National Book Award author Julia Glass’ new book, The Widower’s Tale, centers around the Darling family patriarch, Percy, and his wonderful old home in rural Massachusetts. Percy served as a librarian for Harvard’s Widener Library, and since his retirement he’s struggled a bit to find his place in the world. Percy has a close relationship with his grandson, Robert, who is a premedicine student at Harvard; however, Percy feels a bit withdrawn from his two daughters and other family and friends. When Percy agrees to an up-scale preschool moving into his barn, formerly his deceased wife’s dance studio, in order to give his struggling daughter a job, many people suddenly come into Percy’s life and he’s unsure how to respond. Many additional characters add depth to the story and help Glass weave many subplots together. These characters include Arturo, Robert’s ecowarrior roommate; Celestino, an illegal Guatemalan immigrant with ties to a Harvard Archeaology professor and his family; Sarah, a stained glass artist with a young son; and Ira, a teacher at the preschool.
All-in-all this is a delightful book that weaves together plot, subplots, and characters into a wonderfully engaging story. I listened to most of the story and Mark Bramhall’s narration was perfect. Julia Glass is one of my favorite authors and her books are always a treat to be savored. ~~Enjoy~~