The Widow’s Guide to Dead Bastards

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A memoir packed with heartrending revelations, damning the instigator and obfuscating the author’s grief over the sudden death of her husband, Sean, at the young age of forty seven. For Sean was, in fact, a bastard. A terrible one – being both a liar and a cheat and hiding terrible secrets that will take years for Jess to process and finally, reconcile.

Jess and Sean are somewhat used to trials, as they attempt to manage their family cross-border and long-distance – Sean as an executive working in Houston, Texas, and Jess raising their family back home in Calgary, Alberta.

Suffering from bipolar disorder, and exhibiting wild mood swings, it was long clear that life with Sean would come with emotional challenges. But nothing could have prepared Jess as she struggles to parent her suddenly fatherless nine-year-old son, Dash, amidst the staggering news of Sean’s fatal heart attack in Houston. As her life unravels, Jess must embark on her own healing journey, and it’s clear that this memoir, and the terrible facts (and related feelings) it acknowledges, will play a very important role in that process.

Written with incredible candor and such rawness and vulnerability (laced with dry humor where it is most needed), that Sean’s behavior cannot help but horrify, enrage and devastate the reader, as it evokes compassion and concern for those so deeply affected.

A heartbreaking read, but also, ultimately, a hopeful one, this is a story of resilience and renewal, and one woman’s strength to move on, finding healing in the face of ultimate betrayal.

A great big thank you to the author, the publisher and Netgalley for an ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.


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