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How to Talk to a Widower by Jonathan Tropper Review

Title: How to Talk to a Widower

Author: Jonathan Tropper

First published June 28, 2007

341 pages, Hardcover

ISBN: 9780385338905 (ISBN10: 0385338902)

Rating: 3.98


Jonathan Tropper’s How to Talk to a Widower is a witty and poignant novel that explores love, loss, and life after tragedy. Doug Parker is a widower at twenty-nine, living in the suburbs where he’s the object of everyone’s curiosity, sympathy, and even desire.

But amidst the attention, Doug struggles to come to terms with his grief and the challenges of raising his sixteen-year-old stepson, Russ. As if that wasn’t enough, Doug’s twin sister, Clair, has just moved in after leaving her husband, and his other sister, Debbie, is planning a wedding with Doug’s ex-best friend.

With his family in chaos, Doug ventures into the dating scene, leading to a hilarious and often tumultuous journey of sexual missteps and unexpected twists. Tropper’s brilliant writing and insightful portrayal of family dynamics will leave readers wanting more.

About the Author

Meet Jonathan Tropper, a talented author who has written several books including Everything Changes, The Book of Joe, and Plan B. He resides in Westchester, New York with his wife, Elizabeth and kids, and is also a writing professor at Manhattanville College.

His popular book, How To Talk To A Widower, has been snapped up by Paramount Pictures for a movie adaptation, while Everything Changes and The Book of Joe are also being developed for the big screen.

Editoral Review

How to Talk to a Widower by Jonathan Tropper is an emotional and humorous novel that explores themes of loss, grief, and love. Tropper is a prolific American author known for his witty and insightful writing style, and this book is no exception.

First published on June 28, 2007, How to Talk to a Widower has gained a reputation as a moving and engaging read, and it is not hard to see why. The book tells the story of Doug Parker, a young widower who is struggling to come to terms with the death of his wife, Hailey.

Set in suburban New Jersey, the story unfolds over the course of a year as Doug tries to cope with his grief while navigating a complicated family life. He has to take care of his rebellious stepson, Russ, deal with the erratic behavior of his mother-in-law, and try to start dating again.

All the while, he is haunted by memories of his wife and the life they shared. The plot is well-constructed, with a satisfying balance of humor and poignancy.

Tropper has a talent for creating relatable and complex characters, and Doug is no exception. He is flawed, vulnerable, and occasionally self-destructive, but ultimately sympathetic.

The other characters are equally well-developed, particularly Russ and Doug’s sister-in-law Claire, who provide much of the novel’s humor and heart. One of the strengths of How to Talk to a Widower is the way it addresses the difficult subject of grief with honesty and sensitivity.

Tropper does not shy away from the harsh realities of loss, but he also infuses the novel with humor and hope. The writing is sharp and incisive, with vivid descriptions of the suburban landscape and insightful observations on human behavior.

If there is any criticism to be leveled at the book, it is that some plot points can feel contrived, particularly towards the end of the novel. However, this is a minor quibble in the overall scheme of things, and does not detract from the emotional impact of the story.

Overall, How to Talk to a Widower is a wonderful example of contemporary fiction at its best. It is a moving and insightful exploration of the human condition that will resonate with readers of all ages.

Fans of Tropper’s previous works will not be disappointed, and those new to his writing will find this an excellent place to start. Highly recommended.

Rating: 4/5

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