With the average American wife surviving her husband by an average of seven years, widowhood is a familiar situation - sure to become more familiar with the graying of the population.
Juneau author Ruth Saviers has taken a hard look at widowhood in her first novel, "Bette: A Second Chance" ($11.95 through Barnes & Noble online, 178 pp.).
Losing a spouse is a painful and difficult transition, which often leads to depression and lack of enthusiasm for the future. When Bette's first husband dies, she is unwilling to lose herself in the pain she feels surrounding her. She goes back to school, taking a computer class to complete her teaching degree.
It is in this class that Bette meets Theo. They find themselves falling in love, but wonder if their families can mesh.
Saviers worked on the book off and on for a year.
"It was my retirement project because when I retired I had nothing to get up for," she said. "I was complaining to my daughter one day that there was nothing to read, and she suggested I write my own book."
Saviers spent her childhood on two islands in Icy Strait. She was born on Halibut Island and raised on nearby Hoonah Island, where her widowed mother raised blue foxes. When it came time for Ruth's education in 1944, they moved to Juneau.
Ruth Saviers lives in Juneau with her husband, Francis. Her three children and 13 grandchildren live nearby. Her hobbies include quilting, gardening, cooking and genealogy.
Saviers is working on a sequel based on one of the characters in "Bette," and "half-heartedly" trying to work on a book about her own childhood "because kids today can't imagine living on a island or without television," she said.
"Bette: A Second Chance" is being published by lstBooks Library, a print-on-demand and eBook publishing company. It was founded in 1997 and has helped more than 7,000 authors publish their works. For details, visit www.lstbooks.com.