Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Epilogue” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating


3.41 of 5 stars 3.41  ·  rating details  ·  311 ratings  ·  84 reviews
This poignant memoir of new widowhood is an elegant pastiche, not of grief but of renewal. Roiphe writes her way into the unknown world of life after love, capturing the infinite number of firsts that lie ahead.
Audio CD
Published September 1st 2008 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published August 26th 2008)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Epilogue, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Epilogue

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 812)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
A wonderful book about a difficult subject! How do you feel when your husband dies after a long happy marriage? The author is almost 70 and she had been married for almost 40 years. The book isn't about the death itself, but afterwards - how you cope with living without the other oerson. This deals with a subject that usually never appeals to me. I do not like books that deal out pat answers on how to solve problems. They couldn't possibly succeed - everyone is different. So I rarely want any ad ...more
This book really surprised me. I liked it. Couldn't put it down; and I'm still not quite sure why. Perhaps it's because I'm getting old that the long internal dialogue from a woman nearly my age, grieving over the death of her husband of forty years, contemplating loneliness and how she will spend the rest of her life, struck a chord. Or, perhaps I was fascinated with her unsuccessful search for a new partner via personal ads and whereby she has a series of email relationships and bad ...more
In the first year of her life after the death of her spouse—of almost forty years—author Anne Roiphe must face all the usual phases of loss and grieving.

As she weaves together the tale of her journey, she moves back and forth, between memory—of her husband, of their life together—and new experiences of life alone.

Old friends seem unfamiliar, in their continued state of coupledom, and new friends—men she meets online at—seem alternately odd and/or discordant in that their stories do not
Jul 31, 2008 Danna rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Older readers (30+) Who Have Lost A Loved One, Grievers, Mourners, Journal Keepers
Recommended to Danna by: Harper MySpace Readers Program -
If you've passed Anne Roiphe's books on shelves at BookPeople and Borders like me (see Up the Sandbox! through Water from the Well...), you may already be familiar with descriptions of her feminist writings, which combine realism and romance. Roiphe is also a well-established memoir writer (1185 Park Avenue and Fruitful: A Real Mother) connecting with women readers for four decades. Her latest memoir, Epilogue , is true to her trademark duality, without detached factual research and fiction's a ...more
memoir of bereavement after her husband died. To the extent there is humor, it comes in her recounting of online dating as a 70-year old and some of the unusual men her search reels in. Does a nice job of describing her late husband, a psychoanalyst who worked with little kids and liked to watch NY Giants football on TV.

To some extent the book is repetitive -- it's more a meditation than a factual or chronological description of the year. She certainly says she feels lonely or doesn't want to be
Roiphe is a poetic, gifted writer. The way she describes certain situations in her life or her feelings of grief after the death of her husband are masterful. I meant to give some example quotes from the book I liked, but I forgot and put it in the "to be returned to the library" pile.

Wikipedia describes Anne Roiphe as a feminist writer. I've never read any of her books before--and in fact I think I might check out one of her novels out of curiosity. She is the mother of the very controversial K
The description from the inside flap of the book was a bit deceiving. It tells the reader that Roiphe loses her husband at the age of seventy and explores new love after loss. There is that element. I got the impression--mistakenly--that the book would be similar to A Round-Heeled Woman by Jane Juska, which discussed later in life dating with a lighter touch, but with some seriousness.

This book, for me, was really about the intense emotional deepening of life after the loss of a spouse. Roiphe l
Patricia L.
Old Men, if you have ever wondered about dating a widow here is the memoir for you. The author shares her intimate thinking so gonestly it made me blush.
"How much easier it would be if we were dogs and could smell the truth about each other and then go run in the park back and forth, jumping and tumbling in the dirt."
"A chicken can fall in love with a goat."
'Class is such a loaded word, a marxist word, a thing no decent American wants to talk about. But it is real, real like age, real like your
One writers passage through the grief of losing her husband of 40-odd years. After tough times of loneliness, odd internet dating and friends who dissolve away (all described in wonderful detail), she discovers that she will make it on her own. Sad but not always. Lonely but not unbearably. She recognizes that altho close companionship is often a key to happiness and comfort, being on her own is enough. We are all, after all, in this alone. You an almost feel her relief at settling in with a mea ...more
An eloquent writer. I read the whole book, but I was a little bit bored with it. I did kind of enjoy the journal-like nature of it while at the same time wishing there were chapters so that I could have a good place to stop and pick it up again later! I'm a little bit curious about her other books, as well as her "controversial daughter" after reading some of the reviews. It was interesting to see what others had to say. I agree about much of the comments, both positive and negative. One final n ...more
There are many older women writing about their widowhood these days. Writer and journalist Anne Roiphe joins them. She comes from a privileged New York City background (see her earlier memoir "1185 Park Avenue") and is mourning the loss of her psychoanalyst husband of nearly 40 years. She is trying to deal with her need for companionship and love and is actively seeking a new man in her life while still mourning her late husband.

