Jennifer Sciolino-Moore's Reviews > The Widow's War

The Widow's War by Sally Cabot Gunning
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's review
Apr 23, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: i-am-woman
Read from March 25 to 26, 2012

I groaned at the beginning of this. Another historical fiction novel singing the praises of women's lib and shamelessly playing on the reader's indignation at the state of women's rights during this period. Gunning got me though, for while she started out in that maudlin vein, the book very quickly took a turn and became better than I anticipated. Yes, the main character is living during a period where ladies are little more than chattel, a burden to be borne and a necessary means to the end of repopulating the earth. Yes, the male characters in her life are overbearing and the other female characters not in the least bit helpful. Yes, the reader is maddened at the lack of solidarity among those female characters and the oafish bullying of the makes. Much of this novel was expected, yet Gunning somehow found a way to make it new instead of a cheap retelling of that little oppressed girl with moxie who stubbornly refuses to be beholden to a patriarchal society. She created characters of depth that acted in believable ways. In the end, I found this to be pleasantly diverting and much better than others of its genre.

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Reading Progress

03/25/2012 page 183

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