2021 Indies Foreword Finalist in Grief/Grieving

What do we do when life ends? How do we honor the past while moving into an unimaginable, uncertain future? This tender, bracingly honest memoir explores how Jenny, a young widow, navigates the sudden loss of Tris, her beloved spouse of eighteen years.

With Tris gone, Jenny suddenly finds herself a single mom to a teen daughter and adult stepson. The newly splintered family finds ways to celebrate “milestone firsts” —including birthdays and other holidays that, without Tris, now feel hollow and bittersweet. Jenny finds herself drawn to new people, including other widows and psychic mediums, and becoming open to different kinds of connections based on sharing and spirituality. She also embarks on a halting quest for new romantic love. Initially, as she endures awkward first dates and unpleasant interactions with self-proclaimed “nice guys,” she resists her new reality —but over time, she finds someone unexpectedly comforting, blending the pain of loss with the pleasure of closeness. For readers who have also lost a loved one, The Good Widow offers both a comforting guide to grief and a form of companionship; for everyone, it’s a beautiful example of how even after death, love endures.


“An eloquent portrait…” Kirkus Review
“explains grief in direct, touching, vulnerable ways…” Foreword Clarion Review
“will resonate with all readers….” BlueInk Starred Review

“Katz captures sudden widowhood in all of its life-shattering, disorientating truth, honestly and vulnerably chronicling the fight that the grieving must wage to settle into this new identity no one ever asked for.”
—Leslie Gray Streeter, author of Black Widow: A Sad-Funny Journey Through Grief for People Who Normally Avoid Books with Words Like “Journey” in the Title

“Jennifer Katz is a psychology professor who has written a wonderful, thoughtful book. I was moved by her account of her personal experiences after her husband had died, as well as her interactions with her children. Her memoir provides perspectives about love, loss, and hope.”
—Margaret Matlin, PhD, Distinguished Teaching Professor of Psychology Emerita and author of The Psychology of Women

“As a counselor who specializes in trauma and as a person who has endured multiple losses, I hoped reading this book might be educational and cathartic. My plan was to spend weeks with the book — instead I devoured it in two days! It was just what my heart and soul needed. I’m excited to share this amazing love story of love, loss, AND healing with others. This makes hope possible!”
—Emily G Tyre, MEd, Military and Family Life Counselor

“Katz unravels her pain on paper with admirable candor and evocative imagery. Her book depicts how she works through pain and suffering to transform grief into something fundamentally new. Fellow grievers will feel seen as they recognize feelings of profound sadness, anger, and despair; they’ll also be encouraged by her healing journey. She demonstrates our human capacity for love, hope, and acceptance as she describes cultivating connections with herself and others, even after experiencing heartbreaking loss.”
—Tacianna Indonvia, PhD, Counseling Psychologist

“I read this in one sitting. Katz offers a deeply personal, beautifully written account of her journey to find meaning during a time of anguish and uncertainty. Amidst heartbreak and confusion, she stands up and moves forward by finding hidden strength cultivated by enduring love.”
—Erika Vertigan, MS, Social Worker

“In this beautifully written memoir, Katz captures the experience of loss and grief in a deeply touching and vulnerable way. Katz not only focuses on the grief experience but also, perhaps drawing on her psychology expertise, teaches the reader so much about what it means to be in, and then look for again, a healthy relationship through courage and honesty.”
—Joanne Davila, PhD, Professor of Psychology and author of The Thinking Girl’s Guide to the Right Guy: How Knowing Yourself Can Help You Navigate Dating, Hookups, and Love

“In this moving and deeply personal narrative chronicling her transition into widowhood, Katz brings us along with her on her amazing journey of self-rediscovery. Part personal narrative and part survival guide for anyone experiencing the transformative loss of one dearly beloved, The Good Widow is filled with wit and wisdom, grief and celebration. Savor this book. You will gain a new perspective on loss, love, marriage, widowhood, parenthood, and just being human.”
—Catherine Johnson Adams, PhD, professor of History and coauthor of Love of Freedom: Black Women in Colonial and Revolutionary New England

“Sudden, tragic loss is a gut punch from which it seems impossible to recover. There’s the first unimaginable thing — losing the object of one’s deep love; and the second — realizing that one is surviving what seemed unsurvivable. Katz describes with tenderness, depth, and wit the work grief requires, fighting the impulse to contract with sadness and ultimately expanding with hope.”
—Hillary McShea, widow

“In her emotionally raw and unfailingly honest memoir, Katz writes about her experience as a young widow navigating loss. Bewildered, lost, and scared, she provides a window onto the many stages she travelled over the first 18 months. She writes about the earliest days of panic and fear, “milestone firsts”—first birthday, first anniversary, and her eventual quest to find hope and new love. Her book provides a portrait of something even bigger than grief: a beautiful love story that lives on in Jenny and her two children.”
—Mary Mapes, widow