There were times while reading The Widower’s Tale that I thought I didn’t like the book. Some of the characters could be abrasive and annoying. The plot seemed to be going nowhere slowly.
As I thought about it I realized that the story was told from the point of view of four men. It would be interesting to get a male’s perspective on the book. Is it just that I’m a female reading the book that make it less attractive?
And then I got to almost the end of the book and everything just clicked into place. I’m used to books that present the tension and key action fairly early in the book and then deal with the consequences for the remainder of the book. Instead, you barely notice Glass slowly building the tension. When things explode in a critical moment over 3/4 through the book, things start to click into place. You start to understand why things happened the way they did. It was actually the last few chapters of the book that I enjoyed the most.
Earlier this year I read Glass’ Three Junes and it had a similar issue of some parts being incredible and others being almost irritating. Is the writing that inconsistent, or is it a tool to put the reader where they need to be for the unfolding plot? I’m not sure. However, I would love to read a book of her’s written with a consistently high level of skill.
I don’t know that I would recommend The Widower’s Tale to other people. It has some good characters that you come to slowly care about. However, it’s not a textbook ‘good novel’. At over 400 pages (with the final 50 pages being the best part), it is a bit of work. I usually read a novel in a few days. This one took two weeks, which would be fine if it was a really outstanding book, but I’m not sure it was worth that length of time.
Now I’m excited to get to the pile of great novels I got from the library!