The Goodbye Summer

( 8 )

Overview

From New York Times bestselling author patricia gaffney comes an unforgettable novel about daring to love, braving a loss, and setting yourself free.

For thirty-two-year-old Caddie Winger, one summer makes the whole world look different. Jolted from her comfy, self-made nest and forced to see the world with new eyes, Caddie begins to take charge of her future—finding a new best friend, taking risks she never dreamed she could, and navigating the depths and shallows of true love ...

See more details below
Paperback
$11.84
BN.com price
(Save 8%)$12.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (68) from $1.99   
  • New (16) from $1.99   
  • Used (52) from $1.99   
The Goodbye Summer

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$8.99
BN.com price

Overview

From New York Times bestselling author patricia gaffney comes an unforgettable novel about daring to love, braving a loss, and setting yourself free.

For thirty-two-year-old Caddie Winger, one summer makes the whole world look different. Jolted from her comfy, self-made nest and forced to see the world with new eyes, Caddie begins to take charge of her future—finding a new best friend, taking risks she never dreamed she could, and navigating the depths and shallows of true love and crushing heartbreak. And in the course of one extraordinary season, Caddie Winger will learn how to trust other people...and, ultimately, how to trust herself.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Nora Roberts
“A jewel of a book and every facet sparkles.”
Washington Post Book World on The Saving Graces
“Compelling...breathtaking...unique.”
BookPage
“Gaffney writes with wit and a sharp eye for detail.”
Publishers Weekly
No one can accuse Gaffney of shying away from mortality. Against the genteel backdrop of Wake House, a Maryland home for the elderly, Caddie Winger, a music teacher, endures a string of losses the summer she turns 33. In a way, it comes as no surprise, since most of her friends are nearly half a century older than she is. Caddie has always lived with her determinedly wacky grandmother, Nana, who moves into Wake House after she breaks a leg while working on one of her embarrassing lawn sculptures. Soon, Caddie is spending all her time at the small convalescent home and growing especially close to Thea, a firecracker who convinces Caddie to smoke pot and dance in the rain. Despite the fun they have together, the sober realities of old age are never far off, and Caddie's affair with a man her own age disappearing slick-o Christopher doesn't do much to cheer her up. The novel has its larkier moments, especially in the spirited, pitch-perfect conversations between Caddie and Nana and the sniping among Nana's fellow Wake House residents. But mostly Caddie suffers and struggles as Nana's ditziness looks more like dementia, money grows scarce, and she is plagued by crippling self-doubt. The redemptive romance, with 30-something Wake House resident Henry Magill, convalescing from a sky-diving accident that killed his fianc e, echoes the core love story in Gaffney's last novel, Flight Lessons. Here, too, a damaged hero offers a profound attractiveness the reader recognizes ages ahead of the heroine. Caddie is endearing, and while some fans will cherish her fealty to her sorrows, others may feel more bummed than uplifted. Agent, Amy Berkower. (May) Forecast: Fans who like a good weepie will appreciate this best, but look for Gaffney to match her usual numbers with the added help of a 10-city tour. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Caddie must make some hard decisions when her grandmother goes into a convalescent home. With a ten-city author tour. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060836870
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/18/2009
  • Pages: 460
  • Sales rank: 735,399
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Patricia Gaffney's novels include The Goodbye Summer, Flight Lessons, and The Saving Graces. She and her husband currently live in Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

The Goodbye Summer


By Gaffney, Patricia

HarperLargePrint

ISBN: 0060545488

Chapter One

The first Caddie Winger ever heard of Wake House was when she was helping her grandmother get her drawers on over the cast on her leg.

It was Nana's second day back from the hospital. "If I was at Wake House," she said, lying flat on the sofa and holding her bunched-up nightgown over her lap for modesty, "somebody who knew what they were doing would be doing this."

"What house? Awake?"

"Wake House. That place on Calvert Street across from the thing. The thing, where you go with papers. To get signed."

"The notary? Put your good foot in here, Nan. Are you talking about that old house with the tower and all the porches? I think it's a boardinghouse."

"Before. Now it's an old folks' home."

"Oh, you don't need to go to a place like that, I can take care of you fine."

"Ow."

"It's a learning curve."

Nana mentioning a nursing home, imagine that. For the rest of the morning Caddie pondered what it might mean. When the old lady across the street went dotty and her children put her in a nursing home, Nana was aghast. "Shoot me if you ever want to get rid of me that bad, you hear? Take me out in the backyard and fire away." Caddie assumed the subject of nursing homes was off-limits forever.

