Based off a true story, “Saturday Night Widows” is a powerful, honest novel full of wit and life lessons.
The story follows six widows as they come together in order to help one another travel down the harsh path after losing their husbands. Each woman is a unique character with a unique situation to overcome, but together they form an unbreakable support system and friendship.
The story starts with Becky (the author) attending a widows support group after losing her husband to cancer. The group is anything but what she needs after trying to come to grips with her loss. The steps of grief seem foreign to her and the other women in the group judge her because she is such a young widow. After many years of research, Becky decides to create her own kind of support group, one filled with women who want to throw out the stigma of the word widow and through new experiences and friendships try to reinvent themselves and learn to live and love again. With the help of friends and coworkers, Becky is able to find five other widows for her group, each at different stages of grief and each quite different from one another. Despite being nervous that her project being a failure, Becky herself is caught up in the camaraderie of the women and together they embark on an unforgettable journey.
Some people may be skeptical if they can relate to the book if they’ve never lost, or even in my case had, a spouse — but the grief of losing a loved one is something everyone has been through and this book does a great job of addressing all the hardships people go through after loss.
I loved all the characters, their stories, humor and strength under such hard circumstances. I honestly did not to expect to like the book as much as I did. It’s an easy read and more inspiring than heartbreaking considering it’s about widows.
The only downside to the novel was the timeline. Becky meets a new man and remarries during the book and when she starts the support group it is well after her husband’s death, but the timeline of all of this gets fuzzy. I kept waiting for this to be cleared up, and it didn’t happen until well into the book, and I am still unsure of when exactly this new relationship of hers came to fruition. Aikman also tries to include a lot of research on grief and how it is studied and perceived in society, and while I found all of it really captivating, she had a little trouble making it fit into the narrative fluidly without detracting from the storytelling.
But overall, I really enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone who is trying to overcome the grief of losing someone.
Four stars out of five
“Saturday Night Widows” is due out in January 2013.