The Obituary Writer

Hood, Ann

Book - 2013
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Obituary Writer
On the day John F. Kennedy is inaugurated, Claire, a young wife and mother obsessed with the glamour of Jackie, struggles over the decision of whether to stay in a loveless but secure marriage or to follow the man she loves and whose baby she may be carrying. Decades earlier in 1919, Vivien Lowe, an obituary writer, is searching for her lover who disappeared in the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. By telling the stories of the dead, Vivien not only helps others cope with their grief but also begins to understand the devastation of her own terrible loss. The surprising connection between these two women will change Claire's life in unexpected and extraordinary ways.

Publisher: New York :, W.W. Norton & Company,, [2013]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780393081428
Characteristics: 292 pages ;,22 cm


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Jun 29, 2014
  • Irene99 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Gripping, touching story which alternates between two story lines from different time periods. I found it deeply sad at times, dealing with unresolved grief, but eventually moving forward. I liked the quotations from Emily Post's 1922 book on Etiquette about how to deal with the grieving person, which set the tone for each new section. We meet one woman who knows how to make the grieving person feel as best as can be expected (except for not understanding signs of deep depression in one case that ended tragically). We learn how she could write an obituary that really encapsulated the person's life rather than the facts and details that were unimportant. The writing of this book was similarly a work of excellence.

Apr 28, 2014
  • Barbara5060 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

The writing is good. The characters seemed a little bland. The women's situations were difficult for me to relate to, though I have known women struggling with these issues.

Aug 12, 2013

Wonderful and sensitive depiction of two women's interwoven lives across the generations. I too had trouble putting this book down, always wanting to know what the 'other' protaganist was up to. I would highly recommend it.

Jul 06, 2013
  • cmb8 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

enjoyed the book

Jun 24, 2013
  • AKTimmerman rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Great book! The interwoven stories were both interesting. Sometimes, I had a hard time pacing myself, as I wanted to read quickly, so I could find out what the other character was up to. Made for a great book club discussion.

May 30, 2013
  • mrsgail5756 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

The book was okay – but not one of my favorites

Apr 24, 2013

I absolutely loved this book!


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May 31, 2013
  • mrsgail5756 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

“National honor is the national property of the highest value.” -James Madison


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