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Unremarried Widow

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  956 Ratings  ·  241 Reviews
In the tradition of The Year of Magical Thinking and What Remains, this breathtaking memoir by a young Army widow shares her heartbreaking, candid story about recovering from her husband's death.A world traveler, Artis Henderson dreamed of living abroad after college and one day becoming a writer. Marrying a conservative Texan soldier and being an Army wife was never in he ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published January 7th 2014 by Simon & Schuster
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Chris Briggs One of the most beautiful memoirs I've ever read. It reads like fiction, but the author's honest runs like a river current throughout.
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Jul 30, 2015 Kelli rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015-not-fiction
After a spate of unfulfilling thrillers, I went looking for this memoir that has been on my to-be-read list for quite a while. I read this in a day and I have not stopped thinking about it since. This story, compelling, evocative and deeply moving, is one I will not soon forget. I can't articulate the depths of my empathy for the author or the connectedness I felt to her plight solely because of her beautiful, honest rendering of her own personal hell. I should say right now that I don't believe ...more
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Apr 22, 2014 Jeanette "Astute Crabbist" rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Jeanette by: Carol
It took me a few days to get into this, but then I read from page 55 to the end all in one sitting. When I finally looked up, I was surprised to see it was after midnight. This story was interesting not only as a memoir of grief, but also as a way to gain some understanding of what it's like to be a military wife. At first Artis was somewhat scornful of the other wives and the way they had such insular lives and friendships. Through her own loss, she came to understand how military wives need th ...more
Michelle Schingler
Dec 04, 2013 Michelle Schingler rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
*Goodreads Giveaway Winner*

I didn't intend to read Artis Henderson's memoir in one sitting, but it commands that much attention.

An unflinching account of married life in the armed forces, Henderson's book shows what it's like to love, and lose, someone whose life is not entirely their own.

Artis was hyper-educated and slightly cynical about love when she met Miles at a joint called the Library, but found herself quickly enamored. She was a feminist with big dreams; he was a Republican and a pilo
Mar 08, 2014 Carol rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir-biography
It is sad that Artis Henderson's first book is her memoir, Un-Remarried Widow as it is so good I wished she had a happier story to tell. There are many stories about widow's of war, women who lose their husbands, so what makes this one special? Maybe nothing more than the sheer familiarity of loss.

Artis Henderson's husband, Miles, a soldier on deployment in Iraq, loses his life in 2006 when his Apache helicopter crashes. What grabbed me was the title and it's image, seeing Artis not as a young
Rebecca Foster
“Unremarried Widow” was the official status on Artis Henderson’s military ID after her husband of four months, Miles, went down in an Apache helicopter in Iraq in November 2006. In this beautiful, understated memoir, she chronicles her relationship with Miles and her entry into a peculiar tribe she never would have chosen to join – that of widows, and military widows more specifically.

What is perhaps most remarkable about Henderson’s memoir is that she keeps you reading with bated breath even th
Carol  MacInnis
Sep 11, 2013 Carol MacInnis rated it really liked it
At age 5, Artis went up for a quick plane ride on her step-father's small plane when, what was to be a pleasant day, turned into a disaster. The plane went down and her step-father was killed and Artis was in critical condition. Although Artis' mother adored her second husband, after the accident, she never spoke of him again. Almost 20 years later, Artis fell in love with Miles Henderson who was a helicopter pilot for the U.S. Army. Although Artis found army life difficult, when Miles proposed ...more
Feb 06, 2014 Susan rated it it was ok

I can't quite put my finger on why I'm disappointed with this book. From the description, you expect it will be sad: A newlywed Army wife loses her husband in the war. The death of the pilot soldier recalls the death of her pilot father when she was 5. Her widowhood recalls that of her mother. I was hesitant to read this book, because I thought it would make me weep. But I felt no urge to cry. I spent more time trying to figure out why the couple got together in the first place, and why/how they

Paul Pessolano
Nov 27, 2013 Paul Pessolano rated it really liked it
“Un-remarried Widow” by Artis Henderson, published by Simon & Schuster.

Category – Memoir Publication Date – January 07, 2014

This is a book that should be given out by our military to all women who have lost their husbands, sons, and boyfriends in the service of their country.

Artis Henderson met her husband, Miles, when she needed to add meaning and purpose to her life. Miles was in flight school for the Apache helicopter and would be deployed to Iraq at the completion of his schooling. Artis
Sep 08, 2014 Lynn rated it it was amazing
Oh, my! I don't really have the words to convey how much this story grabbed my heart.

"Unremarried Widow" is an unrelenting love story. The courtship and marriage of Artis and Miles Henderson is the stuff of which dreams are made. Poignant, vivid, engaging. "Miles, a man of gentleness and courage, whose goodness emanated from him like heat." A compelling look at military life -- the moves, the friends, the time-fillers, the homesickness, the loneliness.

