This is a long book. Not in page number, though it has delightful heft, but the density was amazing. I would read a few pages, put it down to digest -laughing or sniffling, and sometimes in equal measure at the same time- and come back an hour later for another hit.
Sophie is so real, and crystal perhaps even more so in her own abrasive, slightly damaged way. I loved Ethan's progression in Sophie's mind, from the personification of loss, to a saint, and then gradually toward the end, back to a real person who she still loves.
I'd be very interesting to reread it in a decade or so, and see if I have the same impressions. I get the feeling it'll be a bit different.
This book was an up and down read. A read that was very real, and hard to look at with some of the issues it addresses, but it has its happy moments to. This book is very real. You can see the emotions, feel them, think that it could happen to you. A very good read, a fast read despite the feelings it evokes. Because you want to flip to the next page and see what happens next. I really did over all enjoy this book.I think its probably the best one I have read so far this year. Emotional, Funny, Sad, but most of all a heart warming tale of life. And how to live after loss.
I'm torn - on one hand, this book made me cry and hug my husband a lot. He is still trying to figure that one out LOL. On the other, I did find the last few chapters kind of rushed and almost too 'easy' compared to the rest of the story. It seemed like one person wrote the first half (great) and the second half (ehh).
Delightful! A very real look at the life of a young widow seeking a sense of peace (and self) following the death of her husband. How Sophie deals with the grief process is at turns heartbreaking and hilarious as she tries to make a new life for herself, diving headlong into a new hometown, a new career, and a new love life.
I really loved this book. Lolly Winston has successfully captured the emotions of a young widow in her 30's. Sophie is an endearing character and she not only makes you want her to find happiness, she also makes you wish you could become her friend. As much as she loved and missed her deceased husband, I kept feeling that he really wasn't good enough for her because of his distracted workaholic personality. On the other hand, it was easy to see she was a match for the actor she began dating when she discovered he kept books in his dishwasher. Now that is a man who could identify with a woman who went to work in her pajamas and bunny slippers shortly after her husband died. Read this book and I promise you will love Sophie's story.
I really liked this book; it's about a woman coping with the death of her husband and going through the stages of grief (tells of how she went to work in her bathrobe and bunny slippers) - not a sad or tear jerker book, has moments of hilarity.
I thought this was a lovely story of handling grief and starting over. It's amazing how we find healing in the most unlikely places with the most unlikely people. At times Sophie's life seemed a comedy of errors but I thought that her story was compelling and ultimately very touching. I thought the ending was full of possibilities.
This book was an easy read (read itg in 2 days). There are a few characters to sympathize with ()mine was Crystal). It's a good story and flows well. I think she left room for a sequel if she wants at the end though. Overall, worth a read.
There are thousands of books about looking for love, but not many about living through tradegy. This witty, big-hearted novel about a smart, funny young woman rebuilding her life and re-creating a family after her husband's untimely death fills that gap beautifully. (Jennifer Weiner)
This book was wonderful. As the mother of a child who passed too soon, I kept this book tucked away in my TBR. I am glad that I picked it. It was witty, tearful and oh so true. It is a truthful account of the grieving process, although certainly not everyone goes through what this young widow did, but still it makes you feel that it is ok to act outside of normal when processing such feelings. anyone who has lost someone too soon should seriously consider this story when you are ready (or maybe even when you think you aren't) I highly recommend it.
I really like this book. It had more depth to it then the usual chick lit books I read. I liked how each chapter was a different emotion in the grieving process. The author really draws you in and makes you feel each emotion. I'm looking forward to reading more Lolly Winston books.
When Sophie, the lead character in Good Grief, loses her husband to cancer, one would think the book would be a tear jerker. Well, the tears may come--but it's not what you think! Lolly Winston imbued her character with enough spunk that, while we lament her plight--we also cheer her climb back to sanity and the 2nd chance she gets at 'happily ever after'.
Winston captures the stages of grief beautifully. Her character Sophie feels realistic and portrays 'almost too honest' emotions that are easy to relate to. Winston is very descriptive and creative with her word phrases. She is original and doesn't use overly common word pictures.
