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Gabriela and The Widow

4.60  ·  Rating details ·  25 ratings  ·  16 reviews
A story of chaos, revenge, death, sex and love. The Widow, 92 years old, lives in a house filled with photos, coins, and jewels. She hires Gabriela, a 19-year-old Mixteca from Mexico to help capture her fading memories. Gabriela seeks revenge for the destruction of her village. The Widow craves balance for the betrayals in her life. In the end, the Widow gives Gabriela the ...more
Paperback, 286 pages
Published January 15th 2013 by Coffeetown Press (first published January 8th 2013)
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Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Author: Jack Remick
Gabriella and the Widow:

Take a stack of papers or note cards and throw them up it the air and let them fall to the ground. As they gently fall to the surface of the ground, each card or paper a different color and filled in with various colored pens the stories held within the small folds of each paper or line of each card relates a portion of someone’s life that they will never forget. Creating order out of chaos. Creating the events of your life by recording them on slips
Arleen Williams
Feb 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Not long ago I heard a story on NPR about the effects of e-readers on the world of reading. People are reading more, particularly young people. The commentator suggested the increase could be due to anonymity: when you're on an electronic device, people might not know you're reading. Could be the kid on the bus next to you isn't just listening to rap or playing a game. He might be reading Great Expectations without fear of being labeled a nerd - or whatever it is kids call each other these days. ...more
Jul 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Survival and revenge
You are plunged into this story with the image of Gabriela walking with her mother away from their Mexican village, where they are the only two survivors of a massacre. Gabriela has been brutally raped and is haunted by terrible dreams of her ordeal. There are violent scenes in this book and I was particularly affected by the constant imagery of repulsive jungle toads, which represent all that is inhuman and bestial. “…she caught sight of jungle toads staring at her. They wer
Dennis Must
Apr 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those rare novels that causes one to "see" in a new way. The reader can't help but perceive his or her life in the luminous daily encounters between Gabriela and The Widow. An exquisite and brilliant work. ...more
Eleanor Sapia
Nov 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Gabriela and the Widow, masterfully written by award-winning author Jack Remick, is an exquisite read. Remick is a master storyteller, an intuitive man, and a writer of the highest caliber. With Gabriela and The Widow, my first introduction to the author, the author has gained a new fan.

From the day I ordered, Gabriela and the Widow, I was curious as to how the characters of Gabriela and La Viuda, the widow, would come across from a man's perspective. I wondered how the author would write about
Danika Dinsmore
Jan 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary-fiction
The ONLY reason this review is not a five star review is due to the ending, which for this story weighed heavily for me. See farther down in the text for more explanation on this.

I have been wanting to write this review for a while, because I adore Jack's energy and his wisdom and his work. He is a writer's writer and his skill with language and rhythm are apparent in this work. It's my favourite work of his I've ever read. Heart-wrenching and beautiful, it is so intimate I almost felt like a v
Rebecca Graf
Feb 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
A book that is deep and more than just a story is a book that will stay in head for many years. I think I found such a book in Gabriela and the Widow.

Gabriela finds herself struggling to survive in her native land as war ends just as bloody as it started. She runs from one evil to find herself in the hands of another. Eventually, she makes her way to the states where she becomes the nurse/assistant of a dying widow whose life is many stories that would take years to tell.

It is through the widow'
Sarah Brillinger
Sep 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
What a life Gabriela has come from when she arrives at the home of The Widow (La Viuda) and what a life that La Viuda has had in turn.

The story begins primarily on the horrors that Gabriela experiences - watching her parents being killed, her village destroyed and the various turns and chances that lead her to be working for La Viuda.

La Viuda has been searching for the perfect girl, the one she can pass her story on to and who will keep it alive. She finds this in Gabriela. As they begin to bon
Marie Cash
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing

Once I started reading this book, it was hard to put down. Jack Remick is a hard nut to crack. At one end of the spectrum he writes about life during Kerouac times (the Beat Generation), and on the other end he writes about women – strong women, ravaged women, widows.

