Young Widows Club by Alexandra Coutts
First came love, then came marriage, and then...
For seventeen-year-old Tam, running off to marry her musician boyfriend is the ideal escape from her claustrophobic high-school life on the island, and the ultimate rebellion against her father and stepmother. But when Tam becomes a widow just weeks later, the shell-shocked teen is forced to find her way forward by going back to the life she thought she’d moved beyond—even as her struggle to deal with her grief is forcing her to reinvent herself and reach out to others in ways she never imagined.
Publishes in US: November 10th 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Genre: ya contemp
Disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC (advanced review copy). I am not paid for this review, and my opinions in this review are mine, and are not effected by the book being free.
Source: Macmillan via Netgalley
Other books by Alexandra: Tumble & Fall (link to my review)
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I wanted to read Young Widows Club because I am drawn to books about death and dying, and ones that deal with grief. I lost my dad, and my mom is dealing with being a widow, so I feel like I can empathize and sympathize with Tam. Books like this help me because it gives a glimpse into other's emotions and grief process. I appreciate that everyone is different and deals with big feelings like this in other ways.
The book starts on the day of his funeral, and Tam is definitely a mess. We get to see the depth of her emotion, and it sets things up for the rest of the book. Family is an interesting element in this one. Tam's dad has changed a lot since marrying her stepmom, and Tam has a hard time wrapping her head around it. I did like her interactions with the siblings though. As far as Tam and Noah's family, they were helping them build a house, so I did appreciate that dynamic, that they supported them even though they were young.
She gets in trouble though, and she is back at home with her dad and stepmom as well as back in school. Some things are the same as before, and others changed so much. She still tries to manage and help the band, even though they have a new singer, and it hurts her heart and always makes her think about Noah.
I like that she is back in school, even though she doesn't put a lot of effort into it at first, which I can understand to some level with the grief, but I guess I also just really didn't like that she dropped out of high school to start with. I know that each person has their own choices and decisions, and staying in school is one of them, but that is part of her recklessness and bad decision making that bugged me about her.
Maybe it is just because I am so different than her, I was a rule follower, liked school and keeping up appearances, and pleasing others. But that rebellion, the questioning and pushing had always been a part of who she was, and she just made different choices for her life. She did do a lot of growing, some through the help of an old friend, other through the court mandated support group, and yet more self realization from just letting herself go through the cycles of grief, and realizing that she has to make her future, no matter how much the past and what is going on with her hurts in that moment.
The support group that she was a part of was very unconventional and I liked that. It wasn't just sit in a circle and share time, although that def has its place and its own way of healing. But the leader took them on outings, helping to demonstrate the different stages of grief, and also ways to cope with the pain.
Overall I enjoyed even with my few issues with Tam. She grew and realized a lot about herself and worked her way through some of her grief.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you know anyone who married in high school?