Winston will bring you to tears, and then laughter almost in the same moment. Sophie is not just another character in a book, but a friend. You are left wanting to know what happens next in her life.
"Good Grief" was easy to read from the beginning and Winston kept enticing me to the very end. It was difficult to put down and I finished in two sittings.
I would definitely recommend this book and will add it to my book shelf marked "keeps" as I could read this one over and over.
(For more reviews written by me, you can go to www.ladyreadnblog.blogspot.com)
This book is incredibly easy to get lost in. I found myself almost "smacked in the face" with the detailed descriptions of the characters depression over the tragic loss of her young husband, and some of it was deeply upsetting. I am glad for having read it though. This book is one I will not soon forget.
This book is a humorous, compassionate, insightful look into a woman's grief after losing her husband to cancer. From wearing her bathrobe and bunny slippers into her office one morning to finding new love and opening her own business - this woman goes through all the stages. In her own way, in her own time - Sophie works herself into your heart.
A great book for anyone who has lost a spouse or occasionally even lost themselves.
Blending new widow-hood, grieving, and finding a way to live, this novel manages to remain lighthearted (even making me laugh out loud at times) while dealing with some very tough issues. I was hooked from the first page, and couldn't put this book down - - Sophie eats Oreos in bed, and ODs on frozen waffles, probably the exact thing I would do in her situation - - widowed in her thirties, she goes to grief counseling, loses her job when she can't keep her mind on her work, becomes a Big Sister, and finds that others need her, providing a reason to get out of bed each day. This book ends good, though not in the way you might expect. PS - There is romance, too!
An excellent book about a woman whose husband dies. She goes through alot of grief and depression. It took awhile, but she finally relocates, friends some new friends, another job and love. A funny look at being a widow.
This book is one of the best books I've read in years! Be prepared to cry, because there are quite a few heart-wrenching moments. But overall, I found the book incredibly touching and heartwarming. It's just a beautiful and at times, amusing, portrayal of grief and the struggle to recover from such a massive loss. I very highly recommend this book.
I loved this book - it was funny and heartwarming and stayed with me long after I was through reading it. Friends have been recommending this one to me for awhile now and I'm so glad I finally had a chance to read it!
I loved this book.!I am looking forward to the sequel. This book isn't depressing, it is true. This is a comical, relistic, and heartwaroming book. The author goes into detail about some great friendships established between the charactors. It is wonderfully written and describes a transformation in the main charactor "Sophie" . She finds herself at a cross-roads in life. She must rediscover herself, which we all do at sometime or another.
It doesn't take death to push us into a different direction. I found this story to actually be uplifting. Don't be afraid that this book is a "downer", it isn't. This book is a great read for people who are honest with themselves about thier own feelings about life in general. You don't have to be a widow to appreciate this book. You don't even need to be female, (though it is "chick-lit") you just need to be "real". Great book in my opinion.
I wish there were a dozen books by this author! Though not a fine literary work, this was one of the most enjoyable books I've read in a long time. I loved the main character- and grew to love the secondary characters as well. The writing style had me laughing out loud, and I identified with the end. Thanks, Lolly Winston!
I almost can't part with this one, but you can't keep them all! A thirty-somethingish widow reinvents herself through grief and a change of scenery. Very witty yet poignant writing, similar to Jenniger Weiner's writing - you will thoroughly enjoy!
Quirky, funny, touching and pain driven. This novel goes through all the emotions of loss of a loved one, starting over, making mistakes and becoming your own woman. Lolly Winston weaves an extrordinary story of love and survival.
I loved this book. I couldn't put it down. I am not a fan of sadness so I was a bit hesitant because it's about a woman who's grieving for her deceased husband, but as I read each page I couldn't wait to read the next and the next and the next. The author has a gift for describing the worst circumstances with humor and she sucks you right in from the get-go.
