Tips From Widows by Jan Robinson

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Tips From Widows by Jan Robinson

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Category: Home and Family
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Not a 'how-to' book but a collection of empowering hints from women who have lost their husbands. It's like a hug from a trusted friend.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 96 Date: February 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury
ISBN: 978-1408865538

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I'm not a widow and I secretly hope that I never will be, but I picked up Tips From Widows when a close friend (who is supporting someone who knows that becoming a widow is frighteningly close) mentioned the need to plan what to do. The death of a husband must be devastating, even terrifying, but as next of kin you have certain responsibilities and there are some things which you must do. Who better to give advice than other women who have experienced what must be the worst thing that life can throw at them?

It's not a 'how-to' book but a series of hints, a couple apiece from widows, given to author Jan Robinson on the basis of 'what would you say to a woman about to be/recently widowed?' The advice ranges from before death - the need to have a joint bank account to ensure that the widow has access to money and that regular outgoings continue to be paid - the death itself and the days, weeks and months which follow. It doesn't always give specific advice but tells you where the information is available - a good undertaker can help you with the details - and there's a sense of being empowered. What has happened is dreadful, but you will be able to cope.

It encourages widows to be kind to themselves too - there is no need to personally answer every telephone call and there has to be a cut-off point for replying to letters of condolence. There's sound advice too about seeking professional help to cope with grief. Reading through the book (it's only some eighty or so pages) I felt as though I'd been hugged. On the back cover Joanna Lumley is quoted as describing the book as A quiet, wise friend, full of comfort and practical counsel - a perfect summary.

It's also a useful guide for friends too. There are things not to say - telling the recently bereaved widow that you know exactly how she's feeling because your dog died yesterday might make perfect sense to you, but won't help the widow. Likewise, saying that she's bound to meet someone else is just plain insensitive. On the other hand, giving them a copy of this book and saying that you are there if needed could be the nicest thing that you could do.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

For an inspirational look at life and death we can recoomend A Tour of Bones: Facing Fear and Looking for Life by Denise Inge and The Iceberg: A Memoir by Marion Coutts.

Buy Tips From Widows by Jan Robinson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Tips From Widows by Jan Robinson at

Buy Tips From Widows by Jan Robinson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Tips From Widows by Jan Robinson at


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