How to talk to a widower – Jonathan Tropper

My rating          4 / 5

Format             Paperback


I’ve re-kindled my love of paperbacks in recent weeks, and, more excitingly, after almost 12 months at the new house, have discovered the local library. When I lived with my parents, the local library was a much needed stop at least once a fortnight on the way home from work. When I moved to North Manchester, I found the library very disappointing. It’s therefore been a good five or six years since I made use of the local library. However, I have to say that the service and stock at my local library is actually quite good.


So, last week I picked up three books, the first of which How to talk to a widower is when of those books that I’ve seen over the past few years and never actually got round to reading. I am glad I picked it up. It’s a brilliant, witty book and despite the inherently sad nature of it allows you to see that grief is normal and actually, some of the platitudes that surround it are nonsense.


Essentially Doug lost his wife in a plane crash. His family thinks that after 12 months he should be ‘moving on’ but he is still consumed by grief. Through what initially looks like a dysfunctional family, Tropper demonstrates that grief is not the sole preserve of those who have experience the death of someone close. The interplay between his parents (His Dad suffered a stroke) and his twin sister show that actually, you can lose those close to you without them passing away.


How to talk to a widower doesn’t in any way diminish or belittle the grieving process, but it looks at it from a different viewpoint and puts a humorous slant on things.


Despite the title this is a surprisingly upbeat book, and I look forward to exploring more of Tropper’s work in the future.

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Filed under 4 Star, Book Review

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