Reader Notes

This book deals with sudden loss and becoming a widow.

Recommended Audience

This book is recommended for adults and, in particular, people who have experienced the death of a partner or spouse.


The subtitle of the book is, A Sad-Funny Journey through Grief for People who Normally Avoid Books with the Words “Journey” in the Title. That is what caught my eye - that and I wanted to know what “Grief Cake” was all about, as I was looking for a book for our Faith & Grief book club last summer. I was looking for a book about grief that was funny and inspiring, I wondered if there was one, well Black Widow by Leslie Gray Streeter is both. You are quickly drawn into Leslie’s story by her amazing storytelling abilities and hilarious wit. You “know” Leslie very quickly. She tells the whole story about her childhood; her amazing career as columnist and writer; re-meeting her soon to be husband Scott and then the instant, too-soon, heartbreak of becoming a widow.  You are with her every way of the journey or at least you feel like you are as the reader. You will cheer with her as her story unfolds through her adoption of her son and how she keeps going through the grief.

You will bounce back and forth between crying laughter and just crying throughout the book. We enjoyed the book, if you can say that about a book about grief, so much that we worked with a chef and Leslie to create a recipe for Grief Cake, check out Faith & Grief's recipe. Leslie invites you into her world dealing with mixed-race/religion families, and the struggles of trying to become a parent with grace, humor and a little salty language to help us all relate to the unrelenting nature of grief as we all have experiences after the death of a loved one.

About the Reviewer

Shelley Craig is the program director for Faith & Grief, a multi-faith grief support nonprofit offering programs online and someday in-person again. She is the host of the Faith & Grief Podcast and they host a monthly book club as well.

Learn more: Faith & Grief MinistriesFaith & Grief Podcast  Faith & Grief Book Club