Friday, May 24, 2013

Widow Woman by Julia Tagliere: Review : Orangeberry Tour Stop


It is 1962, the starting pistol for a decade of tremendous
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Genre – Women’s Fiction
Rating – PG13
change. President Kennedy bans all trade with Cuba. Jackie Robinson becomes the first African American elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Beatles record their first song together, and Illinois becomes the first U.S. state to decriminalize homosexual acts between consenting adults. For Audrey Randolph, a young Midwestern wife, 1962 also brings a personal tragedy: her mother dies suddenly, leaving behind a lifetime of letters, photos and unimaginable secrets.
Audrey, stunned by her mother’s death and the subsequent revelations of past loves and lovers, can no longer trust the reality she has always known. She must come to terms with dual losses, both her mother’s death, as well as the unanswered, nagging question: Was anything she knew real? Audrey turns to her estranged father, her family’s pastor, even her mother’s best friend, to uncover the truth. Through her desperate search to learn which lies, and which people, are forgivable, Audrey will discover a greater truth: that sometimes, forgiving yourself is the first step to letting go.
4 Stars
This book was nothing like what I was expecting to read. The blurb actually inspired me to read this book, but it hardly captures its true content. I have to say I particularly disliked the main character Audrey from the very beginning. Audrey gets a rude awakening that topples her firmly held belief system and propels her into a frenzy.  Extremely judgmental and self-centered, her actions contribute significantly to a heart-rending tragedy. 
In 1962, I was nine years old, so I do have some recollections of those times. As I read along, blasting Audrey in my mind for her unyielding obstinacy and ferocious lashing out of those around her, I also became more sensitive to how different life was back in the early sixties. I feel fortunate to have lived to see real change in the majority attitude regarding some of the issues. It is, unfortunately, true though that many issues, including those about sexuality, are still remarkably divisive, even today.  
Though she is faced with a marital crisis of her own, Audrey becomes so engrossed in trying to make sense of her mother’s secrets that she postpones considerations regarding her own floundering marriage. I felt this was particularly foolhardy. 
I was kept fully engaged.  The terse sentences and unembellished writing style appealed to me and kept me turning the pages regardless of my personal feeling regarding the behavior of the protagonist.  About half way through, I realized most of the fault was my own as I was trying to juxtapose my ideals and beliefs inappropriately onto Audrey.  As that realization took shape I began to appreciate Audrey’s point of view a little better, and she became not quite as despicable in my mind.  This book will grab you emotionally; it will perhaps make you reevaluate certain ideas or beliefs. Most of all, for me, it made me thankful that our society is evolving, even though that evolution seems at times to be painfully slow. 
This book was given to me by the author in exchange for my honest Review. 
Reviewed by Laurie-J  

Image of Julia TagliereJulia Tagliere has been writing since the day she was first able to hold a pencil. Thankfully for her readers, her writing has grown more legible in the years since. Though she is often the first to joke that she became a writer as a socially acceptable method of managing the voices in her head, she is passionate about literature and fierce about freedom of expression. Her work has appeared in The Writer and Hay and Forage Grower magazines, and she is a regularly featured author at Widow Woman is her first novel.
Connect with Julia Tagliere on Facebook , Twitter and Goodreads

Next Up
31st May – Book Review at Kritter’s Ramblings
14th June – Book Review at Musings by Maureen
21st June – Book Review at Bookworm Babblings
28th June – Book Review at Laurel’s Open Page


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