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The Disenchanted Widow

by Christina McKenna

The Disenchanted Widow by Christina McKenna X
The Disenchanted Widow by Christina McKenna
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There are currently 21 member reviews
for The Disenchanted Widow
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  • Diana C. (Delray Beach, FL)
    Lighthearted Irish Tale
    I wasn't sure at first if I would be able to get interested in this book since this is not my genre but, as it turns out, I was pleasantly surprised. Spoken in the dialect of the Emerald Isle, this is really a story about happy endings and learning not to judge people by their outward appearances. Intermingled with the daily struggles and humorous experiences of the residents of sleepy Tailorstown, is a promise that lives can change in an instant.
  • Rebecca J. (Knoxville, TN)
    The Disenchanted Widow
    I was a bit put off when I got the book and it said "stunning sequel to The Misremembered Man"! Fortunately, they weren't that connected because I didn't feel as if I was missing any essential information. The story involved a woman, Bessie, and her son, Herkie (short for Hercules!) who are on the run from Belfast and the Irish Republican Army who mistakenly thinks the pair is hiding some of the IRA's stolen money. The setting is 1981 and feelings are high and bombs are going off.

    It took me a while to realize that a major reason I enjoyed this book so much was because of the similarities with the 44 Scotland Street books by Alexander McCall Smith. The characters were funny and weird and the relationships very real. The book often made me laugh out loud and I really cared about the characters. I think I'll go back and read the first book in the series.
  • Jeannie T. (Lexington, KY)
    Disenchanted Widow
    The Disenchanted Widow is a nice story for an afternoon read. I rated the book average, because it was somewhat predictable, and the plot needed a little jumpstart in places. I would rate the character development average as well. None of the characters were really fascinating to me. I think it would be a nice way to spend an afternoon, but I don't think you will spend much time thinking about the book after you have read it. Overall, I don't think book clubs would really have enough to discuss.
  • Susan G. (Charlotte, NC)
    A wee bit too long
    Don't look here for a cozy story about a quaint Irish country town. Bessie Halstone is on the run from a terrifying IRA enforcer. With her son, Herkie, she becomes stranded in Tailorstown where she soon interacts with the inhabitants. Bessie's difficult life has left her hard-edged and un-likeable. I especially was put off by her harsh language with her child. The heavy Irish dialect was tiresome. The book was also much too long. I think it would have been much better told in about half the pages. Lorcan Strong was Bessie and the book's saving grace. The ending was thrilling and satisfying. I just wish it had come sooner.
  • JB San Antonio, TX
    Does not make demands on the reader
    The Disenchanted Widow is a good book for those weekends when you just cannot face another demand being made of you and only want someone "to tell you a story." It touches on the terrorism that took place in Northern Ireland and England in the 1980s because it is that terrorism that puts the plop into action. While some of those scenes are horrifying, they are a small portion of the book. The majority of the story is clever and humorous. If you enjoy books that really leave an impact and make you think, this book is probably too light a read. If you like to see flawed characters work through the situations that come their way and, in some cases, get what is coming to them, then you will enjoy this book.
  • Linda M. (Windsor, CA)
    Disenchanted Widow
    This book was a fast read but I didn't find it compelling. The characters weren't very likable nor memorable. The story kept my attention but I wouldn't have read it all the way through were it not for this review. I simply didn't care enough about the characters to wonder where the story would end up. The dialogue is difficult to read at first since it uses an Irish vernacular - I got used to it as the book went on but still found it off-putting. I understand why it was used - to show that some of the characters weren't "posh" (to use Bessie's words), but I still found myself slowed down trying to interpret some of the words. Overall I really didn't enjoy the book; I found the ending to be tied up very conveniently although the author had set everything up throughout the book.
  • Susan B. (Rutledge, MO)
    I wanted to like it much more than I did
    I found much of the plot hackneyed and contrived, and most of the characters very unappealing, in that they want everyone to treat them well but treat others appallingly most of the time. The two main characters don't meet until fairly far into the book, which added to the unbelievability of the ending in particular. I also guessed the big final plot twist about 30 pages in, which was disappointing. I enjoy learning about other cultures in my reading, but I found myself hoping that much of what I took to be insights into Irish culture in this book was in fact sarcasm, or a poor representation, as I found it so unappealing. My guess is many would find this story heartwarming, but I didn't.
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