Wednesday, February 29, 2012

An Available Man by Hilma Wolitzer

     In An Available Man, Edward Schuyler is a sixty-two year old middle school teacher and an avid birdwatcher who is dealing with the death of his beloved wife, Bee. Though his world has stopped with Bee’s death, the rest of the world is still carrying on. According to his friends and even his children it is time for Edward to move on and find a new love.  Edward is finding out that being a widow means that you are quite a catch and he must suffer through endless matching making schemes. His stepchildren even put a newspaper personal ad out for him. Suddenly, Edward is swarmed with women.  To most men, this seems like a dream come true, but Edward is still dealing with the fact that he is an available man. In this tender and witty novel, Edward must learn to not only to accept his new single status, but also that it is ok for him to move on.

   Though this sounds like a real downer of a book, author Hilma Wolitzer creates a warm and humorous setting that leaves you feeling anything but sad. As Edward deals with the new stream of women in his life, children who mean well, nosy friends, and an old flame that resurface you began to understand his process of letting go and dealing with Bee’s death. There is one woman that I was waiting for her to go all Fatal Attraction on poor Edward. I just knew she was crazy and kept waiting for her to show her true colors. The women that come into Edward’s life, not just from a romantic angle, will have you cracking up to no end. Though Edward has his ups and downs with these women his story wraps up nicely by the end of the novel. This isn’t an impossibly long read, but you want to take your time so you understand the beauty of Wolitzer’s writing style.

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