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Book Review – The Importance of Being Myrtle by Ulrika Jonsson


Review by Fabafterfifty

When Myrtle’s husband of 40 years dies suddenly on his way to work, Myrtle’s whole world turns upside down, not least because of the revelations his death leads to.

Rebuilding your life as a widow

At 58 Myrtle is faced with rebuilding her life, confronting her past and coping with her guilt.
For Myrtle, as well as grief, widowhood brings her a first chance of true happiness and the chance to be herself.
For Myrtle’s daughters , their father’s death also brings about a time of reflection about who they are and how they live their own lives. I don’t want to say too much or I’ll give away the whole storyline. The complexity of family relationships and sibling rivalry are both highlighted sensitively.

Dealing with grief and acceptance

It’s a good read, dealing with shock, grief acceptance, family, female friendships.
The book also highlights how far our society has moved on, from the relative teenage innocence of the early 60s to today’s far more ‘knowing’ and liberal attitudes.
The death of her husband offers the main character Myrtle second chances- in more ways than one.

Ulrika Jonsson’s first novel is a surprisingly good read.

The Importance of Being Myrtle is published by Michael Joseph on September 1st. Price £6.99

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