If I were a man in a Taylor Jenkins Reid novel and I realized this, I would RUN, because she is gunning for husbands and would-be husbands. This is my second Reid “widow” novel, and I should have realized going in that’s where we were headed based on the title, but when the husband gets on his bike in the opening scene, I knew he was about to get it.
So in the novel, we have a recently married couple and by recently married I also mean they’ve only been together for a few months too. So like I said, he dies, and our narrator finds herself a young bride cum young widow. At the hospital we also come to understand that her mother in law has no clue who she is and didn’t know they were married and there’s an immediate and upsetting conflict in the hospital, then the funeral home, then the funeral etc etc.
What we then get is the actual interesting and innovative part of the text. As we are moving forward with the grieving process, we also go back to the beginning and see the romance develop. This is done in the same narrative voice, but the narrator of these sections is not aware of the death later to come so we have a death novel and a romance novel working side by side. The romance sections are often triggered by something that reminds the later narrator of her husband, then a flashback.
My only issue with this novel is how artificial the situation feels. People who get married after just a couple of months (outside of specific necessity) do create awkwardness. I dunno.