That afternoon, though, out of the blue, Nana brought up Wake House again.

They were on the front porch, Nana slumped in her rented wheelchair, resting her broken leg on a pillow on top of the low kitchen stool. Caddie stood behind her, braiding her hair. Nana had long, pretty, smokegray hair and, before it softened with age, a long, bony, sharp-featured face. She loved it when people told her she looked like Virginia Woolf. Nobody ever added, "If she'd lived to seventy-nine instead of walking into the river."

"What's-her-name died there," she said, breaking a drowsy silence.

"Who died where, Nan?"

"Wake House. What's-her-name, you know. Pink hair, Tuesday nights."

Hm. Back in Nana's Buddhist period, when she'd led a chanting service in the dining room one night a week, an elderly lady who dyed her hair pink had shown up occasionally. "Mrs. Pringle?"

"Inez Pringle, thank you."

"She died at Wake House?"

Nana shrugged. "You have to die someplace."

Caddie leaned over to see if she was joking. Her eyes were fixed on something out in the yard -- Caddie followed her gaze to what was left of George Bush in Love. That's how she'd broken her leg, by falling off the stepladder while putting a final cowboy boot on top of her phallus-shaped, seven-foot-high lawn sculpture. Nana was an artist.

"Are you serious?" Caddie asked.

A moment passed. "About what?" Nana said dreamily.

Caddie smiled and went back to braiding her hair. How were they going to wash it? This old house had only one bathroom, upstairs, and right now Nana couldn't stand up at the kitchen sink for longer than a minute or two. Maybe one of those dry shampoos, they were supposed to ...

"About Wake House? Damn right I'm serious. Call 'em up, find out how much it costs to stay there."

Her next pain pill wasn't for forty minutes. She'd broken her leg in two places, but luckily the breaks were simple, so her recovery was supposed to be long and tedious but not tricky or dangerous. The pain made her irritable, though. That's all Caddie could think of to account for Nana's sudden interest in recovering anyplace except the house on Early Street she'd lived in for fifty years.

"Wake House. I even like the sound of it."

"You do?" It made Caddie think of a funeral home.

"It's not like one of those places, it's not a mick ... mick ... "

"McNursing Home," Caddie guessed.

"This place is going to the dogs."

"Our house?"

"The whole neighborhood. It's not even safe anymore."

"Yes, it is."

"No, it's not."

Caddie stopped arguing, because she never won, but Nana was exaggerating.

Early Street might not be what it used to be, not that it had ever been that much, but it still had decent, hardworking families with fairly well-behaved children, plenty of old-timers rocking out their afternoons on the shady, crooked front porches. Crime was still pretty much in the vandalism category, boys breaking things or writing on things. It was getting older, that's all. Everything got older.

"Wake House," Nana resumed. "I bet it's got an elevator. Ramps, wheelchairs with motors. People giving you massages."

"Oh, boy."

"I'm a senior citizen, I deserve the best. This place is a death trap."

"Only about half an hour till your next pill, then you'll feel better. Want me to play the piano? You could listen through the window."

"Look it up in the yellow pages. Better yet, take me to see it -- I always wanted to go inside that place. It's not just for old folks, you can get well there, too. Conva ... conva ... "

"Nan, I know you don't want to, but if you would just go upstairs, this whole thing would be a lot simpler. I really think."

"No way."

"You'd be near the bathroom -- you know how you hate that climb up the stairs four or five times a day. You could sleep in your own bed instead of the lumpy couch. You wouldn't have to move every time one of my students comes over for a lesson. You could have a bell or a whistle, and I'd come up anytime you needed something, I wouldn't mind a bit. It just makes so much more -- "

"No."

"But why?"

"I told you, I'm not going up there."

"But why not?"

"Once you go up, you never come down."

"Nana, you only broke your leg."

"That's it, I've made up my mind. Wake House. I used to know the family, you know."

Maybe Caddie could take one of Nana's pills for the headache she was getting ...

Continues...

Excerpted from The Goodbye Summer by Gaffney, Patricia Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

First Chapter

The Goodbye Summer LP

Chapter One

The first Caddie Winger ever heard of Wake House was when she was helping her grandmother get her drawers on over the cast on her leg.

