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Reviewed by Alice DiNizo for Readers' Favorite
Widow's Walk is a well-written, heart wrenching story that deals philosophically, but not tediously, with thoughts about God and human goodness. Mary Flanagan, born Mary Riley in Ireland, is a devout Roman Catholic. Her husband Sean is dead; her son Sean is a home-bound quadriplegic from when he was wounded in Vietnam. Mary's daughter Kathleen serves in a hospice for the dying; her husband abandoned her when their baby died, and Kathleen was found unable to bear more children. Mary's relief from all this tragedy is her religious devotion. Then, Sean leaves home for rehabilitation far away, and Mary is forced to find a life of her own. Arnie Berger enters her life, Sean marries and fathers a child, and happiness seems to loom ahead until tragedy strikes again.
Widow's Walk could be one of the better religious novels coming out in recent years, but it needs structural reworking. Mary's transition from devoutly religious to an appealing woman ready to fall in love is too quick. She needs to get her life together at a slower pace, maybe taking a chapter just to think out where she's going. A little rewriting would really help this excellent story, but it is still a very good read.