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Saturday Night Widows: The Adventures of Six Friends Remaking Their Lives

3.58  ·  Rating Details ·  1,507 Ratings  ·  350 Reviews
Six marriages, six heartbreaks, one shared beginning.

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, for
ebook, 368 pages
Published January 22nd 2013 by Broadway Books
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I wanted to like this book, and at times I did like this book. But there were other times when I thought the author was a little too self serving. She kept reminding readers that she was part of the group as an observer, but most of what she observed was her own life.

As a writer I admire writers who are smart enough to come up with an idea from a situation in their own life (in this case being a widow) and grab a book deal from it and then have the actual experience. As a reader, I hate it beca
This book sounded more interesting than it really was. It’s a bit awful to say that about a memoir, but it’s one of those books that has been done over and over until it loses meaning.
It started out with potential. The writing was fresh and at least the first chapter is interesting, bringing something new to the table. The idea of a woman wanting to revolutionize the way we look at loss and death and widowhood definitely caught my attention. The problems started a bit later, when the writer int
Maria Elmvang of them is a beautiful series of Chinese watercolours of lotus blossoms. She chose them because they bloom even in the mud.

The above is a quote from, and an excellent representation of Saturday Night Widows. When I first heard of it, I knew I had to read it, and I'm so glad I did, because it is without a doubt the sweetest and most poignant book I've read in a long time.

Becky Aikman lost her husband to cancer and afterwards had to reinvent herself as "the dreaded W-word"... a widow. Only
Oct 06, 2012 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
I was able to read Saturday Night Widows as an uncorrected Advanced Reader Proof. It's normally not the kind of book that I read, but I was immediately caught by the back cover blurb. I haven't lost my husband, we are still happily married, and I am at least (if not more than) half the age of the women featured in this book.
The idea of this memoir is that it revolves around six women, who are "recently" widowed (within the last 5 years) and are considered "young" widows (thirty to fifty-six). Th
Jan 09, 2013 Robin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book much too soon in my widowhood, probably about 6 weeks out. This is not for the woman who is still dealing with insurance companies, hospitals and various aspects of being newly widowed. This is for the woman who is further down the road and is trying to figure out what comes next in her life.
The title says "...Adventures of Six Friends..." and that's a bit of a falsehood. None of these women knew each other prior to M'S Aikman's decision to research "young widows" and form a sup
Rob Slaven
Dec 24, 2013 Rob Slaven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First and as always, I received this book because it arrived at my doorstep for the purposes of review. Would I spend my own money on this book? No. Unless it was a gift for a rich widow who can probably buy her own copy.

As a narrative construct, this is a nice story. The author lost her husband but bands together with five strangers to make her life into something wonderful again. That is to be applauded as the author writes a very intimate portrait of the situation she found herself in and the
Apr 06, 2013 Ellen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Though I was widowed at a young age, I did not connect with any of the characters in this memoir.
I did not feel I got to know any of them except on a very surface level. i actually found the book to be written in a simplistic way devoid of raw emotions. There was no edginess to it. I did not laugh at all and was greatly disappointed.

