Thomas Allen & Son is Canada’s leading independent distributor of books, stationery and calendars



A Memoir

Melissa Gould By (author)
Order Qty:
Review Order

Amazon/Brilliance Publishing

Limited ***

5.5 X 8.2 in
220 pg

FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Death, Grief, Bereavement


Melissa Gould’s hopeful memoir of grieving outside the box and the surprising nature of love.

When Melissa Gould’s husband, Joel, was unexpectedly hospitalized, she could not imagine how her life was about to change. Overwhelmed with uncertainty as Joel’s condition tragically worsened, she offered him the only thing she could: her love and devotion. Her dedication didn’t end with his death.

Left to resume life without her beloved husband and raise their young daughter on her own, Melissa soon realized that her and Joel’s love lived on. Melissa found she didn’t fit the typical mold of widowhood or meet the expectations of mourning. She didn’t look like a widow or act like a widow, but she felt like one. Melissa was widowish.

Melissa’s personal journey through grief and beyond includes unlikely inspiration from an evangelical preacher, the calming presence of some Real Housewives, and the unexpected attention of a charming musician.

A modern take on loss, Widowish illuminates the twists of fate that break our world, the determination that keeps us moving forward, and the surprises in life we never see coming.


An Amazon Best Book of the Month: Biographies & Memoirs

“Television writer Gould’s gripping debut memoir captures the traumatic experience of suddenly becoming a young widow…Her narrative is remarkable in how she skillfully dissects the day-to-day minutiae of grief, particularly the strange ways in which surrounding herself with community provided comfort but also reminded her of what she lost…Gould brings a unique vulnerability to this memoir that will encourage readers to hold their loved ones closer and celebrate life.” Publishers Weekly

“Melissa’s young husband gets bitten by a mosquito in their backyard pool in L.A. and somehow catches West Nile virus. He tragically dies, leaving Melissa behind to pick up the pieces of her life, raise their young daughter, and find herself — and love — again in this relatable, unforgettable, funny (yes, funny) read.” Good Morning America

“I read your book at the most emotional moment, probably, in my adult life when I was literally flying down to Duke to say goodbye to my mother-in-law. I read it that whole two days down there which will be forever etched in my mind as just traumatic and awful. Except, I got [to] escape into your book. I feel this special bond with you which you're not even a part of. It's me and your book, or your book and me, I should say. Thank you for providing me the solace that I needed during that time. I'm really grateful.” —Zibby Owens, Moms Don’t Have Time to Write

“An impressively eloquent, deftly written, exceptionally candid personal story of love and loss and adaptation, Widowish: A Memoir [is] a truly memorable read from cover to cover. While especially recommended for community library Contemporary American Biography collections, and unreservedly commended to the attention of anyone who has suffered the loss of a loved one in this age of pandemic.” —Midwest Book Review

“This memoir by a woman whose husband falls ill and succumbs to the West Nile virus after getting bitten by a mosquito by their pool in California is one of my recent favorites. A medical odyssey, parenthood, friendship, a new love affair and a sense of humor combine to make the author someone you want to hug and befriend.” —Zibby Owens

“In Widowish, Melissa Gould takes readers on her journey through grief in all its complexity, reminding us, in the end, of our endless capacity for love.” —Lori Gottlieb, New York Times bestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

Widowish is an unputdownable modern love story, the kind you don’t ever want to end. Except when it does, Melissa Gould has given us a transformational tale of modern loss and how grieving doesn’t always have to look the way we thought. One of my favorite grief memoirs to date.” —Claire Bidwell Smith, author of Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief

“No one gets through this life without suffering some kind of loss, and Melissa Gould shares her journey with honesty, humor, and surprising insights. I read it straight through and now want regular updates on her life. Widowish is going to break your heart in the best way possible. I love this book!” —Annabelle Gurwitch, author of I See You Made an Effort and You’re Leaving When?

“In Widowish, you can acutely feel Melissa Gould’s struggle to maintain normalcy as her husband slips away. This book is a brave and powerful examination of all the ‘shoulds’ that sometimes get in the way of our forward movement and evolution. I found myself rooting for Melissa the whole time.” —Vanessa McGrady, author of Rock Needs River

Author Bio

Melissa Gould’s essays have appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, and more. She’s an award-winning screenwriter whose credits include Bill Nye, the Science Guy; Party of Five; Beverly Hills, 90210; and Lizzie McGuire. She lives in Los Angeles, California. Find out more about Melissa at