Thursday, February 7, 2013

Book Review: Gabriela and the Widow

A coming of age story for YA readers and a passing of wisdom story for parent readers.

About the Book:
Through the intimate bond of a companion and benefactor, Gabriela reconciles the painful experiences of her youth as she is reshaped by the Widow, La Viuda. Together, day after day, night after night, La Viuda immerses Gabriela in lists, boxes, places, times, objects, photos, and stories, captivating and life-changing stories.  It seems Gabriela is not just hired to cook and clean; she has been chosen to curate La Viuda’s mementos while taking care of the old woman’s failing health. “As you grow thick, I grow thin,” says the widow, portending the secret of immortality that will overtake both women. 

Gabriela and The Widow is the story of Gabriela, a 19 year old Mexican woman who migrates north (to El Norte) where she meets a dying 92 year old woman, The Widow. The novel is their story.
Overall Thoughts:
From the first line you are pulled into Gabriela's story and later into La Viuda's (the widow) story. These two women, even despite their age gap, bring the reader into a conscious knowing of oneself. Younger readers will reflect on choices recently taken, while the parent reader will look deep into a life journey they have experienced and gain a deeper wisdom from it. 

Jack Remick, though a man, really gets into the heart of each character. He really understands human nature...why we do what we do and the result of those actions. His characters (from the main characters Gabriela and La Viuda to supporting/walk-ons) are vivid and bring their own background, even if we never learn what it is. The narrative captivates you and plays on all the emotions of each character. 

Even though we noted this is a coming of age story for YA readers, we do want to let parents know there is language you may not want your teens reading. The wording at times can be offensive to modest ears, but the novel wouldn't have had the same impact without it, meaning words were used for purpose and impact and not just for shock value. Every sentence, detail, narrative, character and voice is unique and without them...the story wouldn't be

Places available for sale:
Gabriela and The Widow is currently available for pre-order on After January 15, 2013, it will also be available in multiple eBook and 6x9 trade paperback editions on, the European Amazons and Amazon Japan.
Wholesale orders can be placed through  Baker & Taylor or Ingram. Libraries can also purchase books through Follett Library Resources or Midwest Library Service.

ISBN: 978-1-60381-147-7
Publication Date: January 15, 2013
About the Author: 
Jack Remick is a poet, short story writer and novelist. In 2012, Coffeetown Press published the first two volumes of Jack’s California Quartet series, The Deification and Valley Boy. The final two volumes will be released in 2013: The Book of Changes and Trio of Lost Souls. Blood, A Novel was published by Camel Press, an imprint of Coffeetown Press, in 2011. You can find Jack online at  
You can find out more about Jack Remick, his books and World of Ink Author/Book Tour at
Follow Jack Remick at
Author page:
Twitter: @jackremick
Publisher Website:


  1. We learn all the time--I didn't write Gabriela with YA readers in mind but learned from you that YA is a possible readership. Some writers have no idea what they're doing. I must be one of those. Thank you for the review and the very kind words. The language, all of the language, belongs to all of us.

  2. Thank you so much for this insightful read of Gabriela and The Widow. I very much like your observation: This is a detailed examination of life... To see more info please visit Thank you for that.



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