The Widows of Paradise Bay
by Jill Sooley
Breakwater Books Ltd., 2010
There must be fifty ways—or at least three—to lose a husband.
In The Widows of Paradise Bay, three women share first-person perspectives on life after loss. Funny, gritty, and above all, true, their perspectives illuminate the singular journeys grieving women must take alone even as they travel the timeless, universal path of mourning.
Jill Sooley describes the Newfoundland she grew up in with clarity and love. She creates Paradise Bay, Newfoundland as a comfortable home for her characters without making Newfoundland the overpowering character it often becomes in Canadian literature.
Reviewer Trudy J. Morgan-Cole wrote: “. . . so true to life it will make you cringe in some places and laugh in others.” Although The Widows of Paradise Bay is a first novel for Sooley, her pacing and characterization rival those of more experienced authors. You will find yourself thinking, “How did she manage to crawl into my head and read my mind?” She explores with compassion and humour cathartic themes that many mothers and daughters, brothers and sisters, or husbands and wives will recognize, and maybe wish she had left unexplored.
I picked up this book expecting a light read. I was pleasantly surprised by its richness and compelling humanity. It deserves more recognition than it has received so far.
Sooley has a new novel coming out this fall. I’ll be looking for that one, for sure.
Posted on July 4, 2012, in Books I borrowed, Fiction and tagged Canadian literature, five stages of grief, Jill Sooley, literature, mourning, Trudy J. Morgan-Cole, widowhood. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.