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The Widow's Watcher

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  7,151 ratings  ·  601 reviews
From Eliza Maxwell, the bestselling author of The Unremembered Girl, comes a gripping novel about the mysteries that haunt us and the twists of fate that can unravel them…

Living in the shadow of a decades-old crime that stole his children from him, reclusive Lars Jorgensen is an unlikely savior. But when a stranger walks onto the ice of a frozen Minnesota lake, her intenti
Kindle Edition, 283 pages
Published May 29th 2018 by Lake Union Publishing
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Average rating 4.39  · 
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 ·  7,151 ratings  ·  601 reviews

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Jan 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Stars

My first novel by Eliza Maxwell and what a surprisingly good read this was. I plucked this one out of the blue on Audible when looking for something to hold my interest on a recent trip and the story kept me interested and entertained for the journey.

". Living in shadow of a decades old crime that stole his children from him, reclusive Lars Jorgensen is an unlikely saviour. But when a stagger walks onto the ice of a frozen Minnesota lake, her intentions are brutally clear and the old
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
From the moment I opened my eyes this morning, I was lost in Minnesota as a woman stepped onto the ice to rid herself of the ghosts that followed her and an older man with ghosts of his own rescued her.

The Widow's Watcher is a beautifully written contemporary family drama with a hint of mystery and a cast of loveable characters. Jenna and Lars seemed like a mismatched pair, but I loved how they interacted with one another and helped each other with the grief that held both of them captive. I bec
Donna Backshall
I kept waiting for a mystery or something (anything) to emerge to make me care about what was going on in this novel. Finally, at Chapter 20, this book turned into something mildly interesting. But until then it's just us (the readers), following around a suicidal and barely communicative Jenna, as she grieves for her recently deceased husband and children.

And oh, what fun! Jenna also has a once-precocious-now-sarcastic teenage daughter scolding her in her head. Add to that the utter joy of Jen
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
You can find my reviews at: https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres...

For Jenna Shaw, life has become unbearable. She has lost everything, a husband who adored her and her three children in a terrible plane crash. As Jenna walks out onto the ice of a river, knowing that she will end it all, on old man, Lars Jorgensen sees her from his cabin. He knows what she intends to do, he has seen and experienced tragedy, he knows the face of it. Lars pulls her from the edge of her decision and an unlikely f
Sherri Thacker
This book did not grab me from the very beginning but once I got going, it was hard to put it down. In fact, I had to start it over twice because I let a few days go by and as I read on, I wasn’t connecting at all. I looked at the reviews and EVERY SINGLE REVIEW was 4-5 stars, nothing less than that. So I decided to start over from the beginning and I’m so glad I did! The 2nd time “ I got it” ! Lars and Jenna are an unlikely pair and how they met makes you want to read more. This is heartwarming ...more
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 / 5

When I first started The Widow's Watcher by Eliza Maxwell I was a little apprehensive because I was really in the mood for a good thriller/mystery, and I wasn't getting a mystery vibe from the beginning of the book. However, as the book went on I got more of the mystery that I had been hoping for and really ended up loving it!

The Widow's Watcher is about a woman named Jenna who has suffered an unbelievable tragedy, and an older man by the name of Lars who hasn't had the best go of t
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
**ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review**


4.5 stars

"She had no one at all. There was only him. An old man with a broken heart."

When Jenna loses everything, there is nothing to live for. So she makes up her mind and walks onto the ice of a frozen Minnesota lake. As you've read in the synopsis she is saved by Lars, who has his own demons he is struggling with. An unusual friendship develops between these two broken characters. I loved seeing this grow further into the story, an
DJ Sakata
Favorite Quotes:

“They spend their whole lives walking away from you,” the kindergarten teacher had said on her little girl’s first day. “Your job now is to be there when they look back.”

“When the judge said, ‘For better or worse,’ I agreed quick enough.” Lars pinned her with his piercing gaze. “Nobody tells you how bad the worse can get.”

She marveled at his matter-of-factness. Was it an innate part of him, or was this what years and the grinding sands of loss did to a person? Shaped them into so
Jun 16, 2018 rated it liked it
I received this from in exchange for a review.

Reclusive Lars Jorgensen is an unlikely savior. But when Jenna Shaw walks onto the ice of a frozen Minnesota lake, her intentions are brutally clear, and the old man isn’t about to let her follow through.

