Book: Widow on the World
Genre: Women’s Fiction / Contemporary Fiction
Author: Pamela Fudge
I admit that I bought this book in a split second, because of the cute egg faces on the cover. Those who read my blog should know by now, I am a sucker for cuteness! *smiles* Can you believe I did not even read the blurb before buying? Now, that is the selling power of a good cover!
Widowed at 45, Denise has come to the end of that first year alone and survived. It's time to get back out in the world and live her life. However, life, and particularly her own family, seems to have other ideas as first her mother and then her daughter move into a house that is suddenly bursting at the seams. A battle of wills ensues, but it is a battle that Denise is determined to win by fair means or foul, because only when she has sorted everyone else's lives out can she finally get on with her own. Romance doesn't figure anywhere in her calculations but Denise, of all people, should know that life doesn't always go according to plan. (Courtesy: Amazon.co.uk)
When I read the blurb, I thought that since this book is about a widow, it is going to be depressing and I might need a box of tissues handy for tears, but I was so wrong! In spite of the fact that this book deals with many serious and grim topics, the tone of the novel is not at all harsh or repulsive. As a matter of fact, at some points in the novel, I felt that it was written more like a “comedy of errors” than a gloomy piece for dramatic effect.
The main character of Denise comes out as that of a strong and powerful woman who manages not only her own problems but also straightens the life of her teenage daughter (Bobbie) and directionless mother (Elaine) who throw their load of trouble her way. Both of them suffer from selfishness and simply ignore to acknowledge how much inconvenience they cause to Denise. If that was not enough, her daughter’s boyfriend (Jason) who is a rotten egg - basically “pain in the ass”, also comes to live with them uninvited. What follows is a series of disasters. Curious to know more? Read the book to know the rest of the story.
The author’s style of writing is bold and blunt. With years of experience on her hand, Pamela writes with confidence and skill of a veteran, creating a fine balance between the vulnerability and strength of characters portrayed in this beautiful novel. The characters come to life and the reader is immersed in their world.
Apart from the female characters, I thoroughly enjoyed the variety of male characters introduced in the novel: Sam, Adam, Jason, Petie and Denise’s Dad. The story ends on a predictable note, I am not too fond of it, maybe because I was expecting the story to be left open-ended and upto reader’s imagination. But nonetheless, it was wrapped up nicely.
If I were to dissect this novel in terms of the themes that are explored throughout, they would be:
- Dealing with death of a closed one (i.e. partner, in this case scenario)
- Coming to terms with reality and the practical aspect of life
- Making the best out of life, whatever it throws towards you
- Parenting in modern times
- Family bonding
- Mother-daughter relationship
- Teenage rebellion
- Adult relationships (love, sex, marital affairs, emotional blackmail)
- The needs and desires of modern woman which is subsequently changing the role of woman as wife, mother and daughter in the society.
As said in one of my previous reviews as well that the books I like the most are the ones that enrich my life with valuable words of wisdom. This is not a self-help book but it certainly has some powerful messages to convey that can improve one’s life a lot. According to my understanding, these would be:
- Whenever taking U-turns in life, one should try to make sound, rational and logical decisions
- As they say, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”.
- Do not give up on yourself no matter what happens!
- Believe in yourself and your abilities.
- Sometimes, you need to bring your nerves of steel to handle the complexities of life.
- Life does not give you “second chances”, once it’s done, it cannot be undone. In other words, there is no rewind button!
Since many of the themes are of universal nature, this book will appeal to everyone in some way or the other. Especially if you are a woman, it does not matter whether you are in your teens or fourties or even seventies, this book will make you happy with its sheer honesty and optimism.
I read the book in parts, some on the train when I was coming back from my weekend break, some while sipping evening tea, and I am sure I would not have enjoyed it as much if I had read it in single sitting. It is the kind of story you like to read when you are relaxed and have time to ponder and contemplate the various situations (there are many!) happening in the book. Read this book, I can guarantee it is not a waste of time.
Review Girl Rating: 9.5 / 10
To buy this book, click here.
Pamela Fudge was brought up in Poole, Dorset. She wrote poetry, mainly for her family, and then discovered a talent for short fiction, which has been published by most of the national magazines over a period of twenty years. A creative writing tutor for 11 years “Widow on the World” is her third published novel. Having been widowed not once, but twice in recent years, Pamela is well qualified to comment on the adage that life goes on. To know more about her writing, visit her website: http://www.pamfudge.co.uk/novels.html