This book was stunning. It is a wonderful portrait of grief and just the processes that we go through as we grieve. I give Lolly Winston a lot of credit for helping me get through the death of my daughter. The characters felt like real people and little moments just totally made me laugh again. Grief is universal and as steeped in my pain as I was this book reminded me of that. It was nice to just hear about other people struggling and doing crazy silly stuff or just not knowing what they were doing or were going to be doing. A very brave work.
I was a bit hesitant to read this book; it sounded like it might be too morose for my taste, considering the topic. I was wrong! - I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The characters are wonderful, the situations Sophie finds herelf in are described in such good detail that the reader can genuinely picture the whole scene, and the humor interspersed throughout is laugh out loud funny at times.
This wonderfuly written book illustrates the range of emotions one experiences following the death of a loved one. Winston puts the main character, Sophie, in everday situations that teach the reader lessons we should all learn. A must read book!
Shortly after I lost a very close family member, I had opportunity to read this novel. The novel is about a woman who has lost her husband to cancer and she is trying to come to grips with losing him. It is written in the first person. Even though it is fiction, it chronicles all of the stages of grief in a very tender (and sometimes amusing) way. I found it so helpful to read it. Made me smile, cry, and laugh at various times.
Another story of an overcomer, this one having lost her husband at a young age and, with him, all of her hopes and dreams. How does one go on with life after such tragedy? Can one dare to try for triumph? Or is mediocrity the highest possible goal?
This book will have you laughing through your tears.
This is a really fun and fast book to read. It is dark humor about a lady whose husband dies and how she copes over a year time frame. It has sad parts but really funny parts too and covers all the normal grief topics of anger, denial, acceptance, etc. A great read!
When her software designer husband Ethan dies of cancer after only three years of marriage, Sophie Stanton vows to be a Jackie Kennedy type of widow, butfortunately for her and usit turns out she's far too funny, complex, and real for stereotypes. Instead, the 36-year-old careens through Lolly Winston's acclaimed first novel wearing pink bunny slippers, drinking Jack Danielsand trying to learn how to live life after death.
In an age in which women are expected to be high achievers, thirty-six-year-old Sophie Stanton desperately wants to be a good widow - a graceful, composed, Jackie Kennedy kind of widow. Alas, Sophie is more of a Jack Daniels kind. Self-medicating with cartons of ice cream for breakfast, breaking down in the produce section a the supermarket, showing up to work in her bathrobe and bunny slippers - soon she's not only lost her husband, but her job, her house, and her waistline.
Desperate to reinvent her life, Sophie moves to Ashland, Oregon. But instead of the way women starting over are depicted in the movies - with heroines instantly being swept off their feet by Sam Shepard kinds of guys - Sophie finds herself in the middle of Lucy-And-Ethel madcap adventures with a darkly comic edge involving a thirteen-year-old with a fascination with fire and an alarmingly handsome actor who inspires a range of feelings she can't cope with - yet!
This book is beautifully written. I found the beginning a little manic, however I kept reading and I am glad that I did. The characters are likable and charming. This is an excellent book club book. My mother and I both read the book and had 2 different takes on it.
I really loved this book! Its the best of Womens literature. Its very very funny even at its most touching, most tear jerking moments. If I had the strength of the main character in this book, or the talent of the author I would truly be proud!
Great read, quick not too sad or dramatic although the subject would have you believe otherwise. Forgiveness for grief, your own and adapting to all transitions, changes all we don't want to experience. Starting over and those struggles, very real to life. Funny too. Great characters, I love Lolly Winston and bought Happiness sold separately immediately after. Good grasp of keeping your attention without wrenching your heart out.
I lost my husband less than a year ago and was looking for something to help me through my grief. The non-fiction reading I found was of little help; it was very depressing. This book of fiction was what I needed. It is written with humor and understanding. Though the widow in the book reacts far worse than I ever did to the loss, I could still relate to what she went through and was even able to smile and laugh at times.
Though I am not a widow, I found this book really appealed to me. Anyone who has experienced depression can relate to Sophie's inability to get out of bed, going to work in her pajamas, etc. I also like the fact that Sophie was able to move on with her life without sacrificing the memory of her husband.
