The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg
Never expecting to lose John at this time of life, fifty-something Betta Nolan sets off on a journey they had originally planned together. She discovers comfort and re-connection with three college chums with whom she had lost contact, and makes new friends as well. She is by turns exhilarated, free, grief-stricken, terrified and much more, but she finds solace through her new and old friends, her memories, and the pleasure of ordinary everyday things. And through special, mysterious clues and gifts her husband prepared for her before his death, she finds that her life continues, never quite the same without John, but all the richer for the bond she shared with him that will always be a part of the person she is.
Even though the subject of this book suggests it would be a sad journey, I found instead that it left me with a sense of peace, serenity and comfort that even when we lose our dearest companions in life, we never really lose the way they impacted our lives. And when the worst happens, life can go on and one can find happiness again.
Book reviewed by an avid reader on the Signal Hill Staff.