'The Irreverent Widow': An up close and (very) personal tale of grief

Posted Wednesday, January 30, 2013 in Culture

'The Irreverent Widow': An up close and (very) personal tale of grief

by David Treadwell

(Page 9) When your husband is going to die, you don’t believe it. Even when you hear the word “terminal,” you don’t believe it. However, when your husband’s heart has just stopped beating and his mother is standing in your kitchen with her slacks down around her knees because, along with being emotionally numb at the loss of her child, she has the as-yet-undiagnosed beginnings of Alzheimer’s, and your four-year old son is skipping cheerily through the house proclaiming in a sing-songy voice, “Daddy’s dead! Daddy’s dead!”… well, you begin to believe the nightmare you’ve just walked into.

(Page 187) I have dated men in a wide age range, and it seems that younger men (especially much younger men) are a bit more enlightened about how the whole sex thing works. The whole oral sex thing, especially.

These two excerpts from Sandi Amorello’s memoir "The Irreverent Widow" convey what readers get on every page of this compelling book: the unvarnished truth, warts and all. This Maine writer knows how to write and she knows how to engage the reader. She shocks at times, but she never bores. If she has a thought or a feeling, she shares it.  Readers may find themselves crying at one page and laughing at the next. Humor, indeed, has kept Amorello going since her husband Drew died right after Christmas in 2002, leaving Sandi with three young children, adequate financial resources and a life of widowhood she never anticipated.

I’d strongly recommend this book for any youngish widow or, for that matter, any woman who’s been divorced at a relatively early age (under 50, say). I’d also recommend it for anyone who: (1) Enjoys a good read and/or (2) Possesses a voyeuristic streak.  

As an avid reader and professional writer, I can say that the book kept my attention right from the opening page. As a 70-year-old male who spent his teenage years in the 1950s with its “Father Knows Best” TV fare and “nice girls don’t” mentality, I was taken aback by Amorello’s recounting of her “dating” experiences, many of which resulted from Match.com connections. In some cases, she seems to treat men merely as sexual outlets. In fairness, men have taken this approach with women for ages, so I suppose what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

I do wonder how Amorello’s children (all now in their teens) feel about their mother’s tendency to tell all in this book. That said, she seems to have a good, open relationship with her kids. They surely know by now that she’s not the type to hide her light (or her libido) under a bushel.

If you’re looking for an honest, well-crafted book that touches on the full range of human emotions, Sandi Amorello’s "The Irreverent Widow" would be an excellent choice.

"The Irreverent Widow" by Sandi Amorello, Silver Crayon Studios

blog comments powered by Disqus