Saturday Night Widows by Becky Aikman

Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
Publication Date: January, 2013
Categories: Personal Memoir, Death & Dying, Women


In her forties – a widow, too young, too modern to accept the role – Becky Aikman struggled to make sense of her place in an altered world.  In this transcendent and infectiously wise memoir, she explores surprising new discoveries about how people experience grief and transcend loss and, following her own remarriage, forms a group with five other young widows to test these unconventional ideas.  Together, these friends summon the humor, resilience, and striving spirit essential for anyone overcoming adversity.

Meet the Saturday Night Widows: ringleader Becky, an unsentimental journalist who lost her husband to cancer; Tara, a polished mother of two, whose husband died in the throes of alcoholism after she filed for divorce; Denise, a widow of just five months, now struggling to get by; Marcia, a hard-driving corporate lawyer; Dawn, an alluring self-made entrepreneur whose husband was killed in a sporting accident, leaving two small children behind; and Lesley, a housewife who returned home one day to find that her husband had committed suicide.

The women meet once a month, and over the course of a year, they strike out on ever more far-flung adventures, learning to live past the worst thing they thought could happen.  They share emotional peaks and valleys – dating, parenting, moving, finding meaningful work, and reinventing themselves – while turning traditional thinking about loss and recovery upside down.  Through it all runs the story of Aikman’s own journey through grief and her love affair with a man who tempts her to marry again.  In a transporting story of what friends can achieve when they hold each other up, Saturday Night Widows is a rare book that will make you laugh, think, and remind yourself that despite the utter unpredictability and occasional tragedy of life, it is also precious, fragile, and often more joyous than we recognize.

My Thoughts:

Although being a widow is something you can’t understand unless you are one, Saturday Night Widows gives us a glimpse of what it means to lose your spouse. You would assume that this would be a devastatingly sad read. While there are sections that will break your heart the overall message is a positive one.

I loved these women. I was rooting for them throughout their journeys. They face financial issues, heartache and archaic ideas about how a widow should act. They do so with such grace and fortitude that you’ll applaud them.

There’s a bit of a You Go Girl! vibe to this book but it’s not corny. I promise. It’s a lovely read about how friendship can pull you through the very worst of times.

24 thoughts on “Saturday Night Widows by Becky Aikman

  1. What an original take on a memoir. Loss of a loved one, and a spouse in particular can really turn one's life upside down and make it incredibly hard to move forward (at least, that is how I imagine it), but these women are the proof that there is life after loss. I think I would enjoy this book a lot!


  2. I am amazed at how well my mom has adjusted to life without my dad. It's not easy, to be sure–I mean, she lost her life partner and best friend–but she's created a new normal that works for her. It sounds like these women have done the same thing. This sounds like a great book.


  3. This sounds really good. I enjoy memoirs and novels about people navigating a drastic, devastating life change. Thanks for the review, Jennifer!


  4. Oh good review! I was afraid about the tear-jerking factor re: widowhood, but I'm glad it was a different vibe. I just got this ARC, looking forward to reading it as well.


  5. I don't think I would have ever even considered this until reading your reaction to it. I'm leery about memoirs and one about widows is enough to make me steer clear. I'll admit that you have me intrigued. I'll have to see if my library is going to carry a copy once it is released.


  6. There's something really inspiring about a group of people coming together through a difficult time. What a terrible loss, but they were so fortunate to find such good friends. Thanks for letting us know about this memoir!


  7. OK, so I have to put it on my list!It's true that, as we are talking about widows, you think there must be a sad story, but I would be glad if there are hope and friendship on it!!


  8. It sounds like a book that would be good to read if you knew of some one who was a widow or if you were. I know you said it ends up being uplifting, but it's a depressing subject of the book, even if it's not a main theme, because it's something that happens to many people. . . I guess it just hits close to home as a fear that would be horrible, so it's a tough one to decide to read, I think.


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