John Irving's A Widow for One Year
With Irving's new novel coming out later this year, I've had a few conversations about his other books, especially about this one, which is definitely one of my favorites. I'm always sad more people don't feel the same way, but I really do find this much more appealing than most of his other works. Maybe it's the rare woman protagonist, maybe it's the way Irving weaves about eight different books into one. It does have a few of the Irving Themes--infidelity, dead child, Exeter, writers--but really takes a much different approach than his earlier works, I think. It's compelling stuff--I stayed up way too late to finish a book whose ending I already knew.
And I still can't believe they made the first chunk of this book (about a marriage dissolving in grief and infidelity) into a movie starring Kim Basinger, Jeff Bridges, and what must have been a very tiny Elle Fanning. Anyway, I hadn't read this in years and was pleased that it still held up, especially since I couldn't get into his most recent one at all. But it looks like they're releasing more of his backlist for the Kindle, so I imagine I'll be revisiting more of his stuff soon (I reread and reread his books in high school and college but haven't really read them since).