The Obituary Writer

The Obituary Writer

Streaming Audiobook - 2013
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From bestselling author Ann Hood comes a sophisticated and suspenseful novel about the poignant lives of two women living in different eras. On the day John F. Kennedy is inaugurated, Claire, a young wife and mother obsessed with the glamour of Jackie, struggles over the decision of whether to stay in a loveless but secure marriage or to follow the man she loves and whose baby she may be carrying. Decades earlier in 1919, Vivien Lowe, an obituary writer, is searching for her lover who disappeared in the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. By telling the stories of the dead, Vivien not only helps others cope with their grief but also begins to understand the devastation of her own terrible loss. The surprising connection between these two women will change Claire's life in unexpected and extraordinary ways. Part literary mystery and part love story, The Obituary Writer examines expectations of marriage and love, the roles of wives and mothers, and the emotions of grief, regret, and hope.
Publisher: [United States] : Blackstone Audio, Inc. : Made available through hoopla, 2013
Edition: Unabridged
ISBN: 9781470842772
1470842777
Branch Call Number: E-AUDIOBOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 audio file (7hr., 50 min.)) : digital

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Cdnbookworm Feb 20, 2014

This novel follows two story lines that come together near the end.
One story occurs in 1919, when Vivien Lowe is living in Napa and writing obituaries for people who come to her door. Vivien had moved to Napa some time after the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, devastated by the disappearance of her lover that day. She searches for him still. She finds that understanding grief has made her more able to listen to others and help them cope.
In 1961, Claire lives outside Washington with her husband Peter and young daughter. She is feeling caught in her marriage to a man she doesn't thing she loves after an affair with another man. She is also pregnant and unsure of whose baby it is. As inauguration day for J.F. Kennedy approaches, the family travels to Rhode Island for Peter's mother's 80th birthday. It is here that Claire will make a life-changing decision and find a connection to her mother-in-law that will help her face the future.
I liked both Claire and Vivien as characters, and found Claire's situation very relevant to her time and the expectations of women then. Vivien was more of a rebel in some ways, but also got stuck in her own past for a while. A very good read, with a fascinating plot.

m
maipenrai
Aug 17, 2013

*** 1/2 stars. On the day John F. Kennedy is inaugurated, Claire, a young wife and mother obsessed with the glamour of Jackie, struggles over the decision of whether to stay in a loveless but secure marriage or to follow the man she loves and whose baby she may be carrying. Decades earlier, in 1919, Vivien Lowe, an obituary writer, is searching for her lover who disappeared in the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. By telling the stories of the dead, Vivien not only helps others cope with their grief but also begins to understand the devastation of her own terrible loss. The surprising connection between these two women will change Claire s life in unexpected and extraordinary ways. I enjoy the interweaving of stories that appear unconnected. Ms. Hood creates real characters that you care about and personal stories that make you want to know their resolution. I thought it was particularly poignant to have one protagonist so involved with the idea of hope, Jackie, and the Kennedy inauguration. We all know how that hope was dashed and we are still writing obituaries for that family and what might have been. Highly recommend.

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