Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Obituary Writer by Ann Hood

In The Obituary Writer, we follow the lives of two women:  Claire and Vivien.  Claire is a happily married woman living in the early 1960s.  Vivien, however, is a woman of the early 1900s who falls in love with a married man.  Through alternating chapters, we step into the lives of these women, the highs and the lows, and eventually how their stories come crashing down together.

Hood's novel brings together history and romance, two genres that are not on my usual reading list.  However, when a local book club announced this as a selection, I was intrigued enough to pick it up.  It was a quick read, one that kept my interest, wanting to know how these women's stories would connect or relate, though some of it was predictable.  I was not a fan of the theme of adultery.  I did appreciate the focus on grief and loss, especially since I have had to deal with loss a lot in the last couple of years.  This quote was refreshing and affirming and right on target . . .
"She understood that grief is not neat and orderly; it does not follow any rules.  Time does not heal it.  Rather, time insists on passing, and as it does, grief changes but does not go away."  (p. 165)

In the end, it was an interesting read.  I was glad I picked it up and am curious what other book club members will think about the content and story.  I do not think I can recommend this one to everyone, unfortunately.  I was left wanting more, not feeling completely satisfied by the time I read the final words.

Do you know the stories of Claire and Vivien?  What did you think of what they had to share in The Obituary Writer?


  1. Sounds like one I don't want to read - grief. loss. adultery, none are really on my to-read list.

    1. Carol ... It is definitely not one to bring you smiles and laughter!


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