Anne Roiphe is a woman with many advantages- she is stable financi
I enjoyed this book, which I just finished in about a day. It's episodic, so it's easy to read - many brief excerpts from Roiphe's life as a new widow. The book brought to mind The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. I've always enjoyed Roiphe's other books, on feminism, marriage and being a mother.

This book was very honest, and I liked that aspect, as if she was having a conversation with the reader. She did such a good job of describing her feelings of loneliness and isolation as widow t
This memoir is the story of Anne Roiphe, a novelist, who at 69 years of age, lost her husband of almost 40 years rather unexpectedly. She was unprepared for life on her own, and she found it difficult to piece together the basics for a new life, as her grief at times seemed unbearable.

Several months after her husband's death, her daughters placed a personal ad in the New York Review of Books. They described their mother as a writer, and an attractive woman who loved the ocean and books. What fol
Kathleen Hagen
Epilogue, by Anne Roiphe, narrated by Lorna Raver, produced by Blackstone Audio, downloaded from

Anne Roiphe, a journalist, uses journaling, and ultimately this book, to deal with the aftermath of her husband’s sudden death and the starting of a new life. She writes this story in vignettes. We see her balancing a checkbook for the first time, hailing a taxi, lockingher own door, going out with a man from a personal ad her daughter puts in the paper, to joining on line and g
As she take you through day-to-day living working on the second part of grief with remaking of your life she concludes that she does not have a soul mate and most likely never will but she will be fine. Her daughters had placed a personal ad in a literary journal that Anne began to consider the previously unimagined possibility of a new man. It said that she was a writer. It said that she was attractive. She loved the ocean and books. She did pursue relationships with men but it just didn't work ...more
I was disappointed - a 70-something widow writes about dealing with her husbands death and attempting to date again. The review made it sound as if most of the book would be centered around her dating life post husband's death. She made short references to the men she went out with - dull descriptions surrounding anything to do with the dates - the place, the man, her emotions.

Instead, the book centered around her pain after her husbands death. I can read about other's pain in life, but found h
Not as good as Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking. A memoir about Roiphe's life after the sudden death of her husband from a massive heart attack. Some of the information that was presented bothered me, particularly the intimacy so soon after the death of her husband- even though intellectually she knew that the "relationship" was non- existent. It seemed as if Roiphe had to realize by experiencing some inadequate men that life can be lived alone after the death of a partner.
Dec 08, 2012 Tima marked it as started-but-abandoned  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: from-library
I abandoned this one without really reading it. It might be the greatest memoir ever written in the history of the world but I'll never know.

It is a massive personal pet peeve of mine when authors remove names from their memoirs. Change them? By all means, go ahead! But when the book is nothing but a series of:

K said this to H and H said "aww hell no bee-otch" and L and B got into a fight over who could eat the most amount of raw bacon in under 30 seconds.

