Widow: A Four-Letter Word: A Memoir of Men Loved, Lost, and Learned From

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9781491782415: Widow: A Four-Letter Word: A Memoir of Men Loved, Lost, and Learned From
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Author, Judy Crowell, a sixty-three-year old widow is shaken out of her topsy-turvy malaise by an old acquaintance, cajoling and wooing her back to the dating world of the twenty-first century, a world she last experienced when Eisenhower was president. Tackling a pile of disregarded old photos, she reminisces over the men in her life: a hormones-raging teenage Lothario in a lime green '50s Chevy; an eighty-year-old Benedictine monk; a Johnny Walker-swilling uncle, and a husband taken too soon by cancer.

After forty-two years of marriage, can she share another man's popcorn at the movies? Feel another man's beard against her cheek? Another man's touch? Another man's bed?

In Widow: A Four Letter Word, humor and tragedy intermingle as a widow looks back at the men in her life and grapples with a persistent suitor wooing her to date and, perhaps, to love again.

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About the Author:

Judy Crowell is a travel writer for Ladue News in St. Louis, Missouri, and Noozhawk in Santa Barbara, California, where she lives near her family. Past owner for twenty years of an upscale bridal boutique and founder of Kids Under Twenty-One, both in St. Louis, she is a widow. . .a word she rejects.

Review:

This open, honest, and revealing memoir looks back on a life full of great loves and adventures. - Clarion Review

Widowed at sixty-three after forty-two years of marriage, Judy Crowell embarked on an introspective journey. Widow is the account of that reflection. Tender, funny, and heartwarming, this book looks forward even as it looks back.

The author writes honestly and in sometimes-painful detail about her life and interactions. As Bill fights the cancer that eventually takes him, Crowell is there: "On good days, we made plans. On bad days, we made bargains.On many days, we made love."

Crowell is a true storyteller, and her prose is superb. Describing a favorite dress from high school, she writes:"skinny green satin straps...and a skirt that flared at all the right places and at all the right times." While describing her relationship with a confirmed bachelor intent on wining and dining her, she breathes empathy into the text, detailing her tentative, trepidatious steps, making it easy to understand her hesitancy. She writes: "I'm a sixty-plus-year-old woman faithful to one man all her life. And I'm not ready to give myself to love again. Yet."

This open, honest memoir will resound with anyone who's lost someone important in their life. Readers who enjoy biographies will also absolutely love this talented writer's look back on a life well-lived and well-loved.

- Clarion Review


A debut memoir that's part tribute, part search for direction after a loss.   -Kirkus ReviewAs this book's subtitle suggests, this is a personal history of men that the author has met.  Readers meet the author in the present day, when she's 64 years old, widowed, and considering a relationship with a man who's pursuing her.She moves effortlessly back and forth between the budding romance and her memories of other men, including her grandfather, father, brothers, boyfriends, platonic friends, priests, husband, son and grandsons (whom she calls "future men").Crowell was born in St. Louis in 1937, and as she chronicles her six-decade journey, readers become privy to the highs of her privileged life in the second half of the 20th century (48 cars, 42 years of marriage) and the painful lows that struck with such great ferocity.  Overall, she's chatty and amiable in her writing, with just enough self-effacing humor to keep readers engaged.There's also great poignancy here: an uncomfortable vivid description of her father's meat-packing plant is likely to create a few vegetarians, and lengthy sections dealing with her husband's illness make for painful reading.  Tales from her two years of living in Chappaqua, New York, while her husband was one of the "CBS suits" read like scenes from Mad Men. Although the author's widowhood, and the prospect of allowing herself to love again propelled her into this retrospection, it's about more than just the loss of a husband.  One can expect deaths of loved ones if one lives long enough, but sometimes they happen way too soon. Crowell has faced her fair share of both, and now, surrounded by a dozen cartons of old photos and mementos, she wants "to understand and to love better.  And to maybe help others...look at their old photos and their Toms, Dicks, and Harrys in a new light."A well-constructed, smoothly delivered reminiscence. -Kirkus Review

-BlueInk ReviewWhen a box of photographs takes author Judy Crowell down memory lane, she reflects on love shared with men in her life.  Crowell credits these relationships, sweetly and humorously described in this memoir, with teaching her what she knows today:  that "love doesn't end when endings come."Crowell depicts colorful characters who left significant impressions on her heart:  Grandfather Babu and his fleet of Packards; mischievous brothers "Fritzandkit"; lifelong friend Brendan, who struggles with his sexuality; godfather Uncle Bob, who takes her dancing; and a blur of eligible teenagers.  She finds spiritual anchors in Fathers Ted and Frederick, as well as in sons-in-law, grandsons and new wooers.Coming of age in the late '50s, Crowell's Midwestern pedigree, beauty and Vassar degree are advantages for landing Mr. Right.  Her dashing husband Bill's New York commuter career blossoms into a comfortable suburban life, but Crowell paints a portrait of isolation focused on her husband's moods, whims and needs, as well as on his "scotch-swilling buddies" and their "borderline Stepford wives."  Her life is challenged further by their son's suicide and Bill's diagnosis of terminal cancer.Crowell reconnects deeply with Bill as his life concludes, and her ability to move on afterward is tested.  Wondering how she'll "ever get used to a widow's silence", Crowell sees God's plan at work as suitors eventually teach her to love again and she rejects the stereotype of the unloved, sad, or lonely widow.While the absence of female connections looms large throughout this memoir, Crowell identifies powerful, intimate connections with "these mismatched men."  Her smart, poignant narrative is skillfully divided between her re-entry into the dating world and her clear-eyed look back.  A keen observer of love and life, Crowell has delivered an optimistic memoir.  Her touching prose will inspire any woman who has lost a loved one and seeks to love again.-BlueInk Review

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Book Description iUniverse, 2015. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Author, Judy Crowell, a sixty-three-year old widow is shaken out of her topsy-turvy malaise by an old acquaintance, cajoling and wooing her back to the dating world of the twenty-first century, a world she last experienced when Eisenhower was president. Tackling a pile of disregarded old photos, she reminisces over the men in her life: a hormones-raging teenage Lothario in a lime green 50s Chevy; an eighty-year-old Benedictine monk; a Johnny Walker-swilling uncle, and a husband taken too soon by cancer. After forty-two years of marriage, can she share another man s popcorn at the movies? Feel another man s beard against her cheek? Another man s touch? Another man s bed? In Widow: A Four Letter Word, humor and tragedy intermingle as a widow looks back at the men in her life and grapples with a persistent suitor wooing her to date and, perhaps, to love again. Seller Inventory # APC9781491782415

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Book Description iUniverse, 2015. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Author, Judy Crowell, a sixty-three-year old widow is shaken out of her topsy-turvy malaise by an old acquaintance, cajoling and wooing her back to the dating world of the twenty-first century, a world she last experienced when Eisenhower was president. Tackling a pile of disregarded old photos, she reminisces over the men in her life: a hormones-raging teenage Lothario in a lime green 50s Chevy; an eighty-year-old Benedictine monk; a Johnny Walker-swilling uncle, and a husband taken too soon by cancer. After forty-two years of marriage, can she share another man s popcorn at the movies? Feel another man s beard against her cheek? Another man s touch? Another man s bed? In Widow: A Four Letter Word, humor and tragedy intermingle as a widow looks back at the men in her life and grapples with a persistent suitor wooing her to date and, perhaps, to love again. Seller Inventory # APC9781491782415

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