And then grief. "Good grief"? There is no
nomadreader (Carrie D-L)
Jan 09, 2014 nomadreader (Carrie D-L) rated it it was amazing
(originally published at

The basics: After surviving the plane crash that killed her father when she was 5, Artis Henderson recounts losing her husband during a helicopter crash in the Iraq War.

My thoughts: I'm a huge fan of The New York TimesModern Love column. When I heard Artis Henderson, whose Modern Love column I cried throughout, published a memoir expanding on the topic of losing her husband, I knew I wanted to read it, even if war widow memoirs aren't ty
Wendi Morris
Nov 10, 2013 Wendi Morris rated it it was amazing
Artis Henderson is a new author. I say she will be on the bestseller list soon. I thoroughly enjoyed her style of writing.
Artis and Miles meet in a very conventional way,at a club. At first sight the attraction between them was evident. They do the usual dancing,flirting,and the first awkward kiss. It was no looking back after that.
Army life proved to be stressful in their lives, moving from here to there. But their biggest challenge came when Miles was deployed to Iraq. Despite his excellent t
I have to admit that this book was rather difficult for me to read. As a Navy wife whose husband serves mainly on ships, I was relieved of most of the worry that our Army and Marine Corps spouses endure each and every time their loved ones deploy. Even considering the devastation of the attack on the USS Cole, I knew that my husband was mostly safe when he was gone from me for months at a time. Artis Henderson wasn't as lucky. Just four months after her marriage, her husband Miles is killed in a ...more
Feb 04, 2015 Liz rated it it was amazing
Ah. My heart is broken open, in a way it hasn't since we left a line unit.

This non-fiction story of love and loss is written by a woman who the Army didn't come naturally to, a woman who loved a man. Despite his job. (In fact, she REPEATEDLY referred to the army posts as "bases." C'mon! Get it right! My army wife brain screamed at her each time. Whatever).

I'm somewhere between crazy Angela Ricketts from "No Man's War" and this memoir.

I love my husband of 12 years more than the army. And I can
Jan 09, 2014 Kathy rated it it was amazing
I received a free Advanced Reader Copy of this book from the publisher. The review was optional. I sat down to read a few chapters but couldn't put this memorable book down. The writing gives voice to the heartbreaking reality of the vulnerability of love while celebrating the resilience of the human spirit to mend and heal. Artis opens herself to loving completely. In doing so she opens herself to unfathomable grief and pain as well. The book sheds light on the military/government process as sh ...more
Gin Tadvick
Feb 04, 2016 Gin Tadvick rated it it was amazing
I started this book at lunch. Just finished it! (Second "sad" book in as many days). What an extraordinary book. My heart breaks for her and for all military spouses who know that they are sending their loved ones in harms way. My father was Military also and until he "really" retired ( with some branches of the military, there is retirement and then there is retirement), we also worried about him being called up and then all that can follow from that.
Thank you, Artis, for sharing your memories
Darren Ashley
Oct 22, 2014 Darren Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
UNREMARRIED WIDOW Active in the Army's Flight School, Miles Henderson meets AJ and they move in together after getting married in court. Miles soon gets deployed for 3 weeks and upon returning to his wife, the Army moves them to another base. Soon after Miles and AJ have an official wedding, he gets deployed to Iraq. While overseas, Miles and AJ stay in touch by phone and she sends him gift baskets until a chaplain informs her that Miles got killed in a helicopter crash. AJ reads a letter writte ...more
Sep 21, 2015 Jordan rated it really liked it
I was very nervous to read this book. My husband was in the military when I married him, and I was worried that this book would bring up too many emotions about that time period even though it's been nearly ten years. Well, it did pull at every emotion I have. I was a wreck reading this, but this was still a great book to read.

The beginning of this memoir told of Artis and Miles' love story. It could have easily been about any other military couple. This brought up so many memories for me. The m
Nancy Kennedy
Oct 07, 2014 Nancy Kennedy rated it really liked it
Artis Henderson writes an intimate and painful portrait of her grief after her husband is killed while deployed to Iraq.

Artis and Miles Henderson, an Army pilot, were just beginning their lives together when tragedy struck. All was not idyllic -- Artis was having trouble adjusting to Army life and beginning to wonder whether she'd made a mistake. But in her grief, Artis feels again, this time painfully, the love she always had for her husband and the promise of their life together, now forever g
Sep 08, 2013 Darrie-Ann rated it really liked it
I started and finished this book in one sitting.
I received Un-remarried Widow as a ARC from Goodreads.
I was so excited when it arrived in the mail.

As the sister of two soldiers,and the close life long friend of another I knew that the story would not only appeal to me, but that I would immediately care for the real "characters".

