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Review: Young Widows Club

Monday, July 25, 2016

Young Widows Club by Alexandra Coutts

Release Date:  November 10, 2015
Publisher:  Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Source: Publisher
Format: ARC
Pages:  304
Amazon  |  Goodreads

Young Widows Club
Seventeen-year-old Tamsen Baird didn’t set out to become a teenage widow. All she did was fall in love and get married. But when her nineteen-year-old husband, Noah, dies suddenly in the middle of the night, her whole life changes. Now Tam is forced to return to the existence she thought she’d left behind—beginning with moving back home and finishing high school. But in order to overcome her loss and find her way forward, she’ll need to reinvent herself and reach out to others in ways she never imagined. She’ll need to open herself up to living—and even loving—again.

In Young Widows Club, Alexandra Coutts depicts a teenager whose struggle with grief and disappointment is heartbreakingly real and, in the end, powerfully uplifting.
The Young Widows Club centers our Tamsen who by the age of 17 has already fallen in love, gotten married, and become a widow. After her husband's death she's reeling with depression and goes on a string of mistakes and bad decisions which ultimately lands her in court. The judge sentences her to move back in with her parents, go back to high school, and go to group therapy. Enter the Young Widows Club, where Tamsen meets other widows trying to piece their lives back together.

While I enjoyed reading Young Widows Club I feel like for some readers it may tend to lean more on the problematic side. I live in Texas, and here in the south people tend to get married very young. Married at 18 or 19 and having several children by the time your 21 is much more the norm here, so having a main character that's married and widowed at 17 isn't such a shock for me. I grew up with a close friend who married at 16 and knew many others, so Tamsen wasn't a shocking character to read. But again, things like this differ depending on the area you've grown up.

Another thing I kind of didn't like was I really hoped there would be a lot more about the Young Widows Club itself. There wasn't too much about it in the story, and I really missed that since it was actually what drew me to pick this book up. But again, I feel like the few things I disliked about the book are just nit picky things I would have liked to see in the story.

I personally didn't identify with this character too much, I have suffered with bouts of pretty severe depression but I've never gone on a string of self destructive behaviour. What I can relate to are the feelings of being lost, and not sure what you want to do with your life when everyone else around you has college's and a career path already picked out. This was a fast read and despite the few things I mentioned I really enjoyed it, although I don't think it's for everyone.


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