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Posted September 13, 2011
This is a special book of the power of female friendship. It is so deep and moving that it captivates you immediately, and stays with you after you close the book. There are many aspects, many facets to it. Each woman has her own story, yet they come together in surprisingly strong ways.
The friendships between these women are credible and full of feeling. One cannot help but enjoy the personalities and bonds of these women. They are likable, well-developed characters. Along with the love and the friendship, there are tears as memories and revelations are revealed. This is indeed what friendship is all about.
Ellyn Bache gives us women's fiction as it is supposed to be: warm, meaningful, and well written.
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Posted May 27, 2014
Posted September 16, 2012
Posted October 16, 2011
"Odd, how in the afterglow of someone else's life, your own looks so much brighter."Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
This line from Ellyn Bache's new novel The Art of Saying Goodbye (William Morrow, 2011), gives you a sense of the glowing feel you will gather from this artful novel.
In the novel, golden girl Paisley suddenly learns she has a late stage cancer. It is unthinkable, and throughout the course of the novel, we see the women who know Paisley re-examining their own lives, revealing secrets and shames, and finding new footing in this redefined world. Instead of a book of darkness and mourning, the author has created a book that is at once real and luminescent, where the characters look beyond sadness to a fuller view of their interlinked worlds.
Bache (whose short story collection The Value of Kindness won the Willa Cather Fiction Prize) has built this novel with a series of chapters that each feel like a perfect little short story all their own. Her writing craft shines, and I found myself eager to pick up the book again and again, feeling that each chapter was a gift I gave to myself to savor. Give this book to yourself and others, and enjoy! Highly recommended.
Posted June 13, 2011
The gift of friendship is the perfect way to say goodbye!
Paisley Lamm's life will forever have a lingering legacy in the lives of the four women that lived on her street. Paisley is the proverbial life of any party, the perfect hostess, the beautiful wife that any man would love to have for his own and the friend who has the perfect thing to say or do to make your day so much more brighter simply by her presence in it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Now the only lingering image is the white ribbons tied from every tree in the neighborhood. A reminder to Paisley each day she passes through the neighborhood that she is not alone. Paisley has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and is dying. In her final days, she will touch each of the women in a unique and lasting way as they each find a way to say goodbye to her and she does for them.
For Julianne, the nurse practitioner, whose gift of prophecy was the first to diagnose something was wrong with Paisley's liver. Now forever stuck with the guilt of not finding a way to make her better, she struggles with the gift she has and who she can share this with.
Andrea, is Paisley's closest friend. She is the one that will spend every single day with her and make sure that no matter what, she will not be alone. They have shared more secrets between them than anyone will ever know and have kept those between themselves, the way a true friend does.
Ginger, the spa salesperson that is now running the business that her father-in-law has left to them, can't seem to find enough thank you's to offer Paisley for providing a way to work and find herself and give her husband back his hopes and dreams.
Iona, the oldest of all of them and a widow who never remarried is the silent rock that holds them all together, dispensing wisdom and advice, as bluntly as an elderly lady can. She struggles with finding a sense of self that all along has been right in front of her.
In the latest novel The Art of Saying Goodbye by Ellyn Bache, the reader is joining an intimate circle of friends who have three months to share in the final moments of Paisley's life. They will be forever changed by not only her life but in the grace she continues to show even in her illness. You will be lost in feeling such a closeness that most women crave in their lives and in the friendship that never dies even when they are no longer with us.
I received The Art of Saying Goodbye compliments of TLC Book Tours for my honest review, and even though the storyline is sad, it's the love and warm that come from the many years these women have spent together, raising their families, and sharing stories, that makes you feel like you know every single one of them. This one rates a 5 out of 5 stars and shows you what real love and friendship looks like.
Posted June 13, 2011
Life is too short to be sad.
The book is about five women - Iona, Julianne, Andrea, Ginger, and their rock, Paisley. On the surface, all they had in common as living in the same neighborhood, Brightwood Trace. Paisley, "was the thread that wove their tapestry together". But what happens when that thread weakens and breaks?Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
It is set during the last days of Paisley's life, flashbacks of their time with her. The good and the bad. Each of the women learn how to cope with their own issues, their families, their goals, their lives so far. All of them reflect at how Paisley has touched their lives and now, it was their turn to give back to her before she finally says goodbye.
I really like how the women do have distinct voices. They are five very different women. To me, a sign of good writing is when I could see the characters materialize in my head as I am reading the words off the page. Like I am hearing their voices as they talk. Even though the book also talks about the other women, it still revolves around Paisley. Each chapter dedicates itself to one of the women, talking about her present life and/or past experiences with her. But when it comes to the chapters where she is the one talking, the point of view shifts to first person, whereas everything else was told in third person. I found that very interesting. It felt like she was telling her little stories while watching the days go by, just waiting. waiting for her time. And I found that very touching.
The book tries to be "not sad". It celebrates Paisley's life and how she touched other people. But I must admit, I shed a few tears along the way. I know the pain of losing someone and in a way, I took from that personal experience and I understood the emotions going on on the page. It imparts a lot of life lessons, telling the reader to be strong always and make the most out of life.
Recommendation: It is a perfect book club selection. Especially if you are composed of strong individuals, strong women. Even if it does tackle the topic of death, it made me feel good.
Posted October 31, 2013
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Posted February 4, 2012
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