Ruth Cole is a complex, often self-contradictory character--a "difficult" woman. By no means is she conventionally "nice," but she will never be forgotten.
Ruth's story is told in three parts, each focusing on a crucial time in her life. When we first meet her--on Long Island, in the summer of 1958--Ruth is only four.
The second window into Ruth's life opens in the fall of 1990, when Ruth is an unmarried woman whose personal life is not nearly as successful as her literary career. She distrusts her judgment in men, for good reason.
A Widow for One Year closes in the autumn of 1995, when Ruth Cole is a forty-one-year-old widow and mother. She's about to fall in love for the first time.
Richly comic, as well as deeply disturbing A Widow for One Year is a multilayered love story of astonishing emotional force. Both ribald and erotic, it is also a brilliant novel about the passage of time and the relentlessness of grief.
The Inadequate Lamp Shade
One night when she was four and sleeping in the bottom bunk of her bunk bed, Ruth Cole woke to the sound of lovemaking--it was coming from her parents' bedroom. It was a totally unfamiliar sound to her. Ruth had recently been ill with a stomach flu; when she first heard her mother making love, Ruth thought that her mother was throwing up.
It was not as simple a matter as her parents having separate bedrooms; that summer they had separate houses, although Ruth never saw the other house. Her parents spent alternate nights in the family house with Ruth; there was a rental house nearby, where Ruth's mother or father stayed when they weren't staying with Ruth. It was one of those ridiculous arrangements that couples make when they are separating, but before they are divorced--when they still imagine that children and property can be shared with more magnanimity than recrimination.
When Ruth woke to the foreign sound, she at ...
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From Tatiana de Rosnay, author of the New York Times bestseller Sarah's Key, A Secret Kept plumbs the depths of complex family relationships and the power of a past secret to change everything in the present.
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