Until I Say Good-Bye

Until I Say Good-Bye : My Year of Living With Joy

4.03 (6,065 ratings by Goodreads)
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THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERWhat would you do with one last year? Susan Spencer-Wendel was determined to laugh instead of cry.In June 2011, Susan Spencer-Wendel learned she had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) - Lou Gehrig's disease - an irreversible condition that systematically destroys the nerves that power the muscles. She was 44-years-old, with three young children, and she had only one year of health remaining.She decided to live that year with joy.She left her job as a journalist and spent time with her family. She built a meeting place for friends in her backyard. And she took seven trips with the seven most important people in her life. As her health declined, Susan journeyed to the Yukon, Hungary, the Bahamas, and Cyprus. She went to the beach with her sons and to Kleinfeld's bridal shop in New York City with her teenage daughter, Marina, for a glimpse of the wedding she would never attend.She also wrote this book. No longer able to walk or even lift her arms, she tapped it out letter by letter on her iPhone using only her right thumb, the last finger still working.And yet Until I Say Good-Bye is not angry or bitter. It is sad in parts - how could it not be? - but it is filled with Susan's optimism, joie de vivre and sens of humour. It is a book that, like Susan, will make everyone smile. From a hilarious family Christmas disaster to the decrepit monastery in eastern Cyprus where she rediscovered her heritage, Until I Say Good-Bye is Susan Spencer-Wendel's unforgettable gift to her loved ones and to us: a record of their final experiences together and a reminder that every day is better when it is lived with joy.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 137 x 215 x 27mm | 410g
  • Hodder & Stoughton General Division
  • Two Roads
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • B&W integrated
  • 1444762192
  • 9781444762198
  • 148,293

Review quote

Journalist Spencer-Wendel discovered she was ill when her left hand suddenly became withered. As she struggles to come to terms with knowing something is wrong - not wanting to find out, then not fully believing the doctor's ALS diagnosis - she writes with courage and strength... Spencer-Wendel's life will sadly be cut short, but in writing her story, she shows her family and friends how to go on, choosing happiness and love over fear. * Publishers Weekly * All you can do... is to turn the pages, slack-jawed, in awe at her insistence on having powerful, individual experiences. * Huffington Post * It's a touching and brutally honest account of one mother's inspiring attempt to get the most out of the time she has left. * USA Today * This is not a book drowning in tears. It remains optimistic for the future, even if the author will not be there to see it. There is laughter and, as promised, joy throughout. * Daily Express * Susan Spencer-Wendel had to face the question, 'What would you do if you had a year to live?' This profound, tender, and often funny account of her experiences will remind readers of what really matters most: love. * Gretchen Rubin * An emotional roller-coaster of a memoir. * The Age * The inspirational account of a woman whose ALS diagnosis and subsequent physical decline don't prevent her from enjoying life to the fullest, which she proves. * O Magazine * ...almost unbearably moving chronicle of how Spencer-Wendel went about creating lasting moments in that year for the ones she loved. * New York Daily News * The tales are painfully honest, and they're heartbreaking because we know the inevitable outcome. But mostly, they're inspiring. Spencer-Wendel, even in the darkest of moments, remains insistent on happiness - staggeringly so. * US News and World Report * Her honesty and frustration are underscored with a wicked sense of humour. * ABC News * A poignant, wise love story. * Kirkus Reviews * You might worry that a memoir about living with a terminal disease could be too upsetting. Instead, in Susan Spencer Wendel's hands it is both life-enhancing and inspiring. In Until I Say Good-Bye she chronicles her last year of adventures as she wrings every ounce of joy out of her remaining months. * Good Housekeeping * Inspiring. * Guardian * Her heart-ripping book chronicles what she did immediately after her diagnosis: she decided to embrace life while death chased her down... endearing and all too human. * New York Times * Less a memoir about dying than a template for life. The spirit of the book - her spirit - is uplifting. * Sabine Durrant, Guardian *
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About Bret Witter

Susan Spencer-Wendel was an award-winning journalist at the Palm Beach Post for almost twenty years before being diagnosed with ALS at the age of 44. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she held a master's degree in journalism from the University of Florida, was honoured for her work by the Society of Professional Journalists and the Florida Press Club, and received a lifetime achievement award for her court reporting from the Florida Bar. Until I Say Good-Bye, her memoir of living with an incurable disease, was a New York Times bestseller and has been translated in over 20 languages. She lived in West Palm Beach, Florida, with her husband and three children. facebook.com/UntilISayGoodbye Bret Witter has collaborated on five New York Times bestsellers. he lives in Decatur, Georgia. www.bretwitter.com
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Review Text

Less a memoir about dying than a template for life. The spirit of the book - her spirit - is uplifting . Sabine Durrant, Guardian
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Rating details

6,065 ratings
4.03 out of 5 stars
5 38% (2,323)
4 35% (2,152)
3 20% (1,205)
2 5% (278)
1 2% (107)
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