???One night when she was four and sleeping in the bottom bunk of her bunk bed, Ruth Cole woke to the sound of lovemaking???it was coming from her parents??? bedroom.???,This sentence opens John Irving???s ninth novel, A Widow for One Year, a story of a family marked by tragedy. Ruth Cole is a complex, often self-contradictory character???a ???difficult??? woman. By no means is she conventionally ???nice,??? but she will never be forgotten.,Ruth???s story is told in three parts, each focusing on a critical time in her life. When we first meet her???on Long Island, in the summer of 1958???Ruth is only four.,The second window into Ruth???s life opens on the fall of 1990, when she is an unmarried woman whose personal life is not nearly as successful as her literary career. She distrusts her judgment in men, for good reason.,A Widow for One Year closes in the autumn of 1995, when Ruth Cole is a forty-one-year-old widow and mother. She???s about to fall in love for the first time.,Richly comic, as well as deeply disturbing, A Widow for One Year is a multilayered love story of astonishing emotional force. Both ribald and erotic, it is also a brilliant novel about the passage of time and the relentlessness of grief.
The New York Times bestselling saga of a most unusual family from the award-winning author of The World According to Garp.,???The first of my father???s illusions was that bears could survive the life lived by human beings, and the second was that human beings could survive a life led in hotels.??? So says John Berry, son of a hapless dreamer, brother to a cadre of eccentric siblings, and chronicler of the lives lived, the loves experienced, the deaths met, and the myriad strange and wonderful times encountered by the family Berry. Hoteliers, pet-bear owners, friends of Freud (the animal trainer and vaudevillian, that is), and playthings of mad fate, they ???dream on??? in a funny, sad, outrageous, and moving novel by the remarkable author of A Prayer for Owen Meany and Last Night in Twisted River.