Many of us go through phases with authors, and lately I have been on a major Julia Glass kick. I re-read Three Junes to prepare for my interview with Glass about The Widower’s Tale, remembered how much I like her writing, then went on to read The Whole World Over and I See You Everywhere. After this delightful adventure in reading, I just have one question: is anyone better at telling a story from multiple points of view?
After posting an excerpt from The Widower’s Tale a few weeks back, I know I’m preaching to the choir. Commenters praised Glass’s “detail and imagery” and “delicate and precise language,” and many of you said the book—about a 70-year-old man who experiences some unexpected life changes—is on your TBR list.
The Widower’s Tale goes on sale this week, and we’re giving away one copy to a lucky reader. To enter the contest, leave a comment right here on the blog about why you want to read this novel. (A good starting point would be BookPage’s interview, excerpted below.)
The fear of and yearning for change
Fans of Julia Glass’ beloved Three Junes will feel a sense of familiarity when they dive into The Widower’s Tale, the author’s fourth novel. The stories share similar plot points: in both, the matriarch of a family dies young, leaving a husband and children behind. In both, a widower unexpectedly falls for another woman. In both, Glass creates a slowly unfolding, yet fully rendered, portrait of a family.
But don’t think this book is just a rehash of past work. The tone is more satiric—you can look forward to amusing passages on everything from freeganism to “books as bytes.” And the protagonist, 70-year-old Percy Darling, is distinct from Paul McLeod, the widower of Three Junes.In a telephone conversation from her home in Marblehead, Massachusetts, Glass said, “When I started writing The Widower’s Tale, I was trying to describe Percy’s character, and I said he’s like a cross between Paul McLeod and Malachy Burns. He has that razor edge to his wit.” Never matter if you haven’t read Glass’s National Book Award-winning debut from 2002—although if you have, you’ll understand why that combination will be a delight to fans.