It was Nana's second day back from the hospital. "If I was at Wake House," she said, lying flat on the sofa and holding her bunched-up nightgown over her lap for modesty, "somebody who knew what they were doing would be doing this."

"What house? Awake?"

"Wake House. That place on Calvert Street across from the thing. The thing, where you go with papers. To get signed."

"The notary? Put your good foot in here, Nan. Are you talking about that old house with the tower and all the porches? I think it's a boardinghouse."

"Before. Now it's an old folks' home."

"Oh, you don't need to go to a place like that, I can take care of you fine."

"Ow."

"It's a learning curve."

Nana mentioning a nursing home, imagine that. For the rest of the morning Caddie pondered what it might mean. When the old lady across the street went dotty and her children put her in a nursing home, Nana was aghast. "Shoot me if you ever want to get rid of me that bad, you hear? Take me out in the backyard and fire away." Caddie assumed the subject of nursing homes was off-limits forever.

That afternoon, though, out of the blue, Nana brought up Wake House again.

They were on the front porch, Nana slumped in her rented wheelchair, resting her broken leg on a pillow on top of the low kitchen stool. Caddie stood behind her, braiding her hair. Nana had long, pretty, smokegray hair and, before it softened with age, a long, bony, sharp-featured face. She loved it when people told her she looked like Virginia Woolf. Nobody ever added, "If she'd lived to seventy-nine instead of walking into the river."

"What's-her-name died there," she said, breaking a drowsy silence.

"Who died where, Nan?"

"Wake House. What's-her-name, you know. Pink hair, Tuesday nights."

Hm. Back in Nana's Buddhist period, when she'd led a chanting service in the dining room one night a week, an elderly lady who dyed her hair pink had shown up occasionally. "Mrs. Pringle?"

"Inez Pringle, thank you."

"She died at Wake House?"

Nana shrugged. "You have to die someplace."

Caddie leaned over to see if she was joking. Her eyes were fixed on something out in the yard -- Caddie followed her gaze to what was left of George Bush in Love. That's how she'd broken her leg, by falling off the stepladder while putting a final cowboy boot on top of her phallus-shaped, seven-foot-high lawn sculpture. Nana was an artist.

"Are you serious?" Caddie asked.

A moment passed. "About what?" Nana said dreamily.

Caddie smiled and went back to braiding her hair. How were they going to wash it? This old house had only one bathroom, upstairs, and right now Nana couldn't stand up at the kitchen sink for longer than a minute or two. Maybe one of those dry shampoos, they were supposed to ...

"About Wake House? Damn right I'm serious. Call 'em up, find out how much it costs to stay there."

Her next pain pill wasn't for forty minutes. She'd broken her leg in two places, but luckily the breaks were simple, so her recovery was supposed to be long and tedious but not tricky or dangerous. The pain made her irritable, though. That's all Caddie could think of to account for Nana's sudden interest in recovering anyplace except the house on Early Street she'd lived in for fifty years.

"Wake House. I even like the sound of it."

"You do?" It made Caddie think of a funeral home.

"It's not like one of those places, it's not a mick ... mick ... "

"McNursing Home," Caddie guessed.

"This place is going to the dogs."

"Our house?"

"The whole neighborhood. It's not even safe anymore."

"Yes, it is."

"No, it's not."

Caddie stopped arguing, because she never won, but Nana was exaggerating.

Early Street might not be what it used to be, not that it had ever been that much, but it still had decent, hardworking families with fairly well-behaved children, plenty of old-timers rocking out their afternoons on the shady, crooked front porches. Crime was still pretty much in the vandalism category, boys breaking things or writing on things. It was getting older, that's all. Everything got older.

"Wake House," Nana resumed. "I bet it's got an elevator. Ramps, wheelchairs with motors. People giving you massages."

"Oh, boy."

"I'm a senior citizen, I deserve the best. This place is a death trap."

"Only about half an hour till your next pill, then you'll feel better. Want me to play the piano? You could listen through the window."

"Look it up in the yellow pages. Better yet, take me to see it -- I always wanted to go inside that place. It's not just for old folks, you can get well there, too. Conva ... conva ... "

"Nan, I know you don't want to, but if you would just go upstairs, this whole thing would be a lot simpler. I really think."

"No way."

