An available single man...or is he?
In Hilma Wolitzer's latest novel, An Available Man, Edward Schuyler is that most desirable of single men; a widower who was a happily married family man, is in his early 60's and still employed as a science teacher. All of these attributes bring him to the attention of single women in his age group. Edward is however still mourning the loss of his wife Bee and does not feel available. There is no doubt that he is still grieving. In the opening chapter he is ironing his dead wife's clothes and reminiscing about their past.
His step-children are concerned that he is lonely and bereft, so without Edward's knowledge, they place a personal ad in the New York Review of Books. To his surprise, Edward is deluged with letters from interested women and he actually dates a few of them. Wollitzer refers to this as "dating after death". Edward's forays into the social scene are amusing and enlightening and he actually starts a relationship with a woman. But the appearance of a woman from his past forces Edward to re-examine just what he wants.
This is a charming book. Edward is a very likeable character and his grief and sense of loss is portrayed very sympathetically. And Wollitzer is a good writer who's on target with her descriptions of older adults looking for mates and companionship after the death of a spouse.