Deeply probing, carefully woven story Oct 24, 2009
John Irving's novels have a tendency to push the reader to the edge of their seat. There are no dramatic fight scenes or improbable scenarios. Rather, Irving understands what it is that makes the reader feel uncomfortable, what is just a little too much, but not so much that it becomes unbelievable.
If you read Irving simply for an entertaining story, you will absolutely get it with A Widow for One Year, but if you enjoy experiencing the writer's more subtle tricks, playing off of first sentences and pulling on scenarios from 200 pages earlier to tie together a plot line ever so gracefully, you will be thrilled.
Irving is a master of first sentences (one of his literary passions) and is incredible at pushing the reader to experience his characters in a personal way.
I take a rather long time to read novels, sometimes putting them down for weeks mid-read. But with this particular book, I couldn't put it down. In fact, I was late to more than a few events and dinners because of it.
In other words, highly recommended.