From the beginning pages of Gabriela and the Widow, the reader is transported through more than seven decades of the life of an eccentric dowager, witnessed through the eyes of a young woman who becomes her caretaker. We watch fro
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The author introduction states that Jack Remick is a poet as well as a novelist and this is very evident in this story. The language is lyrical and expressive; for example, “she had felt like she was floating through the veil of the heavens with the stars as her only dress.” You are swept away with the story of Gabriela as she develops into a woman whilst working for the mysterious widow of the title. As la Viuda approaches the end of her life, dwindling both physically and mentally, she mentors ...more
Jul 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is the tale of a very young woman who has just lost her mother and doesn’t know what to do next or where to go. The book starts out frightening, and pretty much doesn’t stop being unsettling at all until the very end. However, there are also moments when you think everything in Gaby’s life will be okay, so you can relax a little bit. When she meets a widow, the story starts to take a different turn, and it feels a little more supernatural. I didn’t care for some of the things that happened ...more
Victoria Brinius
Jan 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book made me feel a lot of different emotions. At first I was mad at what Gabriela had to witness. Then I felt bad for her when she had no family left. Then I worried that Gabriela was with a lady that had dementia and I had no idea what the old lady would do next. I was also drawn to the old lady and had to read the rest of her story, or at least what she wanted Gabriela to know. This book had a little bit for every one. There was drama, myths, mystical creatures, and loss. If someone told ...more
Jul 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Right from the beginning Gabriela and the Widow is compelling, especially as the story starts suddenly with young Gabriela quickly becoming alone in the world, with nothing left to turn to or rely on. For me, there was something about the overall story and its tone that fascinated me, more than most other books that I have read. Part of this may be that the author does an amazing job at showing, not telling. Because of this, the reader learns so much as the story progresses, particularly as the ...more
Isla McKetta
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This story of becoming taught me things about being a woman and about how to write better. I deeply enjoyed the touching story of an older woman transferring her life force to a younger one.

There are hundreds of things I could say about the reasons I loved this book—seamless slips from English to Spanish and back, magical realism (especially in relation to mirrors), or how in answer to La Viuda’s aging forgetfulness, Remick creates a shifting repetition that grounds the reader and also builds th
Jack Remick
Oct 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Gabriela and The Widow--Montaigne Medal Finalist,
Eric Hoffer Awards

*Gabriela and the Widow, Jack Remick, Coffeetown Press
* Gandy Dancing, Jean Sands, Antrim House

Gabriela and The Widow--Winner "Best Women's Fiction" in the Orangeberry Hall of Fame Virtual Book Expo, 2013.

Dorothy Rice, a novelist living in Sacramento, CA has written a sweet review of Gabriela and The Widow:

Thanks, Dorothy.
Darlene Jones
Jul 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
Intrigued by the title and captivated by the sample, I bought the book. Unfortunately, for this reader, it didn't live up to expectations. I think the main reason is that I felt the author was hammering his mysticism, metaphors and symbolism at me, saying the same things over and over again. Not being a fan of that type of story, this did not work for me. It may however, be a great read for others. ...more
Jane Turner
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Mar 16, 2014
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Apr 04, 2014
Sherry Decker
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May 13, 2013
Dorothy Rice
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Oct 14, 2015
World of Ink Network
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Mar 10, 2013
Isaac Timm
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Oct 08, 2016
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Mar 21, 2013
Anna Sager
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Jul 04, 2014
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Jan 10, 2014
marked it as to-read
Feb 08, 2013
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Jul 07, 2015
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Reviews of this novel 2 5 Mar 16, 2014 08:02PM  
Novelist, poet.
Author of--
Citadel, the novel
The California Quartet:
The Deification--Book One
Valley Boy--Book Two
The Book of Changes--Book Three
Trio of Lost Souls--Book Four
Gabriela and The Widow (Winner "Best Women's Fiction" Orangeberry Virtual Book Expo; Montaigne Medal Finalist; Book of the Year Award Finalist)
co-author of The Weekend Novelist Writes a Mystery (with Robert J. Ray

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