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The Widower's Tale by Julia Glass
In The Widower's Tale, Percy Darling is a retired Harvard librarian who is content to live an isolated life in his old farmhouse in a rural town outside of Boston undergoing a transformation into an upscale community. Percy still grieves for his wife who had died suddenly decades earlier. His world is upended when he agrees to let his abandoned barn be converted into a pre-school. This helps him rebuild a bond with his daughter, introduces him to Ira, a gay man with his own relationship problems, and for the first time in years, Percy finds love with a single mother of one of the children. Julia Glass' novel has received mixed reviews with the Cleveland Plain Dealer saying, "She's also generous with her characters, almost to a fault -- though some are more foolish than others, nearly everyone proves decent, in the end. The modicum of suspense the plot generates is far from the point. Here, life's accidents and connections, on both the grandest and most intimate scale, offer the chance to find out who we are and even, possibly, to prove ourselves better than we thought."