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Norman Rockwell
Book review: 'The Widower's Tale' by Julia Glass
Book review: 'The Widower's Tale' by Julia Glass

The Widower's Tale A Novel Julia Glass Pantheon: 402 pp., $25.95 The outspokenly fuddy-duddy 70-year-old patriarch at the center of "The Widower's Tale," Julia Glass' class-consciousness-raising new novel, is a recently retired Harvard librarian named Percival Darling. Couple the surname Darling with just about any moniker — including Wendy and John from "Peter Pan" — and your mind inserts a comma, often evoking a Noel Coward play in which glamorous characters are always "darling-ing" each other, sometimes through clenched teeth. These associations aren't entirely inappropriate, for even though Percy is nobody's darling,...