Reviews and Praise

Two new widows discover the healing power of friendship while writing their way through an intense range of emotions the first year after the death of their husbands. Their engaging flow of conversation is like a call-and-response musical dialogue, first dirge, then elegy, then the voices of life returning.

A Conversation
Pondfield Press (116 pp.)
$14.95 Paperback December 21, 2010 ISBN: 978-0578042046
An exchange of letters and emails between two widows in the year following the loss of their husbands. Introduced by a mutual friend shortly after their husbands’ deaths, Bastian and Metzger find solace in the friendship they develop through their epistolary exchange. The authors’ connection is not simply based upon the commonality of their losses but also because they are able to be vulnerable and brutally honest with one another as they struggle to come to terms with their grief. There is no pretense or agenda behind this memoir, just a mournful call-and-response in which each woman shares her newfound difficulties in navigating the world alone. Simple acts like attending dinner parties and booking trips have suddenly become jarring reminders of what they have lost. The authors are bright, humble and courageous as they expose their innermost thoughts and feelings on dealing with pain, loneliness and survival. Their words will resonate with a range of readers, whether they have lost a spouse or another loved one. The writing eloquently captures the vital importance of human connection, most poignantly demonstrated when recounting a poem ago about “the longing for the ordinary touching that I miss so much, the kind that happens in the kitchen when your husband needs you to move a bit away from the sink so he can get in and fill the water glasses for dinner—just that little nudge on the hip that moves you over, that utter familiarity.” The authors are both so honest with themselves and one another that readers will be challenged to do the same.
A beautifully written memoir so raw, naked and vulnerable, it almost feels like readers were never meant to get their hands on it. 

"The nimble and intelligent prose of Fresh Widows drew me in from the first line. I read it through to the last page in one unbroken spell."
     - Nancy Peel, Writer, Barbados

"There is no right way to grieve. Mary and Sue witness to this truth in their Fresh Widows conversation. It is a powerful read."
     - Lauren Miller, best-selling author of Hearing His Whisper, Colorado

"Fresh Widows takes the reader on a mesmerizing journey that is sad, witty, unsettling, yet filled with hope. This book should be read not only by widows and widowers, but by everyone."
    - Bruce M. Forester, MD FACP Psychiatrist and Mystery Writer, NYC

"Fresh Widows resonated with me who never buried a husband. I was reminded of feelings following my divorce...the attempt to keep something precious alive...the loneliness...the having to rethink my identity...the having to learn to survive on my own."
     - Lena Rotenberg, Teacher, Washington DC