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View all 12 comments Ben I just finished it and what makes me agree with this interpretation is something no one has mentioned: The randomness and, in context, inappropriateness of this observation snapped my eyes open to the fact that his telling--his version--is not to be trusted. It's just not Barnes' style or in the spirit of the rest of the book.
Tony isn't delusional enough to have erased an entire hugely significant affair from his memory. Throughout the book, he's a sane, thoughtful, intelligent narrator.
However, as he continually reminds us, memories are unreliable as they are for all of us -- not in the sense that he's completely made up or repressed pivotal events in his life, but that they get blurred and smoothed over and reinterpreted over time. For example, the letter he sent to Adrian and Veronica. He's right about most of the major points that were in it, but totally shocked at how malicious it is when confronted with all the details he has conveniently forgotten 40 years later.
Veronica telling him he 'just doesn't get it' in response to his apology and conclusion about it being her child doesn't make any sense if he was the father. She wouldn't be dealing with him cautiously, ignoring him in the car when he's babbling on about the man she showed him, and finally just hopelessly frustrated at his cluelessness -- she would be violently mad as he is clearly insane and had sex with her mom and is now a deadbeat father and is now somehow in denial about the whole thing.
Same with Sarah's letter to him upon her death. That is not a letter you send to someone with whom you had an affair and secretly fathered a child with. It's too innocent and vaguely apologetic and just doesn't make sense.
Widows Movie Ending Twists & Final Scene Explained | ScreenRant
The novel is a classic Barnes postmodern take on absolute truth and memory -- he loves to show how questionable any individual's interpretation of even major events and relationships can be, and shock the reader by getting you drawn into accepting their version, and then showing you another. Here we get the key to another way of interpreting events at the end, and realize along with Tony that the tale we have been told, and which he has come to tell himself, involves some serious and shocking misconceptions: He got stuck in a shameful pregnancy situation just like the schoolboy they mocked, just even more base and sordid.
He was also shockingly mean in his last communication with Adrian and Veronica for no particular reason since he dumped Veronica. She was flirting with him and undermining her daughter's relationship, as she did successfully during Veronica's next relationship with Adrian.
From this last bit, I'm surprised people are confused about why Sarah left him the diary. Sure she doesn't have a well-meaning reason -- It's because she is a manipulative person who has a vindictive relationship with her daughter.
She knows Veronica has painful memories of the end of her relationship with Tony and shame over what happened with Adrian, and this will bring rub them in her face from beyond the grave. Sure enough, Tony ends pestering her for details and then unknowingly torturing her with questions like "was I in love with you back then?
Even if they were having an affair, he came to regret it -- why would he leave her his diary? The only indication it was hers to give is based on some assumptions about a piece of tape. The lawyer never saw it. Quite possibly she knew Veronica had taken or kept it as she was unable to get rid of it despite the pain involved as she did with the final letter from Tony and this is a pretty diabolical way of invoking Tony's curiosity and making him think he has a right to pester her for it, when she is deeply ashamed of the contents.
Sarah offers up the indeed odd-sounding excuse that he was happy with her up to the point he was miserable enough to kill himself, but doesn't sound particularly guilt-ridden. She also says she's not completely sure of her motives herself. Also, I think part of the pain of the ending is that even in the past Sarah had a manipulative effect on Tony as well. He's killed instantly, and the women grab the money and run. Linda takes Alice to the hospital, telling the doctors that she was shot in a drive-by, and Belle takes off as well.
Veronica brings the money back to the garage Veronica confronts Harry about the affair with Amanda and his newborn son. Harry tells her that he couldn't stay with her after their son, Marcus Josiah Sheffie was killed by a cop in a traffic stop, and that he wants to build a new life for herself. He demands that Veronica turn over the money, and attacks her when she refuses - but then Veronica shoots and kills him.
She plants the gun used to shoot Tom Mulligan on him, and then makes her getaway with the money.
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As the movie ends, the widows have each gone their separate ways with their share of the money, now able to make new lives for themselves without the financial support of their husbands. In the movie's final scene, Alice and Veronica spot one another from across a diner. Veronica at first ignores Alice, but then follows her after she leaves and calls her back, asking how she's been, and smiles. As Harry reveals in his emotional final confrontation with Veronica, the death of their son pushed him away from their marriage and towards the hope of starting a new life and a new family with Amanda.
After the three other men had been loaded into the back of the van, Harry arranged explosive tanks around it and walked away right before the garage door opened.
The van was pulverized by bullets and then exploded, and the remains of four bodies were left behind - enough to convince the world that Harry was dead.
However, afterwards Jack demanded a million dollars as payment for his help, threatening to expose the fact that Harry was still alive if he didn't get it. How The Widows Get Away With the Robbery Viola Davis and Cynthia Erivo in Widows Harry faking his death actually proves to be rather fortuitous for Veronica, since it offers a way for her to ensure no one will suspect her or the other women in the robbery.
After killing Harry at the garage, she leaves behind the gun that was used to shoot Tom Mulligan, close to Harry's hand - thereby setting him up to posthumously take the fall for the crime. Once his body is discovered, everyone including Jack Mulligan will assume that Harry faked his death and then returned for one more heist, since the gun forensics will link him to Tom Mulligan's murder.
The actual robbers used masks, heavy clothing, and voice-changing tech to conceal their gender, and since armed robberies are almost always committed by men, no one would have any reason to suspect a group of grieving widows.