"John W. Evans was twenty-nine years old and his wife, Katie, was thirty. They had met in the Peace Corps in Bangladesh, taught in Chicago, studied in Miami, and were working for a year in Romania, when they set off with friends to hike into the Carpathian Mountains. In an instant, their life together was shattered. Katie became separated from the group. When Evans finally found her, he could only watch helplessly as she was mauled to death by a brown bear. In such a love story, such a life story, how could a person ever move forward? That is the question Evans, traumatized and restless, confronts in this book as he learns the language of grief, the rhetoric of survival, and the contrary poetic algorithms of holding fast and letting go. His memories of Katie and their time together, and the strangeness of his life with her family in the year after her death, create an unsentimental but deeply moving picture of loss, the brutality of nature, and the unfairness of needing to narrate a story that nothing can prepare a person to tell.Told with unyielding witness, elegance, and care, Young Widower is a heartbreaking account of a senseless tragedy and the persistence of grief in a young person's life"-- Provided by publisher.
"On a group hiking trip in the Buscegi Mountains of Romania in 2007, John and Katie Evans were unaware they'd be passing through an active brown bear habitat. Encountering a bear that night after dusk, Katie is separated from the group and trapped by the bear. Hearing her screams as the animal attacked her, John was unable to distract the bear and watched helplessly from a distance as it slowly crushed his wife to death. Katie was thirty years old. "Young Widower" is John Evans's memoir not just of one day, but of six years spent with a wife he loved, and the days and months that followed the tragedy. A widower at age twenty-nine, John finds himself living with Katie's family in the year after her death, discovering the cyclical nature of grief, the guilt of surviving, and what it means to lose a marriage. His desire to remember Katie is many things: devoted, empathic, needy, lonely, self-important, critical, nostalgic; he is a young widower negotiating a world that understands elderly widows, but doesn't know what to do with an angst-ridden young man worried about continuing to live without his wife for a very long time. Unflinching and unsentimental, "Young Widower" is a heartbreaking witness of living daily with grief, a rumination on the fragility of the human experience"-- Provided by publisher.