Saturday Night Widows

January 14, 2014 Memoir, non-fiction 28

Saturday Night WidowsTitle: Saturday Night Widows
Author: Becky Aikman
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: I was blown away by how emotional this book and by how well I felt like I knew each women in the group by the end.

As a young widow, Becky Aikman is looking for help moving on with her life. After attending a disastrous support group meeting at which everyone is depressed and angry, she decides to start her own group. Through friends and acquaintances, she finds a group of six young, recently widowed women. Since Saturday night is a tough night to be alone, that’s when she convenes her first group of the Saturday Night Widows. This inspiring story is about not only helping each other survive their grief, but also about going on to make a new beginning together.

I suppose I should have realized that this was going to be a very emotional read. What surprised me though was how the author brought herself and the other women in her group to life. She devoted at least a full chapter to each woman, enough to make me feel I got to know them each individually. I don’t think anyone could read this without empathizing with their emotions. In fact, every time I think about this book, I can’t help tearing up. First of all, this book makes their situation feel so real, that you can’t help imagining a little what it would feel like to be in their position. And that’s just tough! Second of all, the sadness these women experience and the happiness they help each other find is so poignant and joyous and heartbreaking and heartwarming, it’s hard to even put into words.

The author herself was incredibly relatable. I was so impressed with how she coped and managed to help others. She faces life’s challenges with amazing insight and just the right amount of good humor.  It was completely clear that she was grieving and understandable that she wanted to move on from that. Sometimes I just wanted to punch the horrible people she had to deal with. At other times, I was amazed at the kindness people showed, especially the kindness this group of women showed each other. Her inclusion of things that worked and didn’t work for the group seem like they could be helpful to other widows. As such, I would recommend this book to widows, who might benefit from knowing they’re not alone. But I would recommend it to friends of widows more. Never having lost someone, I’m sure I don’t understand what these women went through. I do, however, think this book got me a bit closer to understanding. By reading this book, we can each become less like the people who made these women’s lives harder and more like the inspiring people who actually helped them out.


reading-outside-the-box2 Nonfiction2014

28 Responses to “Saturday Night Widows”

    • DoingDewey

      I used to think I hated books that made me sad but first there was The Book Thief and then this one. I also just finished Love Water Memory which was all about the feels and which I loved. Perhaps I like books that make me cry after all 🙂

      I agree about the cover! Before I started blogging, I never really appreciated how beautiful books are, but lately, I love collecting pretty ones.

    • DoingDewey

      It was! Although I’m not too proud to admit that it led to random bouts of weeping for about the next 24 hours, haha. But I guess that’s how you know a book really stuck with you 🙂

    • DoingDewey

      I’m not sure I’d have been brave enough to pick it up knowing it would be so emotional! I generally tend to avoid emotional books, although I have been rethinking that policy lately. It was a really well done book, but I could see avoiding it because of how emotional a read it is.

  1. Jennine G.

    Wow, this sounds great. Knowing it’s a memoir, the topic already makes me emotional. That is one thing I just cannot imagine coping with.

    • DoingDewey

      This book made me spend more time than I would like imagining how I would cope in their situations. That, plus the author’s ability to convey what she and the other women were feeling, made this a very emotional read. It was also very good though! Even at risk of getting all weepy, I would read it again 🙂

  2. Charlotte @ Thoughts and Pens

    Wow! Another non-fiction book. For me, it is really surprising for non-fiction books to make a puppet out of our emotions. I know I am lame but I find it easier to invest in fictional characters. Ah well, this comes from a person who avoided non-fictions as much as possible.

    Great review, Katie.

    • DoingDewey

      I don’t think that’s lame at all! In fiction, the author is free to share thoughts and feelings which you often have no way of knowing in non-fiction. That can make fiction characters much more relatable. One of my favorite non-fiction books is The Black Count, about Dumas’ father and the inspiration for The Count of Monte Cristo. The author makes it clear that any statement about the protagonists’ feelings are backed up by letters he wrote or other sources. That way, the author is able to both make the character relatable and true to life 🙂

  3. PattyB

    I am going to have to check this book out. It sounds like a good read and something I may use to help me through my own grief.

    • DoingDewey

      If you do end up reading this book, I hope you find it helpful. I found the women very inspiring and it seemed as though the women drew a lot of strength from knowing they weren’t alone.

  4. Catherine

    This sounds good! Outside my comfort zone but in a way that would make it worth reading. Does that make sense? Thanks for this review!

  5. Charlie

    This was one of my top favourites last year, I can only agree with you about the way the women were written and how you as the reader come to feel you know them, and it’s nice to read about their journey. It does seem a good book to pass on to others.

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