How to Talk to a Widower by Jonathan Tropper
When Doug Parker married Hailey – beautiful, smart and ten years older – he left his carefree Manhattan life behind to live with her and her teenage son, Russ, in the suburbs. Three years later, Hailey has been dead for a year, and Doug, a widower at 29, just wants to drown himself in self-pity and Jack Daniels. But his family has other ideas… Russ is furious with Doug for not adopting him after Hailey died, and has fallen in with a bad crowd. Claire, Doug’s irrepressible and pregnant twin sister, has just left her husband and moved in, uninvited, determined to turn his life around. Then there’s Debbie, their younger sister, engaged to Doug’s ex-best friend and maniacally determined to pull of the perfect wedding at any cost. Soon, Doug finds himself trying to forge a relationship with Russ, reconnecting with his own eccentric nuclear family, and reluctantly dipping his toes into the shark-infested waters of the second-time-around dating scene. It isn’t long before his new life is spinning hopelessly out of control…
What an interesting concept for a book – focusing on the man after his wife has died, instead of the protagonist being a woman. For that reason, I wouldn’t call this chick-literature. The book focuses on Doug, whose wife was killed in a plane crash a year ago. The book explores how long one can “acceptably” grieve for and the repercussions of death and moving on.
Considering the series nature of this book, there were entertaining parts and there were characters I liked. I did chuckle, and I did feel empathy. I liked Claire, Doug’s twin sister. She was so blunt and straight forward she made for entertaining reading.
My complaint with the book is simple: there was way too much bad language and more sex than was necessary. Normally I put books like that down, however I finished this book because regardless of these things, the story was good and I wanted to know how things would end. I think what made this book stand out was that it was written by a man, about a man’s grief when his wife dies. Despite the sex and language, this was an easy book to read, a good storyline to follow and it only took me a day to read it.