It drives me insane - just give them a
In view of my life , losing the love of my life, I could have written this book. It is so me and so true of the things you go through when you lose your husband, your sole mate. I laughed and cried and identified with so many of her descriptions of widowhood. I am not looking for a mate, I am just trying to be. Thank you Anne for your outlook on life!
Louise Silk
It starts strong but quickly turns to repetitive complaining. I'm deeply underwhelmed to have this author as my model of widowhood. Come on Anne, I know you can do better- not in the writing- but in life.
She's a genuinely good writer; I can tell. I may try another one of her books. However, on this topic, I lost interest in the book in the middle. As a widow, she talks about the loss of her husband. She elaborates on how to live without him. In this she speaks about building relationships with other men. She basically feels alone and does not want to burden her children with her lonliness. I understand her feelings and the premise of the book. But... alas, I am missing the schematic background t ...more
A really lovely exploration of life after loss, including how much happiness and companionship we have the right to expect across the course of our lives. Although much of the book is heartbreaking in its honesty, I did giggle a little when Roiphe discusses the online dating scene for the after-fifty set. My favorite paragraph: "If the owl and the pussycat went to sea in a pea-green boat and the owl flew off, the pussycat better pick up the oars and row toward shore--she has, after all, neither ...more
Katharine Holden
I found it a bit hard to believe that the author doesn't know how to turn the doorkey in the lock of the front door of the apartment she has owned for years. I understand that her husband did many things for her, but she never unlocked the door? There were many such moments of disbelief for me as I read this book. I wanted to like it, but felt that the author was making a concerted effort to make her readers feel sorry for her. But I didn't. The whole "I had to advertise on and all I g ...more
if you are a woman you will think of yourself and your mother and you will be sad but not scared
Jan 22, 2010 Steve rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: urban grievers
I only have one thing in common w/ the NYC, Jewish feminist, but I identified w/ her strongly. This was also the only book I really have read regarding the grief from the lose of your spouse. I kind of zoned out on some of the introspection, but enjoyed when she talked about the day to day living. And I love her honesty about what she hopes she can bring herself to do when it all gets to be too much. The first dating experience w/ the pawing 70 yr old was hilarious, but after awhile she spends t ...more
Esoteric overthinking.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I think memoirs aren't really my thing. Or maybe it's just this one.

Maybe I like sentiment so much that Roiphe's un-sentimental frankness put me off. I don't know.

Interesting, yes. Well written, yes, though not my preferred style. Moving, yes, in a way.

It's one woman's story, and she puts it out there as much for herself, maybe more for herself, I think, than others. If it's not to my literary taste, so be it. It's a look into another person's life and mind and world.
Very interesting book. Like Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, this is a book about adjusting to widowhood after years and years of a good marriage. This is not as good as Didion's book, which was superb, but good nevertheless. Roiphe seems to rush the "getting over grief" process. But we are talking about different relationships; different cultural attachments and just a generally different way of thinking. Quite interesting in its own right.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Roiphe’s husband dies unexpectedly and she is terribly lonely. Her daughters try to help her by taking out a personal ad for her. She tries to help herself by going online and using a service. She gets calls and she goes on dates. It is all a tremendous disappointment.

Time passes and Roiphe gives up on the outside dating help. She gradually comes to find a peace in her solitariness. She decides to wait and see if love comes to her.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 27 28 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Best Day the Worst Day: Life with Jane Kenyon
  • Losing Mum and Pup
  • A Widow's Story
  • Death in Slow Motion: A Memoir of a Daughter, Her Mother, and the Beast Called Alzheimer's
  • Accidentally on Purpose: A One-Night Stand, My Unplanned Parenthood, and Loving the Best Mistake I Ever Made
  • Wondrous Strange: The Life and Art of Glenn Gould
  • The House on Beartown Road: A Memoir of Learning and Forgetting
  • Making Time: Lillian Moller Gilbreth, a Life Beyond "Cheaper by the Dozen"
  • Blue Genes: A Memoir of Loss and Survival
  • Sons of Providence: The Brown Brothers, the Slave Trade, and the American Revolution
  • My Teenage Werewolf: A Mother, a Daughter, a Journey Through the Thicket of Adolescence
  • Home Girl: Building a Dream House on a Lawless Block
  • Civil War Wives: The Lives and Times of Angelina Grimke Weld, Varina Howell Davis, and Julia Dent Grant
  • Split: A Memoir of Divorce
  • The Mercy Papers
  • Quiet Strength: The Faith, the Hope, and the Heart of a Woman Who Changed a Nation
  • The Alchemy of Loss: A Young Widow's Transformation
  • The Novel: An Alternative History: Beginnings to 1600
Over a four-decade career, Roiphe has proven so prolific that the critic Sally Eckhoff observed, "tracing Anne Roiphe's career often feels like following somebody through a revolving door: the requirements of keeping the pace can be trying." (Eckhoff described the writer as "a free-thinking welter of contradictions, a never-say-die feminist who's absolutely nuts about children"). Roiphe published ...more
More about Anne Roiphe...
Art and Madness: A Memoir of Lust Without Reason 1185 Park Avenue: A Memoir Lovingkindness An Imperfect Lens: A Novel Fruitful: A Real Mother

Share This Book