Book review: Hello Goodbye

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Author:Emily Chenoweth
Reading Level (Conceptual):For grown-ups
Reading Level (Vocabulary):For grown-ups
Year of publication:2009

Not that confronting human mortality can ever be easy. But coming to realize that your mother is mortally ill must be particularly difficult for a young person old enough to understand what death is, but not yet independent.

Chenoweth's heroine, still a college student, has known but refused to know consciously that her mother's brain cancer is terminal. In a story that could have been maudlin, Chenoweth lays out a "good" way for this young person to surface the bad news: in the company of her parents' good friends, with some younger people to interact with.

This is not a cheerful book, but it is lovely and gentle. The dying woman is not presented as a saint, but as someone who has earned her (up until now) comfortable life, and is striving to ensure that those who survive her flourish while she enjoys as much of them time she has left as she can.

In fact, nearly all the characters reveal themselves as flawed but mostly well-intentioned. I am glad I got to know them.

If you found this review helpful and/or interesting, consider supporting our book habit: Buy this book!: Hello Goodbye

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