Saturday Night Widows: Book summary and reviews of Saturday Night Widows by Becky Aikman

Saturday Night Widows

The Adventures of Six Friends Remaking Their Lives

by Becky Aikman

Saturday Night Widows by Becky Aikman X
Saturday Night Widows by Becky Aikman
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2013
    352 pages
    Genre: Biography/Memoir

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Book Summary

Six marriages, six heartbreaks, one shared beginning.

In her forties – a widow, too young, too modern to accept the role – Becky Aikman struggled to make sense of her place in an altered world.  In this transcendent and infectiously wise memoir, she explores surprising new discoveries about how people experience grief and transcend loss and, following her own remarriage, forms a group with five other young widows to test these unconventional ideas.  Together, these friends summon the humor, resilience, and striving spirit essential for anyone overcoming adversity.

Meet the Saturday Night Widows: ringleader Becky, an unsentimental journalist who lost her husband to cancer; Tara, a polished mother of two, whose husband died in the throes of alcoholism after she filed for divorce; Denise, a widow of just five months, now struggling to get by; Marcia, a hard-driving corporate lawyer; Dawn, an alluring self-made entrepreneur whose husband was killed in a sporting accident, leaving two small children behind; and Lesley, a housewife who returned home one day to find that her husband had committed suicide.

The women meet once a month, and over the course of a year, they strike out on ever more far-flung adventures, learning to live past the worst thing they thought could happen.  They share emotional peaks and valleys – dating, parenting, moving, finding meaningful work, and reinventing themselves – while turning traditional thinking about loss and recovery upside down.  Through it all runs the story of Aikman's own journey through grief and her love affair with a man who tempts her to marry again.  In a transporting story of what friends can achieve when they hold each other up, Saturday Night Widows is a rare book that will make you laugh, think, and remind yourself that despite the utter unpredictability and occasional tragedy of life, it is also precious, fragile, and often more joyous than we recognize.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Aikman tells this life-affirming tale with compassion and candor." – Booklist

"[D]ating and finding new partners prove the leitmotif, especially for the author, who had remarried a year before she even organized the group. As a result, the work feels stifled and lacking emotional drive, resulting in a kind of detached, academic tome." - Publishers Weekly

"A compassionate narrative about how one group of friends helped each other thrive after the deaths of their spouses." – Kirkus

"[Aikman's] hard-earned understanding, piercing humor and superb writing skill make this book about grief and recovery an unexpected delight, rich with wisdom and laughter." – Washington Post

"[An] engaging, life-affirming story." – San Francisco Chronicle

"Their stories of loss are touching, and the wisdom they gain is a testament to the durability of the human spirit." – People

"[Aikman] and five other young widows reenter the world of the living, laughing, and – gulp – dating, all the while sharing frank talk, insight, and hope from the trenches." – Good Housekeeping

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More Information

A graduate of the School of Journalism at Columbia University, Becky Aikman was a writer and editor for Business Week and a reporter for Newsday. She lives in New York City.

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