Happy the women moved forward and found happiness again and that is the one positive I found in the book.
Kelly Hager
Jan 20, 2013 Kelly Hager rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Becky Aikman was in her 40s when her husband Bernie died of cancer. She tried going to a widow's support group, but she was the youngest in the room (by a lot) and the experience was a lot more depressing than she wanted it to be, so she decided to start her own group. She finally found five other women (friends of friends or acquaintances). The experiences are all different (some of the deaths were sudden, some weren't, and the women had been widows for different lengths of time) but they quick ...more
Apr 16, 2013 Brenda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, favorites
A few years after her husband died, journalist Becky Aikman gathered five other widows together to form an optimistic, forward-thinking support group - no Five Stages of Grief allowed. This is the story of their first year together, along with interesting research about grief, recovery, and relationships. The best way to describe my feelings about this book is that I want to give it a big hug. While I was divorced and not widowed, certain aspects of my situation have caused me to relate more to ...more
Dec 11, 2012 Karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
The author puts together a support group of young widows. She decides to do this after being kicked out of a clinical grief therapy group that in her opinion turned into a “Who’s Most Pitiful” contest and full of older widows who she couldn’t connect with. The goal of her newly formed group is to share feelings, have lots of laughs, go on adventures, and reinvent themselves. We learn their stories and how differently they handle their emotions in dealing with their respective tragedies. Early on ...more
Jenny Streeter
Feb 13, 2013 Jenny Streeter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Becky Aikman has done an impressive job of capturing the experience of being widowed at a younger age - I just finished the book, close to the 4th anniversary of my husband's death at 49. I can't speak for how this book would be for an average reader, but for me it was one of the better books I've read on what it's like to be a widow right now. She quotes from some great research out there about grieving (George Bonanno at Columbia among them - his book The Other Side of Sadness is excellent), b ...more
Feb 12, 2014 Karen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this book. Really. But what I thought was going to be a life-affirming story about six women reinventing their lives after their husbands passed away was actually a kind of preachy self-help on how to get through grief. The author kept going over the point that Elizabeth Kubler-Ross' five stages of grief were not meant for the survivors but for the one dying. After about the third time I thought "if you're going to write a a tale of adventure (author's words), write that....not ...more
Loretta Charles
Jun 27, 2015 Loretta Charles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book touched on very "sensitive" subject matter but it was so well worth the read. I loved all the characters and the things they did to help themselves and each other get through some very difficult times. "This book 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."
Apr 27, 2016 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
I liked how this book delved into many aspects of becoming a widow/widower. I would have rated it higher, but the ongoing encouragement of the members to their new friends to hook up seemed contrary to the group's purpose of helping each other heal and make a new, meaningful life.
Miriam Downey
Apr 05, 2013 Miriam Downey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You can find my full review here: http://mimi-cyberlibrarian.blogspot.c...

Six women embark on a journey of discovery that ends with a trip to the exotic land of Morocco. They toast their journey, "To our dead husbands. We wouldn't be here if they hadn't died."

Becky Aikman, a New York newspaper reporter, was widowed in her forties when her husband Bernie died of cancer. Casting around for a way to deal with the overwhelming grief, she joined a traditional support group for widows only to find th
Aug 11, 2013 Gayle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just finished Saturday Night Widows by Becky Aikman, which is the chronicle of a year in the lives of six unlikely women who came together to help each other through a challenge they each faced: widowhood. Aikman, a widow in her mid-40s, struggled to find other women in her shoes who could help her deal with her grief and find a way to move forward. She tried a support group but found herself out of place among older, grieving women who were not interested in moving on and reestablishing their l ...more
Aug 14, 2013 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After getting kicked out of her traditional widows' support group for being too negative/critical, author does some digging into research on grieving and decides that 5 rigid stages are out, trying to continue living and have a sense of humor are in. She asks around, finds 5 other young (40's/50's) widows and organizes them to spend one Sat. evening together each month for a year trying new adventures.

Deals with a number of interesting issues (visitation dreams in which one's late husband seems
Gabi Coatsworth
Sep 11, 2016 Gabi Coatsworth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable and encouraging book about surviving the early years of widowhood, especially if you're relatively young or feeling younger than you are (don't we older women think we're much younger on the inside than we look?) The story of one woman's search for the kind of support she needed herself - peers with different needs and contributions - makes an excellent read. These widows were all well off, which made some things (going to Morocco, anyone?) easier, so the book may not be for peopl ...more
Elena (Gone Bookserk)
A Gone Bookserk Perspective

This book was supposed to be powerful involving themes like the experience of grief and loss, remarriage and unconventional ideas, emotional peaks and valleys, and the transforming influence of having good friends around you. I didn't really feel it. Maybe it's not my time for this book. Otherwise I thought there were some good parts...

