In December 1998, after fifty-six years of marriage, Phyllis Greene
went from being part of the lifelong unit of "Phyllis and Bob"
to being just plain Phyllis.
To deal with her
feelings, she began keeping a journal. Unable to find books with a
personal perspective on widowhood, she realized her own reflections
could speak to the thousands of women like her, each one with very
different yet very similar day-to-day experiences. It Must Have Been
Moonglow chronicles the emotional roller coaster of her first years
alone in a collection of brief essays, like diary entries, that capture
the sadness, the humor, and the triumphs all widows encounter.
She writes about
the challenges presented by a quiet, empty house and how best to fill
the hours. "Your heart may feel like stone, but your mind needs
to keep going,"she says. With wit and insight, she muses about
the logistics of an evening out with a group of single, older women,
none of whom drive very well; about handling the check when going
to dinner with a couple; about marketing for one; and about the miracle
of friendships on the Internet and the blessings of family.
It Must Have
Been Moonglow is an intimate, candid, and engaging memoir, not
about grief but about inspiration and strength.
From the Back
"In an effort
to chart my own road to acceptance (I think it is there, somewhere
ahead), I began to keep a journal on December 31, three weeks after
my husbands death. Now, as I look back, I wonder if I have walked
a mile or one hundred, if I am out in front or lagging way behind,
if there is a "norm," and might it help me, and if there
are others who may read this who would share my journey as I go? I
would welcome the company."
About the Author:
Phyllis Greene is
a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wellesley College. She has had a lifelong
involvement in her community, having served as chairman of the board
of trustees of Franklin University as well as chairman of the Columbus
Metropolitan Airport and Aviation Commission. She is the mother of
Bob Greene, the syndicated columnist and author; D. G. Fulford, author
and journalist; and Tim Greene, a real estate executive. She lives
in Columbus, Ohio.
Review From Publishers
When she was
in her 80s, Greene's husband of 56 years, Bob, died. These plainspoken
and unassuming ruminations on her first two years without him are
based on a journal she began three weeks after his death. Greene does
not claim to have any perspective on widowhood other than the purely
personal; she writes of her memoir, "[i]t is helping me even
as I hope it helps those who might read it." She shares how she
coped with sleepless nights, making decisions by herself, traveling
alone and simply missing Bob's companionship, covering specifics like
being a single party guest and deciding what to do with Bob's antique
gun (she sold it). Energetic and optimistic, Greene eventually found
solace in friends, family and volunteer work. "Your heart may
feel like stone," she writes, "but your mind needs to keep
going." She also discovered the pleasure of using a computer
and joining an online book discussion group. Shortly after Bob died,
Greene's heart condition worsened, forcing her to get a pacemaker.
She describes muddling through that frightening experience with the
help of her brother and children, but without the husband who had
been the most important person in her life. (On sale Sept. 25)Forecast:
Given that elderly, widowed women outnumber widowed men by three to
two, according to the author, this book is commercially promising.
Middle-class widows with grown children (Greene has three) who had
long, happy marriages will be her primary readers; a six-city author
tour should help her reach them.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.