I really liked the pacing of the story. Loss, redemption, forgiveness, love and being able to live on and move through life's terrible tragedies.

3.5 stars
Jun 25, 2018 rated it liked it
3 Stars

I'm not even sure how to categorize this book. Part family drama, small part mystery/thriller and a lot sad. I'm also having a hard time rating it because there were parts I really liked but a few key factors that seemed pretty improbable to me. I am pretty sure 3 Stars is the right choice for me.

The story opens with broken hearted Jenna walking out onto a mostly frozen Minnesota lake in an attempt to end her unbearably sad life. Grumpy, equally tragic Lars happens to see her thro
Kristine Hall
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the third book I’ve read by author Eliza Maxwell, and there is a reason I keep coming back. Yes, her book covers are gorgeous and enticing and make you want to crawl inside and find out the story behind the image. But those covers are only one appetizer before a multi-course meal. The cover of The Widow’s Watcher whets the appetite, and then Maxwell, like all good chefs, sets the stage by feeding the reader morsels of information that hint at the delicious feast to come. (Note to self: h ...more
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book about unimaginable loss, has an atmospheric setting in Minnesota about which I knew precious little other than a) where it is and b) what I gleaned from Fargo! This backdrop totally suits the storyline and adds an extra dimension. Jenna Shaw tragically lost her husband and three children in a plane crash and travels to Minnesota to scatter their ashes and then take her own life as she finds that she does not wish to go on without them. Lars Jorgensen prevents her from doing so. Lars al ...more
ann m porter
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Can’t even get through it

IDK what’s up with this book but good grief, it’s boring! I just want to fall asleep EVERY time I read it.
Can’t finish it, just about half through it and just HAVE to end it...
Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, fiction, netgalley
I really enjoyed this read. It was a very well-written and heartfelt story. I was easily absorbed into the story and enjoyed the characters. There were a few minor issues that kept me from giving the full five stars, but the book is definitely worth a read if you enjoy contemporary fiction.

This was my first book by Eliza Maxwell and I look forward to reading more of her work.

Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for providing me with a free electronic copy in exchange for an honest
Kim Carter
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I truly believe that narration makes or breaks a story for me, the narration was on point with The Widow's Watcher. I was sucked in from the get go....some mystery, characters enduring painful loss, new beginnings...just a great, great read. ...more
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely fell hard in love with this book. A true treasure of a read. You have to order a copy of The Widow's Watcher right away.

Jenna and Lars had me from the get go. They were quite the pair. What with their "insults" or really I should say Jenna's insults towards Lar's attitude. When Lar would crack a smile, I could not help but smile as well. They were both wounded souls who actually needed one another. Although, I liked Jenna's deceased daughter, Cassie's voice whispering in Jenna's ea
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ku, mystery, audiobooks
After The Grave Tender, this was my second book by Eliza Maxwell, and I've learnt that you need to be in a certain mood for these. Ms Maxwell definitely knows how to pull you into a tragic story, and she crafts it skillfully with beautiful writing but goodness these stories are sad and heartbreaking, and did i mention, sad....? In spite of all this gloom, I was glued to this and I absolutely adored the friendship between Lars, a cantankerous old man who lost a lot, and Jenna, who has lost everyt ...more
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Jenna stumbles upon Lars unintentionally but it seems like fate. Both have suffered unimaginable loss of family in very hard circumstances. Lars however lives in uncertainty whereas Jenna has given up all hope. Jenna is suicidal and just wants to end it all. Lars is living on borrowed time. His heart will give up any day soon.

How Lars rescues Jenna from a watery death and how Jenna repays the favor by digging into his past uncovering the sad story of his wife and two children and tries to look a
Mar 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
So ~ So ~ SO Good!!
Women's Fiction / Contemporary
Publication date : May 29, 2018

This is a story of loss and grief, mental illness, connections, acceptance. There was so much despair and feel of loss at times, that it was depressing to read on. Considering what Jenna had been through...not suprising that she felt no hope. That she didn't know how to go on without her family, and the only solution she saw was a suicide. She wasn't the only one who had been through very rough times.

