R-3.5-4 (not a lot, but rather graphic)
I tried to care. I really did.
"The widow" is 19-year-old Mary Boulton. Born to a life of privilege, but married into a rougher life, Mary loses her baby, then shoots her husband.
She should be a sympathetic character, but the narration was so detached that I really didn't care what happened to her until about the last 20 pages. Her name is used rarely, which is the main reason it feels so detached. She's just "the widow".
I thought it was a good concept and could have been really interesting, but fell flat. Her encounter with the Ridgerunner is so graphic it's distracting. The brothers-in-law are annoying. And I STILL don't really know if she was abused, which would actually give her a reason to shoot her husband.
I did like the ending. But it didn't fit with the rest of the book. (Which may be why I liked it.)
All in all, I'd say don't waste your time.
This is the one remaining fiction from the last round of Reader's Choice! On to the next!