The Obituary Writer

The Obituary Writer - Ann Hood Despite moral objections from her friends, Vivien Lowe is blissfully happy living in her new San Francisco home with her (married) lover, David. When the great earthquake hits in 1906 many lives are lost. Vivien manages to survive, but does not know what happened to David. Encouraged by her best friend she moves to Napa to begin what she hopes is a healing process. Quite by accident she begins to earn her living by writing obituaries.

Claire is the epitome of a modern 1960’s wife and mother. She keeps an impeccable house, stays at home with her daughter and has a martini waiting for her husband when he arrives home from a hard day at the office. She thought she had the perfect life she always wanted until a fateful chance meeting changes her way of thinking. Now, while her friendS focus on what color Jackie Kennedy’s dress will be at the inauguration she is wondering whether or not to stay in her marriage and whether or not the baby she is caring is her husband’s or her lover’s.

Inexplicably, the lives of these two women cross.

This book explores so many issues it would do the book a disservice to discuss them in a mere review. I would wager that every person who read this book takes away a slightly different perspective. As she did in “The Red Thread” Ms. Hood writes beautifully. She writes about important and, quite often painful, subjects with a gentleness that leaves me feeling she truly cares about what happens to her characters. That translates very effectively into characters that I care about. As a reader, that leaves me in a quandary of not wanting to the story to end, yet want to know how it ends.