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The Hot Young Widows Club

Lessons on Survival from the Front Lines of Grief



About The Book

From the host of the popular podcast, Terrible, Thanks for Asking, comes a wise, humorous roadmap and caring resource for anyone going through the loss of a loved one—or even a difficult life moment.

In the span of a few weeks, thirty-something Nora McInerny had a miscarriage, lost her father to cancer, and lost her husband due to a brain tumor. Her life fell apart.

What Nora discovered during this dark time is that, when you’re in these hard moments, it can feel impossible to feel like even a shadow of the person you once were. People will give you all sorts of advice of how to hold onto your sanity and sense of self. But how exactly? How do you find that person again? Welcome to The Hot Young Widows Club, Nora’s response to the toughest questions about life’s biggest struggles.

The Hot Young Widows Club isn’t just for people who have lost a spouse, but an essential tool for anyone who has gone through a major life struggle. Based on her own experiences and those of the listeners dedicated to her podcast, Terrible, Thanks for Asking, Nora offers wise, heartfelt, and often humorous advice to anyone navigating a painful period in their lives. Full of practical guidance, Nora also reminds us that it’s still okay to laugh, despite your deep grief. She explores how readers can educate the people around them on what to do, what to say, and how to best to lend their support. Ultimately, this book is a space for people to recognize that they aren’t alone, and to learn how to get through life’s hardest moments with grace and humor, and even hope.


The Hot Young Widows Club

An Incomplete List of Grief Things That Are Normal

• Giving all your husband’s clothes away the day after he dies

• Asking for his clothes back several months later

• Hating your aunt because she was noisily making a sandwich in the kitchen while your grandmother was dying in her hospital bed just yards away; also hating HGTV and the Property Brothers for making “open concept” houses so ubiquitous

• Fighting over the wording of an obituary

• Balking at the cost of the funeral lunch and deciding people can just have some light snacks instead

• Wearing your dead husband’s socks

• Seeing your dead person in every crowd, and momentarily forgetting that they are dead

• Keeping anything the dead person may have touched

• Selling or donating everything the dead person may have touched

• Staying in your house

• Leaving your house

• Spreading the ashes in a solemn ceremony

• Keeping the ashes in your closet for five years, then finally dumping them in the backyard

• Not sending thank-you cards for all the nice things people did, because the idea of sitting down to write a thank-you card when the person you love so much is dead just seems absolutely ridiculous

• Celebrating your dead person’s birthday

• Celebrating your dead person’s deathday (I prefer to say deathaversary)

• Feeling like you will never love again

• Feeling like you could, and possibly did, fall in love with a body pillow

• Getting very into fitness

• Getting very into drinking (not advised)

• Getting very into staring at your phone for twelve hours a day

About The Author

Chelsey Werth

Nora McInerny was voted Most Humorous by the Annunciation Catholic School Class of 1997. Since then, she’s written the bestselling memoirs It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying Is Cool Too) and No Happy Endings, as well as The Hot Young Widows Club and Bad Moms. She hosts the award-winning podcast Terrible, Thanks for Asking, has spoken on TED’s mainstage, and has contributed to publications like The New York TimesTimeSlate, and Vox. She is very tall.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/TED (April 30, 2019)
  • Length: 112 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781982109981

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Raves and Reviews

"Wise...McInerny’s simple and effective advice will be valuable for anyone who has survived a loss."

– Publishers Weekly

"The book strikes an accessible tone that balances humor and a no-holds-barred willingness to engage in the uncomfortable parts of grieving. Despite this, or maybe because of it, The Hot Young Widows Club offers readers the rare opportunity to sit with grief...[a] meaningful read."

– Paste Magazine

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