If I can say that there was one useful message from this book, from my perspective anyway, it would have to be that there is HOPE eve
Mike Power
Mar 31, 2013 Mike Power rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Saturday Night Widows covers many of the struggles of being relatively young and widowed as experienced by someone who has lived the reality, from the viewpoint of one who needed to forge her own path to reclaiming life. Becky illustrates the emotional disjointedness of this lot in life as she is shunned by 'grief experts', then decides to take her own unique, but ultimately effective, approach to healing. She is joined by five other women who seem to share nothing in common but being widows, ye ...more
Aug 05, 2013 Sydnee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the sincerity of the "widows" as they moved through the grief process, they were fun to get to know and their situations were unique but the same too. I found it interesting that the author gave little attention to faith, especially since that's something many people turn to when faced with death. The author mentioned Dawn's Catholicism but that was about it. That seemed like a bit of a miss, still I found the new grief research to be fascinating--who knew that Elisabeth Kubler-Ross's ...more
Nov 19, 2013 Katherine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
I am really struggling with this book - reading it for Seattle Book Women's August retreat in a couple of weeks. I'm about ready to abandon it; I thoroughly dislike the style of writing - the folksiness, and what I perceive to be a distrust of the author to credit her readers with any intelligence. I also don't much like the fact that many of these women see themselves as unfulfilled without a man on their arm; I am so beyond that myself that I cannot relate to them. Do I still need to read it t ...more
I began reading this book and liking the storyline. I have had a few friends who have lost spouses and understand the grief they have had to endure. The book at some point took on a self-indulgent turn. In fact, I ended up comparing this book to Eat, Pray, Love. I absolutely hated that book. The process of turning a "self-help" idea into a story about "me" is not helpful. Hopefully I can be better prepared to ignore this type of book. I did finish it. I have since not read anything by Elizabeth ...more
Jan 22, 2013 Kathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Recommended Read. Becky Aikman has written a captivating tale that will resonate with anyone who has ever lost a loved one or knows someone who has. Saturday Night Widows is not a book about loss but a moving story of friendship. It is a beautiful novel about surviving devastating losses, moving past that heartache and embracing the future. To read my review in its entirety, please click HERE.
Meghan Harvey
Jan 27, 2013 Meghan Harvey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Though I imagine this book will obviously strike a particular nerve (in a positive way) with women who have lost a spouse (which I've not) I found that the lessons and realizations and growth that occurs in the book between the six women, can ring true to anyone who's had life pull the rug out from under them and faced the daunting task of somehow starting over. Divorce, losing a home, etc... I highly recommend it for anyone who needs a Phoenix rising from the ashes tale to help them in moving f ...more
Sep 18, 2013 Kathleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book isn't amazing, but it is enjoyable and well done. Fortysomething widow Becky Aikman gathered five other young (and apparently affluent) widowed women and started a little club for them. What comes out is a less annoying version of Eat, Pray, Love mixed with The Happiness Project. All the widows except one are clearly "spiritual but not religious." It was pleasurable to see them become closer friends, despite their (relatively shallow) differences. It's very much a story of the power of ...more
May 29, 2013 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Six widowed women take a year-long journey in self-discovery as they deal with the loss of their beloved husbands and former lives. The back-story of each women is woven into the year-long journey. We learn about loss and common themes of struggle during their emotional journey. These women quickly find common ground in their situations and build very strong bonds with each other that give them a footing to enable them to heal, laugh and love again.
Mar 30, 2013 Cheryl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book about loss and the beauty and power of women's friendships. Although I liked the book, it made me think about the prospect of how I might handle becoming a widow someday. The probability is likely since women generally outlive men and this was a real downer for me. I just don't want to think about it. I have a wonderful husband of almost 40 years and I don't know what I would do without him.
Jan 21, 2013 Cassandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At first I didn't realize this book was a memoir, but once I did, it tripled the significance. I think it's an excellent book for anyone that's ever lost anyone. It drives the point home that, yes, it is ok to laugh and live again. Although I'm not a widow, it was definitely something I could have benefited from when I lost my grandfather. Even if you haven't lost someone, it's just a very moving story that deserves to be heard.
Jun 17, 2013 Aimee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
I wasn't expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did. I figured that this was just another entry into the new lighthearted women-focused memoir genre, with the twist that the author and other main characters were widows. It turned out to be well-written and contained pieces reminiscent of travelogue and research into mourning. Overall an entertaining read that cast some light onto the grieving process.
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Author of Saturday Night Widows: The Adventures of Six Friends Remaking Their Lives. Becky is a graduate of the School of Journalism at Columbia University. She was a writer and editor for Business Week and a reporter for Newsday.
More about Becky Aikman...

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“...I often wondered about the definition of home. Is it the place where you live, or is it the place where the people you love reside?...” 5 likes
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