"You'd be near the bathroom -- you know how you hate that climb up the stairs four or five times a day. You could sleep in your own bed instead of the lumpy couch. You wouldn't have to move every time one of my students comes over for a lesson. You could have a bell or a whistle, and I'd come up anytime you needed something, I wouldn't mind a bit. It just makes so much more -- "

"No."

"But why?"

"I told you, I'm not going up there."

"But why not?"

"Once you go up, you never come down."

"Nana, you only broke your leg."

"That's it, I've made up my mind. Wake House. I used to know the family, you know."

Maybe Caddie could take one of Nana's pills for the headache she was getting ...

The Goodbye Summer LP. Copyright © by Patricia Gaffney. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

Reading Group Guide

Introduction

Caddie spends her time taking care of her grandmother, Nana, who raised her, and giving music lessons to the neighborhood children, some of whom even have talent. But when Nana breaks her leg and insists on going to a convalescent home, Caddie finds herself being pulled out of her comfy, self-made nest -- and forced to confront some truths from her past, as well as take charge of her future. As she makes a new best friend, takes risks she never dreamed she could, and navigates the depths and shallows of true love and devastating heartbreak, Caddie learns how to trust other people, and ultimately, trust herself.

Discussion Questions

  1. When she writes her biographies for her Wake House friends, Caddie always asks them if they have any regrets. Most say no, although Nana says, "You know what I hate? People who say they have no regrets." Do we all tend to regret the same things, or at least the same category of things, chances not taken, words not said, paths not followed -- fundamentally lapses in personal courage or generosity?

  2. Jane, Caddie's mother, died when she was nine, and she wasn't much of a mother anyway. Nana raised Caddie. Then Thea came along. What did each woman contribute to Caddie's character, positively or negatively?

About the author

Patricia Gaffney received her B.A. in English from Marymount College in Tarrytown, NY, and also studied at the University of London, George Washington University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After a brief stint as a high school English teacher, Patricia worked as a freelance court reporter for fifteen years. She and her husbandcurrently live in Blue Ridge Summit, PA, where she writes fiction full time.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This is a captivating perhaps overly teary tale

    In Maryland, thirty-three years old music teacher Caddie Winger knows this is the worst summer of her life. Her close friends at Wake House; a convalescent home for the elderly and those recuperating from crippling accidents including her Nana who broke her leg; have been dying; although rationally she knows they are either septuagenarians or octogenarians. Caddie mourns their passing as she has made friends with many of them since she spends much of her free time at Wake House.

    It is people like elderly resident Thea who persuades Caddie who smoke joints with her while others encourage her to live life to the fullest even as the younger woman worries her beloved Nana seems to get stranger with each passing moment. Struggling with no money and no confidence, Caddie is attracted to thirtyish resident Henry Magill, who is recovering from a sky-diving accident that left his fiancée dead.

    This is a captivating perhaps overly teary tale of a woman who has not taken any life FLIGHT LESSONS until the senior citizens and Henry persuade Ms. Sorrowful Winger (great surname for a grounded sad eyes) to imitate Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain. The storyline is aptly titled yet ironically readers know for the thirty-three years old piano teacher this is the most wonderful summer of her maudlin life.

    Harriet Klausner

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2004

    Great Read for Summer or Anytime

    This book was an absolute delight to read. The characters are so vivid that you want to know all about them! Caddie, the main character is simply wonderful and her story so unique. What the author does best is to weave the story in a way that makes the reader yearn for more. I love a happy story, although this one did make me cry a few times! This is a book that you would want to read over and over again, like a timeless clasic. It also inspired me to do some volunteering =).

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2004

    CHOICE VOICE PERFORMANCE

    Seasoned actress and voice performer Maxwell has proven herself adept at both comedy and drama in her stage performances. She exercises that talent to the joy of listeners as we hear conversations between some of the slightly flighty residents of Wake House, a convalescent home. Her reading of Caddie's story is heartfelt and endearing as we share the sadness of losing someone dear and the joy of discovering love. Thirty-two year old Caddie Winger is a piano teacher, content for all of her life to live with her grandmother, Frances. But Caddie's life takes a sharp turn when Frances breaks a leg and insists upon moving to Wake House. Of course, she visits her grandmother regularly and becomes close to many of the other elderly residents. Her new friends are over twice as old as she is, save for one - a young man who was injured in a sky diving accident. For the first time that she can remember Caddie is living alone, making decisions on her own, and perhaps finding a new and unexpected life. - Gail Cooke

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)