The Young Widower's Handbook by Tom McAllister, 282 pages (advanced reading copy)
Hunter Cady and his wife, Kait, were incredibly happy in their young marriage, always planning for (but never taking) elaborate trips to exotic locations around the world. But then Kait died suddenly, leaving Hunter adrift, wondering who he is supposed to be without Kait, who was the planner, the worrier, the financial manager of their partnership. After the immediate mourning period (the part filled with neighborly casseroles and awkward hugs), with anger and stress issues pouring in from his parents and in-laws, Hunter embarks on a road trip with Kait's ashes, heading west to see where life takes them.
This is a wonderful book, filled with bittersweet love, quirky situations and characters, and the perfect amount of wry humor. I was afraid when I picked it up that this would be one of those books that makes me weep constantly; thankfully, it wasn't, and instead I found myself ruminating on life and love. In his debut novel, McAllister creates wonderfully flawed and lovable characters and a story that is, if not totally believable throughout, is true to those characters and the process of grief. Definitely read this one when it's released in February 2017.