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A Widow for One YearThe World According to Garp, published twenty years ago. It is also a compelling story about a family marked by tragedy and the "difficult" women who survive. Marion Cole, a thirty-nine-year-old woman - and a faithful wife for twenty-two years - has an affair with a sixteen-year- old boy; she then leaves her philandering husband. Marion also abandons her four-year-old daughter, Ruth. By the age of thirty-six, Ruth Cole has become a renowned author - an internationally acclaimed novelist. But she is an angry, impulsive, often self-contradictory, unmarried woman whose personal life is not nearly as successful as her literary career. Ruth distrusts her judgement in men, for good reason; by no means is she conventionally "nice". Five years later, at forty-one, Ruth Cole is a widow and a mother. Ruth's child is the same age Ruth was when her mother left her. Now Ruth is about to fall in love for the first time. Richly comic as well as deeply disturbing, A Widow for One Year is a multilayered love story of astonishing emotional force. Both ribald and erotic, it is also a brilliant novel about the passage of time and the relentlessness of grief.