A Widow for One Year by John Irving
This is the story of Ruth and the people around her. At the age of four her mother left her and her father. The mother, Marion, had been planning to leave her father, Ted, when her two brothers were killed in a car wreck. But she put it off and had
Ruth instead. But Marion was scared of loving another child and decided to leave rather than risk losing another child.
So, Ruth grows up afraid of commitments. She's in her late 30's before she finally marries and has a child.
"A Widow for One Year" is about missing persons, whether a person is missing or someone is missing a person. The book explores how absence affects people, whether it's Ruth missing her mother, Marion and Ted missing their sons, or other people in the book who have lost people.