In the High Peaks

Thursday, February 2, 2012

An Available Man

I'm halfway through An Available Man by Hilma Wolitzer and am thoroughly enjoying it. I've grown fond of Edward, the bereaved spouse of his departed, beloved Bee. If you've never read Wolitzer, she deals with dreadfully serious subjects with a light touch. At times I've found her tone to be a little too breezy, but when it comes to grieving spouses in their fifties, a light tone is very welcome.

Wolitzer doesn't let us wallow in Edward's grief. The reader senses it but looks hopefully on all of Edward's attempts to stay connected to the world. He is a science teacher, and an endearing one, ensconced in an Upper West Side (NYC) private school.

His dating forays have begun, and they're humorous. I find I feel enormous empathy for Edward, with no sturm und drang attached. I feel comforted when I read about Edward's trials and adventures. I think everyone in their fifties has contemplated what it would be like to continue on after the death of his or her spouse or partner. This book allows one to think about it without an anvil above the head. I like that!!

What a winter we've had! Very, very little snow, but an overload of icy roads and trails. We've had some cold but never for long. The temps keep warming up to the 40s after a string of frigid days. No, I don't like it. This is not an Adirondack winter. But I've tried to make do.

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