The Widower's Notebook: Book summary and reviews of The Widower's Notebook by Jonathan Santlofer

The Widower's Notebook

A Memoir

by Jonathan Santlofer

The Widower's Notebook by Jonathan Santlofer X
The Widower's Notebook by Jonathan Santlofer
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  • Published in USA  Jul 2018
    272 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

Written with unexpected humor and great warmth, The Widower's Notebook is a portrait of a marriage, an account of the complexities of finding oneself single again after losing your spouse, and a story of the enduring power of familial love.

On a summer day in New York Jonathan Santlofer discovers his wife, Joy, gasping for breath on their living room couch. After a frenzied 911 call, an ambulance race across Manhattan, and hours pacing in a hospital waiting room, a doctor finally delivers the fateful news. Consumed by grief, Jonathan desperately tries to pursue life as he always had - writing, social engagements, and working on his art - but finds it nearly impossible to admit his deep feelings of loss to anyone, not even his to beloved daughter, Doria, or to himself.

As Jonathan grieves and heals, he tries to unravel what happened to Joy, a journey that will take him nearly two years.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. An expressive and poetic tribute to a wife and a marriage that died without warning." - Kirkus

"This is a tender, moving, and resonant account of how life continues whether one wants it to or not." - Publishers Weekly

"Santlofer's voice might provide comfort or insight to those in similar circumstances, while his sketches of family - drawn from memories and snapshots of happier days - supply an affecting view of the depths of his mourning, which he was once unable to articulate. " - Library Journal

"Wrenching, heartbreaking, intense and emotional - but valuable, too: we're all approaching the age where this will happen to us - or to others because of us - and understanding that it can be dealt with is consoling. I don't know how Santlofer found the fortitude to write this, but I'm deeply grateful he did. I think the world is a better place with this book in it." - Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"The Widower's Notebook, Jonathan Santlofer's searingly truthful chronicle of mortality, is, among its wonders, a book about the preciousness of life and love, rendered all the more heart-wrenching, and all the more vital, by a loss almost beyond imagining. It's a true tragic beauty." - Michael Cunningham, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Hours

"The Widower's Notebook is a searing rendition of the complex relationship between men and grief - an intense despair that is too often starved for words. This chronicle of devastation is itself devastating, a deeply powerful and unflinchingly honest report of how painfully and strangely life continues in the wake of a sudden, tragic death." - Andrew Solomon, National Book Award winner

"The Widower's Notebook is an intimate, honest, heart-wrenching, and at times even funny account of grieving as well as the memoir of long, satisfying, loving marriage...Santlofer has given us a brave, beautiful gift, heartfelt and invaluable." - Julia Alvarez, bestselling author of How the García Girls Lost Their Accents and Saving the World

"Widower is stunning, harrowing, un-put-down-able… Jonathan Santlofer finds language that is immediate and intimate for the irreconcilable trauma of loss. Without pause he captures the shattered time that is grief - this book is fearless, brave for its humanity, honesty, love." - A.M. Homes, author of May We Be Forgiven

"As an extended meditation - not on grief but on grieving - it is direct, unadorned and humane. It is, as well, a rare thing, a portrait of a happy marriage." - Paul Theroux, New York Times bestselling author

"This is deeply moving ... beautifully written and modulated, with a dollop of droll, black humor. It is such an achievement, like running uphill against a strong wind." - Joyce Carol Oates

This information about The Widower's Notebook shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Jonathan Santlofer Author Biography

Photo: Clarke Tolton

Jonathan Santlofer is a writer and artist. His debut novel, The Death Artist, was an international bestseller and his novel, Anatomy of Fear, won the Nero Award for best crime novel of 2009. Jonathan created the Crime Fiction Academy as The Center for Fiction. As an artist, Jonathan has made replications of famous paintings for more than 20 years.

Jonathan is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts grants, has been a Visiting Artist at the American Academy In Rome, the Vermont Studio Center, and serves on the board of Yaddo, one of the oldest arts communities in the U.S.

He lives in New York City where he writes and paints and is currently at work on a new novel.

Link to Jonathan Santlofer's Website

Name Pronunciation
Jonathan Santlofer: SANT-loaf-er. "Sant" rhymes with "ant."

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