Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Art of Saying Goodbye

I'm not really one for novels that tell you about the power of friendship, mostly because I think it's corny and the public library is full of these already. I was excited about the book but once I got it, I'm going to be honest, I was wondering what the frack I was thinking. But luckily, it was a good book so I'm happy to tell you about it.

The Art of Saying Goodbye by Ellyn Bache
The Art of Saying Goodbye: A Novel
She was the thread that wove their tapestry together.

With a group of women as diverse as the ladies from Brightwood Trace, you might not think them to be close. There’s Julianne, a nurse with an unsettling psychic ability that allows her to literally feel what her patients feel, Andrea, a strong fortress sheltering a faltering core, Ginger, a mother torn between being a stay-at-home mom or following her career aspirations, and Iona, the oldest, whose feisty, no-nonsense attitude disarms even toughest of the tough. Not exactly the ingredients for the most cohesive cocktail . . . Until you add Paisely, the liveliest and friendliest of the clan, who breathed life into them all. But when their glowing leader falls ill with cancer, it’s up to these women to do what Paisely has done for them since the beginning: lift her up. Overcoming and accepting the inevitability of loss, the women draw closer than ever; finding together the strength to embrace and cherish their lives with acceptance, gratitude and most importantly, love. Finally living with the vigor that Paisely has shown them from the start, they are able to see their lives in a new light, while learning to say goodbye to the brightest star they’ve ever known. Over the course of just three months, these four women will undergo a magnificent transformation that leaves nobody unchanged.

I will start by telling you that this is another one of those books where the readers voice changes between characters. Each woman is friens with Paisley is different ways and not necessarily with each other. Some characters I felt were stronger than others and some are the kind that you just get annoyed with because you know someone like them in real life. Mostly, they are the kind of people who aren't able to move on in a positive direction from anything. Everything in their life after a particular event somehow reflects that event and not in a great way. Does that make sense?

But what I really liked about this book versus other books where a character has cancer... is that it's clear she's going to die. You know that almost completely from the beginning. So it's refreshing that you don't have to go through tedious storyline about treatments and if they will pull through. No. She's going to die and it's like the beginning of a grieving process for everyone. I will say that this book really reminded me of Friday Night Knitting Club so if you didn't like that book you probably aren't going to enjoy this one. I also appreciated that this book kind of centered on the fact that people are essentially scared of death. They don't know what to say, they don't know what they should do, and they fear for themselves. As if your dying friend is going to rub off on you and bring you to an early demise. I think that's just human nature but I liked how even in the face of death Paisley knows this and it seems like she accepts it, despite all she has done for others. And it makes you ask yourself... what would you do if you were the friend? Or what if you were Paisley?

Check out what other tour hosts had to say about this book HERE, check out Ellyn's website for more information about this book and her other novels HERE, or you can check out her Facebook page HERE.


Josie said...

I have to recommend to you The Persian Pickle Club. I was totally afraid to read it because I thought it was just going to be a bunch of old ladies sitting around quilting, but it had an interesting twist and I really enjoyed it.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I don't know if I could get into this book. It just doesn't seem like something I'd read. Interesting concept though for the book.

Anonymous said...

"As if your dying friend is going to rub off on you and bring you to an early demise." How true! It's like when a person dies young it reminds me that the same thing could happen to you.

I'm glad you enjoy this one in spite of your initial expectations. Thanks for being on the tour!