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Evenings at Five
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Evenings at Five

3.46 of 5 stars 3.46  ·  rating details  ·  347 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Every evening at five o’clock, Christina and Rudy stopped work and began the ritual commonly known as Happy Hour. Rudy mixed Christina’s drink with loving precision, the cavalier slosh of Bombay Sapphire over ice shards, before settling across from her in his Stickley chair with his glass of Scotch. They shared a love of language and music (she is an author, he a composer, ...more
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Published April 1st 2003 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2003)
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Cathy
While this may be a little book which is easily read in less than two hours, it manages to convey the importance of living large to the very end. I loved the older couple depicted - artistic, eccentric and vibrant. In life they both adored and exasperated each other, she a writer, he a composer. Every day at 5pm they sat down for a cocktail to discuss their respective days, with him usually carrying on about something or another. Grieving his loss after he's died, she continues their tradition i ...more
Kjersten
I was really, really touched by this book. I found this book to be a glimpse of what my Grandma possibly went through when her husband left her widowed in her early fifties. The main character in this book, Christina, is introduced after her husband, Rudy, of 28 years has passed away. The married, childless couple had an evening routine of drinks at 5pm to end the day with. The book takes you through Christina's grief and final acceptance of Rudy's death. The day-to-day struggles and heartache o ...more
Laurel-Rain
An author and a composer have a daily ritual. Every evening at five o'clock, they begin with Happy Hour; they then share their love of language and music along with their cocktails. This tradition is so much a part of their lives that it's only natural that its absence would leave a huge hole in the author's heart when her companion dies.

Author Gail Godwin had similar experiences, and has commemorated these traditions and moments by fictionalizing an account, which she has added to a series of a
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Dara
A writer, Christina, who relies on her visual capacities, finds that she can hear her composer husband's voice after he dies. He had consistently accused her of not listening to him during their private cocktail hour every evening at five o'clock; she was still living consciously in the world of story.

In the months following his death, it's not Rudy's ghost that she sees, but his voice she hears. Christina is on a kind of psychological pilgrimage to discover "the secret with her name on it." At
...more
Christopher Storjohann
While I am a fan of Gail Godwin’s writing, I have to say that I was rather disappointed in this offering from the author of works like “Evensong”. In addition to it seeming puerile and self-absorbed, there was also less development off the characters than I’m used to seeing from Godwin or any writer of her stature. It had very little reason to exist other than the fact that it seemed like threads of a story didn’t fit into any other work. It felt more like a graduate student of writing playing o ...more
Debbie
While this selection on Good Reads lists it as having five new stories...the one I read only had the story of Christina and Rudy. It was a super fast read...but one that leaves you with meaningful questions to ask yourself about your loved ones and what they mean to you.

Christina and Rudy end each day with the Happy Hour...with Rudy mixing Christina's dring with precision. They sit across from each other and share an evening of conversation of things applying to their lives...she is an author an
...more
Judy
This short novel is largely autobiographical. Gail Godwin lost her husband, composer Robert Starer, after almost 30 years together and in this fictionalized version of the story of working through grief, Chistina, an author, is reflecting back on her almost 30 year relationship with Rudy, a composer. Every evening at 5 o'clock during their long partnership, Rudy would announce that "The Pope has called" which was their signal to stop work and enjoy a cocktail or two together before dinner. Chist ...more
Jessica
An except from the title story led me to this book. Gail Godwin has always intrigued me. I had high expectations for these stories, that are not at all loosely based on her life. They disappointed me slightly, but I now feel prompted to pick up one of her novels. Every time I am hanging out at a certain book store, I read parts of her published journal (maybe because there is a very comfy chair nearby, but at least partially because Godwin's writing can be supreme).

Although probably not her bes
...more
Susy
This is a touching tribute to a well lived marriage from the voice of the surviving spouse, Christina, who I gather is a not so subtle incarnation of the author. The cocktail hour clearly was a huge part of her marriage to a composer (in life and in art); I can relate as the cocktail hour played a huge part in my upbringing. It was the time of news and booze and witty conversation - even us kids got in on the act.

The final of the five short stories is a moving account of the last visit between
...more
Cathy
This is not the same version I read; mine did not have "and five new stories", it was just the "Evenings at Five" story in the volume. Even so, it was a wonderful book. Taking place about six months after his death, Christina remembers the life of her beloved husband Rudy. She a writer, he a composer - she recounts pieces of the story of their wonderfully creative and joy-filled life together. The title, "Evenings at Five", refers to their standing date at the end of their work days when Rudy sa ...more
Sheri
This is a very small book. 114 pages or so. I read it in a day (on loan from the library). It is a little treasure. I haven't read anything by Gail Godwin before and I only picked it up because I admired the cover that showed a Stickly chair.

