifteen when it comes to real life experience,” finds in Kait, his wife, a person who “anchored him to the world.”

They are in love and finding their way in the world together. And then she’s dead. This novel is the story of Hunter’s first months without Kait. In shock and unable to deal with his grief, Hunter takes Kait’s ashes on a road trip, alarming his parents and angering Kait’s mother and brothers. He has little plan, and what plan he has goes awry several times. He meets people and sometimes that goes really poorly, sometimes really well. It’s darkly humorous either way. The chapters alternate between second-person narrative (“When you dream you never see her. You only dream about being lost in a cavernous house and searching for her”) and third-person (“The only thing in his life he’d ever fully committed to was loving her, which he tried to demonstrate via the completion of what some people call the little things.”). This can be jarring but seems in line with the chaotic emotions Hunter is experiencing. The story resolves nicely without tying up every loose end, leaving room for readers to think about what Hunter’s life will be like.

A quirky, well-told fiction debut from McAllister (Bury Me in My Jersey: A Memoir of My Father, Football, and Philly, 2010) that doesn’t cover any new ground in exploring the sudden loss of a spouse but covers it differently.

Pub Date: Feb. 17th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-61620-474-7
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Algonquin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2016




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