The Widow's Guide to Dead Bastards
What Jennette McCurdy’s I’m Glad My Mom Died is doing for mother-daughter relationships, The Widow’s Guide to Dead Bastards will do for husbands and wives.
Written with dark humour, in the vein of Ricky Gervais’ After Life, The Widow’s Guide to Dead Bastards is a grief memoir and a posthumous love story about human complexity and troubled relationships, and whether healing is possible across the veil. Like Tembi Locke’s From Scratch this book recounts a romance born abroad, a lost partner, and a fight for what matters most.
Jessica’s successful, charismatic husband, Sean, was on his way home from a business trip when he collapsed in the Houston airport. Having begun the day a housewife, by noon she was an unemployed widow and the sole parent of their nine-year-old son Dash. Still shocked and reeling, the day after Sean’s funeral, Jessica received a box of his personal effects and began to discover some of the secrets my husband had been hiding.
“I’m looking at nine vaginas at the same time. I mean, technically they’re vulvas, but here on my computer screen I’ve got the full gynecological view, laid out in a 3x3 grid like the Brady Bunch family.”
Told chronologically with flashbacks, the opening half spans the first six weeks after Sean’s heart attack, as Jessica uncovers drug abuse, compulsive spending, sexual promiscuity, and a porn cache of astonishing size. She hides these revelations from their grief-stricken son, while also trying to erase Sean from her own life. She rids their bedroom of his belongings. She grants herself a divorce. She throws away Sean’s ashes in a bag of dog shit. But when things start happening that Jessica can’t explain, and strange coincidences point her in the direction of forgiveness, she is forced to reconsider her views.
Does death signify the end of a relationship, or is there more going on than we’ve been primed to understand? Readers of Sara Seager’s The Smallest Lights in the Universe will find themselves with Jessica as she searches for answers and seeks to reconcile science with mystery.
By opening to the impossible, Jessica is guided out of pain and into a deeper, more meaningful life. She hopes readers will find avenues of healing in their own unresolved relationships.
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