Skip to main content

Book Review: Alone and Alive by Janet Boyanton

My own mother at the age of 31 became a widow with 3 small children. What my mother went through in her painful experience affected me as well. Even though I was the child of her second marriage, I have a tender heart when it comes to young widows. When I was asked to review Alone and Alive I gladly accepted.

The author Janet Boyanton became a widow after her husband died suddenly during a camping trip with their young son. Janet is an attorney, and had the knowledge needed to make the necessary arrangements for the funeral, and to probate her late husbands will. Yet, it was difficult to see through the fog of grief in order to carry out this necessary business.
Janet decided a practical guide needed to be written for women who would also be faced with the death of a spouse.

At the beginning of each chapter Janet in brief shares from her own life.
Each of the chapters are short, practical, clear.
One of the most favored aspects of this book is the wise advice from her own experience, and from her law background.

Several Helpful Key Points:
  • She encourages the grieving widow to take time to go through the stages of grief, do not hurry. "Allow yourself to cry, heal, breathe."
  • She encourages "good judgment" in who to befriend or date. If you're not ready, don't date. Don't date because a family member, or well-meaning friend tells you to move on. 
  • Be careful who you allow to know about your financial situation whether you have money or not. There are people in the world who seem to be nice, but in fact pretend. We sometimes know this in our head, but we must be on guard with our heart.
  • If needed seek professional help with counseling, or with a financial advisor.
  • The steps in filing a will, and what to do and expect if there is not a will. 
  • A chapter and later in the back of the book a template---to list assets and debts. 
  • Allowing children to grieve. Adult children and young children grieve differently. Both should be allowed to express themselves during the present and future.
My favorite quotes:
"Children must be allowed to talk about that parent."  page 89
"Knowing that my grief was valid and knowing it was shared by somebody I loved was important to me." page 90

This was a sobering book for me in that my husband and I need a will. I've already called our attorney and have began the process. 

This is a great book, I highly recommend it. I appreciate Janet looking past her own grief and loss, and focusing on helping others.  
Thank you to Janet Boyanton for my free review copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Published by Shafer Publishing 2011
154 pages
Non-fiction/Advice After Becoming a Widow

Link @ Amazon:
Paperback $14.96
Not available on Kindle

Book Link:

Authors Blog:

Information on Author:
Alone and Alive - A Practical Guide for Dealing With the Death of Your Husband, is a new book that addresses the most common issues faced by the new widow. Janet Boyanton, the author of this book, combines her professional experience as a probate and estate planning attorney, her education including an MBA, and a Master of Divinity, with her practical experience as a widow of ten years to produce both a compassionate and fact filled guide to assist the new widow in becoming the vibrant, happy person she can be.