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The Obituary Writer (2013)

de Ann Hood

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5876229,898 (3.75)15
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.… (més)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 61 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Loved the way Vivien and Claire's different stories and eras dovetailed. A moving exploration of grief and its effects on a life, as well as different levels of loss. Ambiguous ending -- look forward to discussion. ( )
  CarrieWuj | Oct 24, 2020 |
2.5 stars ( )
  snakes6 | Aug 25, 2020 |
Not my normal genre; it's rather darker than the fiction I generally read. But a very well-written book. Based in the United States, it features two women in two different time periods last century; they have some things in common (including a surprisingly blasé attitude to adultery, given the eras) but we don't learn until towards the end of the book how they are linked. I didn't see it coming.

I didn't really bond with any of the characters, but it was a readable book that was quite difficult to put down at times. It brought to life some periods of US history that I knew little about, and it raises some important issues about love and marriage, and the nature of grief.

Could trigger painful memories in some, but with that proviso I would recommend it.

Full review here: https://suesbookreviews.blogspot.com/2020/04/the-obituary-writer-by-ann-hood.htm... ( )
  SueinCyprus | Apr 5, 2020 |
Two seemingly unconnected women are the main characters in The Obituary Writer. Claire, a housewife from the 1960's who is infatuated with John Kennedy, and Vivien, the obituary writer who lost her lover in the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 are these two women. The reader follows both of them through their seemingly unconnected lives and experiences the two different time periods through the excellent descriptions offered by Hood in the alternating voices of each of the women.

The book offers an interesting mix of times, characters, and intrigue leaving the reader to try to guess why the two stories are being told in this one book. ( )
  Rdglady | Nov 20, 2018 |
I began to enjoy this book more in the last several pages. I was wringing my hands during the pages of Claire visiting her mother in law to celebrate her 88th birthday. How can someone be so cavalier about an unborn child and put the child at such risk!! And Birdie...i realize it was early 1900's but honestly? They would have buried that guy and she should have known he had passed, so that part of story was very unbelievable. ( )
  Alphawoman | Mar 3, 2018 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Ann Hoodautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Gilbert, TaviaNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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First of all, the ones in sorrow should be urged if possible to sit in a sunny room and where there is an open fire. If they feel unequal to going to the table, a very little food should be taken to them on a tray. A cup of tea or coffee or bouillion, a little thin toast, a poached egg, milk if they like it hot, or milk toast. ---FROM Etiquette, BY EMILY POST, 1922
Persons under the shock of genuine affliction are not only upset mentally but are all unbalanced physically. No matter how calm and controlled they seemingly may be, no one can under such circumstances be normal. Their disturbed circulation makes them cold, their distress makes them unstrung, sleepless. Persons they normally like, they often turn from. ---FROM Etiquette, BY EMILY POST, 1922
No one should ever be forced upon those in grief, and all over-emotional people, no matter how near or dear, should be barred absolutely.  --FROM Etiquette, BY EMIlY POST, 1922
Among those who come to the house there is sure to be a woman friend of the family whose taste and method of expenditure is similar to theirs.  ---FROM Etiquette, BY EMILY POST, 1922
If you see acquaintances of yours in deepest mourning, it does not occur to you to go up to them and babble trivial topics or ask them to a dance or dinner.  If you pass close to them, irresistible sympathy compels you merely to stop and press their hand and pass on.  ---FROM Etiquette, BY EMILY POST, 1922
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This is dedicated to the ones I love
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If Claire had to look back and decide why she had the affair in the first place, she would point to the missing boy.
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Wikipedia en anglès (1)

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.

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