I always enjoy reading someones memoir. I like to step inside of their life and to learn how they made their way through their grief, triumphs, problems and journeys. Th
Dec 11, 2013 Patricia rated it really liked it
I receieved an Advance Readers Edition of Unremarried Widow.
For 5 minutes and $5, a psychic forecast that Artis should "pack her cowboy boots because her life and love would be out West."
Aris was a free spirited, wanna be writer, who wanted to travel the world She met Miles Henderson at a club in Tallahassee, Florida. He was an Army pilot learning how to fly helicopters and to protect his country. They traveled together from Army camp to Army camp and got married three years later. Deployed to I
Sep 17, 2013 Wendy rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Wendy by: Good reads Giveaways
Shelves: memoir
"Un-Remarried Widow" by Artis Henderson which I won from Goodreads Giveaways is one of the most heart- rending and poignant memoirs that I've had the privilege of reading in a long time. I cried through this story which deals with the pain of tragic loss, but one which also brings healing and hope.

In 1985 Atis was severely hurt in an airplane accident that claimed the life of her father. What she couldn't understand as a child was why her mother seemed to make her father disappear, giving away a
Angela Risner
Nov 27, 2013 Angela Risner rated it it was ok
Artis Henderson writes about navigating life after he husband is killed in a helicopter crash while serving in Iraq.

As Henderson states in the beginning of her book, the story is told through her own eyes, to the best of her ability. Of course, all of us tell our stories that way - we see the world as we are, not as it is, so the famous quote goes. I do believe that she absolutely adored her husband and was completely in love with him. Though they seemed to have little in common, they clicked a
Oct 03, 2013 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, first-reads
Artis Henderson was almost exactly my age when she suffered the devastating loss of her husband Miles in Iraq in 2006 in a helicopter crash - an all too tragic similar scenario to the loss of her father as a child. With that in mind, my expectations going into this memoir were that it was going to be tragic - and it is, but Artis Henderson writes so beautifully and I felt so connected with her story (despite having absolutely zero ties to the military) that it felt even more raw.

Artis Henderson
Bonnie Plante
Jan 18, 2014 Bonnie Plante rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing! After carrying it around with me for 2 months, I finally found time to read it today. I was hooked by the very first line. The book is a memoir of the author's life with her military husband, his sudden death and how she came to terms with it all. It is beautifully written. The story takes on a life of it's own and is so well written that the reader is not only transported to each scene, but totally immersed in it. It is sweet & sad, heartbreaking yet triumphant. It is ...more
Mar 09, 2014 Monica rated it it was ok
When I began reading this book I was excited to dive in and read her story. I felt so bad for her to deal with a loss of a father and husband both due to crashes.
However as time went on I sensed a lot of selfishness: wanting to move in separate locations only months into marriage, her regret of not getting a life she chose, and a complete shutdown with her friend Teresa sought help in discovering if their husbands death was wrongly classified.
I could've also done without the frequent generic a
Dec 14, 2013 Molly rated it really liked it
I truly adored reading this memoir with its raw, open quality and its vulnerability. Artis Henderson exposes the truth of a very painful part of her life while being both heart wrenching and inspiring. As a typical reader of fiction, I tend to stay away from anything biographical because I find I don't connect with the storyline; however, with Unremmaried Widow, I was easily drawn in and hooked by the events unfolding. I could see myself in Artis and I could indentify with some of her identity s ...more
Leigh  Kramer
Apr 21, 2014 Leigh Kramer rated it it was amazing
I expected to be moved by Henderson's memoir and I was. I did not, however, expect any part of her experience, so different from my own, would resonate. Sentence after sentence wrapped around my heart and I've tucked those words away for further reflection. Henderson is a stunning writer and she deftly handles grief, loss, and forgiveness. I'm grateful she's lifted the curtain behind the military wives and families and given us a glimpse at the hard road they travel.
Oct 30, 2014 Donna rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club-l-i-r, 2014
Unexpectedly, I really liked this book. It deals with a topic I would not ordinarily choose to read about. I thought the author captured the numb sense of unreality that surrounds the sudden death of someone young and healthy. The subject was very thought-provoking, and I look forward to discussing this in book club. So many interesting questions come to mind in light of the short relationship, the early rather spontaneous marriage, differences in attitudes about war between the spouses. Had Mil ...more
Barbara Klipper
Sep 23, 2013 Barbara Klipper rated it it was amazing
I rarely give a book five stars, but in my mind this beautifully written and heart-wrenching memoir deserves every one of them. There are paragraphs and phrases that are so eloquent, I felt moved to read them aloud to my husband or re-read them to myself.
I get many ARCs at conferences and most I read and pass along, but this one I plan to keep and read again.
In the book, Artis refers repeatedly to her dream of becoming a writer. Well, this memoir certainly proves that she is one and that she h
Christine Zibas
Feb 06, 2016 Christine Zibas rated it really liked it
This is a brave book, a sad one. It's the kind of story that so many wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, sons, uncles, fathers, cousins, and others have experienced, being married to or related to those who have sacrificed their lives fighting for the United States over the past decade. This is the sort of book that makes you realize how many other, untold lives filled with grief are out there, waiting to be shared.

Each love story is unique, as is each tale of grief. In this case, an independent
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“If I loved him enough, I reasoned, he would come home.” 0 likes
“Before he turned to leave he placed a kiss at the corner of my mouth, that small stretch of skin that is for neither friendship nor love but some nameless place in between.” 0 likes
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