Title // Young Widows Club
Author // Alexandra Coutts
Pages // 304 pages
Publisher // Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Series // None
Release Date // November 2015
Find it on Goodreads and Amazon
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.
A book that truly grips your heart and squeezes it for every last tear you have is Young Widows Club. Something that is predominate in YA fiction is the endless happy endings where the couple get together and marry young. What was refreshing about this story was who it portrayed that life after young marriage and the struggle of dealing with loss so young.
It’s one of those flawless, cotton-candy-cloud days.
At the beginning, you expect the novel to be a fluffy love story about two people starting the rest of their lives together. However, by the end of the prologue, it becomes clear that this isn’t one of those cute stories that warms your heart. Sure, this is implied by the title – but a girl can dream for a happy story, right? Instead, the novel takes a depressing turn down ‘lonely road’ and you end up mourning the loss along with the protagonist. You end up just as crushed with all the feels from how Tamsen is feeling. And you can’t help but admire Tamsen’s strength at keeping things together. She gave up her teenage-hood to manage Noah’s band and help them tour. Now without Noah, she has to re-immerse herself into a world a she willingly gave up.
What I didn’t know then was that it wasn’t the beginning. It was the beginning of the end.
Having lost Noah, – struggles to keep things together. Having dropped out of school and rarely being herself anymore, she is driven to deviant measures. As usual, this puts her in trouble with the law – who miraculously allow her to be forgotten so long as she re-attends school. Looking past the story plot, Young Widows Club addresses themes of loss and mourning. Tamsen struggles to move on. Which is totally understandable. Love can envelope a person and make them blind to the world and new to life all over again. Coutts deals with the issues raised by the novel really well, and while it is quite frustrating that she finds new love so soon, its also sort of fitting.
There’s not a cloud in the sky, and it seems unfair. This day should be dark. The sun should beat it. Instead, its showing off. An obnoxious blowhard, a relentless, uninvited sparkle.
However, with my hand on my heart, I can admit that I adored this book. And you will too, whether you’re hopelessly romantic or not. Four out of five snowflakes.
Still unsure on whether this book is the one for you? Have a look at what other bloggers have to say.
Lauren @ The Young Folks says “Young Widows Club is a unique YA novel that explores the process of grief and growth in a rare situation.”
Kaitlyn @ One Night Book Stand says “5 out of 5 stars”
Jessie @ Ageless Pages says “Young Widows Club has a deft touch for sensitive issues. ”
About Alexandra Coutts
Alexandra Bullen Coutts has been a playwright, waitress, barista, gardener, script reader, yoga instructor and personal assistant. She grew up in Massachusetts, went to college in New York City, and lives full time on Martha’s Vineyard. You can find her on Goodreads, Twitter, and her website.