The Art of Saying Goodbye
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The Art of Saying Goodbye

3.29 (562 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

"Bache writes straight from the heart, peopling her pages with characters you will never forget."
--Lee Smith, author of Fair and Tender Ladies

"Ellyn Bache draws her characters from the inside."
--Baltimore Sun

Critically acclaimed author Ellyn Bache captivates with The Art of Saying Goodbye, a beautiful and poignant story of four suburban women who gain new insights and appreciations of their own lives when a much-loved neighbor falls gravely ill. In the tradition of Kristin Hannah's Firefly Lane and Marisa de los Santos's Belong to Me, Bache's The Art of Saying Goodbye is a beautiful and touching story of friendship, love, commitment, and self-discovery that will enthrall readers of Jodi Picault and Jill Barnett.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 335 pages
  • 134.62 x 198.12 x 25.4mm | 249.47g
  • HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • AVON BOOKS
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0062033689
  • 9780062033680
  • 1,067,546

Review quote

Grief, friendship, marriage, love and uncertainty--it's all here--portrayed quietly and convincingly, without being over done. ...[A] glimpse into the lives of this intertwined group of women and their everlasting, complicated friendships--which is how a book about women and their complicated friendships should be.--New York Journal of Books
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Back cover copy

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.
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Rating details

562 ratings
3.29 out of 5 stars
5 9% (51)
4 29% (165)
3 46% (257)
2 14% (76)
1 2% (13)

Our customer reviews

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? 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. My favorite character was Julianne. When I read the summary on GoodReads, Julianne was described as "a nurse with an unsettling psychic ability that allows her to literally feel what her patients feel". I saw the word "psychic" and I had doubts. But she ended up being the one I liked the most. She was the one who first found out about Paisley's illness and throughout the story and I felt she was the one who was affected the most by it. Disturbed, really... being the one who pretty much felt it. I also like Brynne, Paisley's eldest daughter. I think I related to Brynne a lot because I also suffered a loss. Almost eight years ago, I lost my father. I did not lose him to cancer but it was quick nonetheless. This was one of the reasons why I was adamant to read this right after I read that it was about losing someone and "saying goodbye". But I am glad I read it. 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. Rating: 4/5. 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.show more
by Cate Ten
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