review · U.S.

Ending by Hilma Wolitzer

endingEnding by Hilma Wolitzer

Open Road Integrated Media, 2013 (originally published in 1974)

Source: Publisher via NetGalley

I picked up Ending by Hilma Wolitzer because An Available Man was one of my favorite reads of 2012.  Ending is Wolitzer’s first novel, originally published in 1974.  The edition I read is an ebook reissue, one of all of her novels reissued by Open Road Integrated Media.

Ending is the story of Sandy, a young wife and mother whose husband has just been diagnosed with terminal cancer.  It’s a story about the tunnel of grief she’s in in the final weeks of his life, and it covers not only her journey after his diagnosis but all of her memories of her short marriage.  It’s not a light novel by any stretch of the imagination, and there is not a lot of humor like I found in An Available Man.  It’s a story more about ideas and the process of grief than it is about character, and for that reason I felt a little removed from Sandy.  It’s a tough read, but, thankfully, it’s a short novel.  It was interesting to compare it to Wolitzer’s latest novel, which, while dealing with death, had much more developed characters and dashes of humor.  Ending is more of a psychological portrait of grief.

I previously reviewed An Available Man.


2 thoughts on “Ending by Hilma Wolitzer

  1. Rebecca – I always respect an author who is able to explore a journey through grief in an honest, respectful way. It’s a difficult subject and hard to treat without getting melodramatic. I’m glad you liked this one.

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