Katy (Katyslibrary)
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thank you so much TLC Book Tours and Amazon Publishing for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, and for having me on this book tour!  I was pleasantly surprised by this book as I wasn't too sure what to expect, but I ended up emotionally attached by the end and hoping that we see these characters again soon.  I give this book four stars!

I think my favorite part about this story was seeing two troubled souls find each other and help each other.  We have all been there
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First I have to say thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishers for this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

This book starts out with much sadness and continues all the way. It’s a book so worth reading and shedding tears for. It had me from the start and I could not put it down. I read all day yesterday and today only stopping to cook and take a shower. Well sleep too but that is beside the point.

Two lost souls brought together due to so much loss and sadness. Two that would never hav
Shannon Hollinger
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I knew this one was a tear jerker before reading it, so I pulled on my big girl pants. The first few pages were a bit awkward feeling, but then I became ensnared in the author's web. And. It. Wouldn't. Let. Me. Go. So much for my plans today. Who needs clean laundry, anyways? Beautiful. Touching. Intriguing. Mysterious. I was so proud of myself for not crying, then the last few pages broke me. I'm a puddle on the floor. I'm broken. Happy sigh. ...more
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018

A beautifully penned story of love,deep loss and heartbreak sprinkled with some mystery and the unquenchable spark of hope.

Highly recommended.
Jennie Louwes
Dec 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Throughout the majority of this book I was leaning towards a 5 star rating; but, the ending left me feeling, "meh", and so I stopped at 4 stars instead.

If you've ever known deep loss and grief, whether through divorce or the sudden death of someone you love, this book will resonate with you. In most instances, it's not a book that will cause you to cry or relive your own personal nightmare; it's just that you'll relate. Within the relation comes a kinship to the characters and a deeper knowing
Cynthia (Bingeing On Books)
This was my first book by Eliza Maxwell, but it will definitely not be my last. I listened to the audio version of this book and the narration was fantastic! The plot ensured that I finished this audio book quicker than others I have read because I was desperate to know what was going to happen.

The book is set in Minnesota during the winter and the writer did an amazing job with the scenery and the location. Everything was just so vivid and detailed. I loved the story. Jenna is struggling after
May 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, for-review, kindle
I'm sure I have said it before, but I rarely cry when I read books. Once in a while a book comes along that hits me right in the heart. The Widow's Watcher is one of those books. Jenna Shaw has been dealt an incredibly crippling blow. With one phone call, her entire world has ended. But fate puts her in the path of the one person who may be able to help her find her way to the other side of grief.

This book was gut wrenching, sad and emotionally draining. I think I spent the first 40% of the boo
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to the author for providing me with a free copy of the book.

Wow! I was not expecting this book to be anywhere near as emotionally intense as it was! Obviously, if you read the synopsis, you can tell it’s going to be a touching story, but talk about a gut punch to the feels coming out of left field. When the story started, it felt like it was heading in a certain direction and I was anticipating a certain storyline. And then all of a sudden things had done a complete 180 and it was a w
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really liked this one...

This is the second book by this author that I've recently read, and I enjoyed this one even more. The chapters are short, and it's a real page turner. I feel like I should have figured out the ending, but I didn't. The subject matter was a bit unsettling, but didn't limit the good story in any way. Definitely recommend this one!
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most life-affirming books I've ever read.

After reading the first paragraph of Eliza Maxwell 's THE WIDOW 's WATCHER, I wasn't sure at all if I actually wanted to continue due to the subject matter. Too terrifying for me to contemplate.

But Eliza's masterful writing style entranced me and I couldn't just leave Jenna on her own, facing a reality you'd not wish upon your worst enemy.

Raw, brilliant, devastating and remarkably so, full of hope.

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Eliza Maxwell lives in Texas with a patient man, two impatient children and a bird named Sarah. When she's not working on her next novel, she stays busy trying to keep her children from some future therapist's chair.
You can reach her at

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  Jordan Morris is a comedy writer and podcaster whose credits include @Midnight, Unikitty! and Earth to Ned.  The sci-fi comedy Bubble is his...
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“Connections were what kept people tied to the world. Without connections, there was nothing left to stop them from simply floating away.

Somtehing as simple as a stranger on the other end of the line willing to listen. Or a crotchety old man who believed he knew best.

“They spend their whole lives walking away from you,” the kindergarten teacher had said on her little girl’s first day. “Your job now is to be there when they look back.” 0 likes
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