It is about two artists who have a daily Happy Hour ritual at 5pm. The husband dies and the wife is mourning him. It is moving and captures the nuances of a long married couple and what happens when one of them is no longer there.

I love married "rituals". My
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Joanne
This is an odd little book. I enjoyed Evensong and The Good Husband. This one is a fictional or maybe autobiographical meditation of a woman whose husband has recently died. Think The Year of Magical Thinking but much shorter, with drawings, and a little more stream-of-consciousness.
Suzanne Krueger
This little book reminded me of 84 Charring Cross. It is well written, made me laugh and made me cry. It's full of thought provoking 'tidbits'. I loved the humor~found myself laughing out loud many times.
I read it in a day. It's the kind of book that can be re-read,again and again.
I enjoyed it.

Note: My copy was just the Evenings at Five and not the version with Five New Stories.
Andrea Segura
I have read most of her books This one was exceptional.
Jessica Timmons
Short and depressing. It was still very well written and the small illustrations are cute. I found it very sad and depressing and I often wonder what the author may have been going through during the time period she chose to write this book. I cannot imagine what the main character was going through after loosing the love of her life mostly because I have not found mine yet and may never will. This book I would have to rank in the middle of all her other novels that I have read, it was still goo ...more
Roxanne
I only read Evenings at Five; the version I read didn't have the other stories.

I loved this book, although I can see how many people wouldn't. A novella about a woman losing her husband, I found it really touching, incredibly loving and beautifully written. It illustrated all the small unspoken rituals which make a relationship special, and in describing the loss gave so much meaning to the marriage itself.

A very special little book. As I read it I felt like I was being given something very pr
...more
Cindy Cartwright
Interesting little novella, only 114 pages long. I only read "Evenings at Five" and not the other stories. Never had I read a book before about how one deals with the loss of a beloved spouse. Most books on this topic will discuss the loss and move on. This entire story is a woman dealing with her loss. As the reader, i get to choose how the book would continue, and I am choosing a path of healing.
Sally
I listened to this on audio and it was so droll and monotone I could hardly stand it. The author read it, which is unfortunate I suppose. For a story about two artistic people, a more flamboyant reader should have been chosen.
I think I would have liked it better if I had read it instead. I also found a lot of sentences too descriptive.
Lori Weir
A small gem! "Evenings At Five" is a look at continuing love after death. It is a reminder to cherish the moments we have with those we love and to know within ourselves that despite the physical absence the joining of hearts can never be separated. An intimate story on grief and loss and continuing to live.

Pam
Small novella that really smacks an emotional whallop! It is a beautifully written story about a 30 year marriage and a wife mourning and learning to live without her husband who has died. One really understands her grief and it stays with you long after reading it. Quick read - worth your time.
Lesley
Re-read. Poignant novella (I think the description 'a novel' in the title is rather misleading). This edition (to the best of my knowledge, the first hardback publication) does not have the 'five stories', which I think must have been added for the Reading Group edition.
Jane
Christina and Rudy always shared a drink every evening at five. But now Rudy has died and Christina must learn to face evenings at five without him. This short novel consists of her memories and adjustments. Bittersweet and beautifully written.
Jacq Jardin
i thought this was gonna be something like "Marriage: A Duet" which i thoroughly enjoyed. it's quite different though. and it's a little too sad for my taste. i skipped some pages here and there but kept reading to the end anyways.
Judith
Dec 02, 2008 Judith rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Judith by: Library
Nice short book read like a bio. I had to look at the book to see if it was a biography.
Gives a lot of thought to what will happen when my spouse dies.
The one I read didn't have 5 new Stories just Evenings at Five
Andrea
Sweet little love story snippet (so very short) about a widow coping with her very recent loss. Funny and deeply intimate snapshot of all that a marriage is as well as the nature of how very present an absence can be.
Katy
This is the story of Christina and Rudy, a writer and a composer. Seven months earlier, Rudy died, and this is the story of how Christina deals with her grief as she remembers their life together.

An amazing book...
Dena Grover
woman remembers her husband died of cancer objects and rituals mean so much to her, artists married and friends who touched them, letters from admirers, remembering their life together, very short read for E.A.
Sydney
Unique novel about a marriage after the husband dies. Wife is the writer and husband is a musician/composer. Drawings illuminate their home and offices in separate parts of the house.
Lisa Ahronian
This book was just ok. While I appreciated the deeply personal examination of the main characters, I got to the last page, and all I could think was, "uh...and??"
Ellen
Contemplative and sad. It's the second Gail Godwin book I've tried. Her writing style is difficult to stay with. I don't think I'll try another for awhile.
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Gail Kathleen Godwin is an American novelist and short story writer. She has published one non-fiction work, two collections of short stories, and eleven novels, three of which have been nominated for the National Book Award and five of which have made the New York Times Bestseller List.

Godwin's body of work has garnered many honors, including three National Book Award nominations, a Guggenheim Fe
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