I read GOOD GRIEF with a reading buddy in my online book club, The Reading Cove. It had been in my TBR pile for years so I'm glad I finally got around to it!
Sophie is a young woman, married only three years when her husband passes away. So this story is about her journey through grief, from Denial to Thanksgiving. Sophie manages to maintain her sense of humor throughout, so that saves the 'stream of consciousness' narrative from feeling like tedious rambling.
While well written, I did feel the story flirted with boredom and definitely went on a few chapters too long. Chapter 28 would've been the perfect stopping point. And many of the people who come into Sophie's life later on felt more like clichés than real people, particularly Crystal, the troubled teen she mentors. Whatever. ;-)
So overall, I would recommend approaching this story as if it were a sitcom rather than a drama, especially in the last third. I give it a C+
My father is currently fighting cancer, and I could completely identify with some of the stages of grief that the main character went through. I enjoyed reading it, and felt a little bit less like I too was losing my mind!
This is a beautifully written book about the range of emotions one experiences following the death of a loved one. Winston finds humor in everyday occurances and Sophie, the main character, has many lessons to teach us all. You must read this book! If you like Jennifer Weiner, you will love Lolly Winston!
This book started very slowly but once the main character started to move forward with her life as opposed to wallowing in her grief, the book became more interesting and the grief did indeed become "good" grief.
The loss of a loved one, especially a husband, can send you into a tailspin as you reach the different stages of grief. But Lolly Winston puts a sad/humorous touch of reality on the experience that kept me glued to this book until the end. Thanks to her, I could view my own experience and growth into health in a different light. I noticed I nodded my head in agreement so many times and laughed out loud a couple more.
Thirty-six-year-old Sophie Stanton desperately wants to be a good widow-a graceful, composed, Jackie Kennedy kind of widow. Alas, she is more of the Jack Daniels kind. Self-medicating with ice cream for breakfast, breaking down at the supermarket, and showing up to work in her bathrobe and bunny slippers-soon she's not only lost her husband her job, house... and waistline.
With humor and chutzpah Sophie leaves town, determined to reinvent her life. But starting over has its hurdles; soon she's involved with a thirteen-year-old who has a fascination with fire, and a handsome actor who inspires a range of feeling she can't cope with-yet.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
A brilliantly funny and heartwarming debut about a young woman who stumbles, then fights to build a new life after the death of her husband.
When 36-year-old Sophie Stanton's husband dies of cancer, she desperately wants to be a graceful, composed Jackie Kennedy kind of widow. Alas, Sophie is more of a Jack Daniels kind. Self-medicating with cartons of ice cream for breakfast, showing up to work in her bathrobe and bunny slippers, soon she's lost not only her husband, but her job and her waistline. In an attempt to reinvent her life, Sophie moves to Ashland, Oregon, where she finds an embittered 13-year-old girl with a fascination for fire, a job as Salad Girl at the local French restaurant, and an alarmingly cute actor whom Sophie wishes she didn't like quite so much. Readers will laugh and cry along with Sophie as she proves to the world and herself that she can recover from something this devastating with darkly comic humor and her own type of class. GOOD GRIEF is the perfect book for anyone who has ever been heartbroken, lost someone they loved, or eaten too many Oreos.
Sophie Stanton want to be a good widow-calm, cool, and collected, like Jackie Kennedy. But she can't quite live up to that! With humor and chutzpah, Sophie leaves town, determined to reinvent her life. But starting over has its hurdles...
Some widows face their loss with denial. Sophie Stanton's reaction is one of pure bafflement. "How can I be a widow?" Sophie asks at the opening of Lolly Winston's sweet debut novel, Good Grief. "I'm only thirty-six. I just got used to the idea of being married." Sophie's young widowhood forces her to do all kinds of crazy things--drive her car through her garage door, for instance. That's on one of the rare occasions when she bothers to get out of bed. The Christmas season especially terrifies her: "I must write a memo to the Minister of Happier Days requesting that the holidays be cancelled this year." But widowhood also forces her to do something very sane. After the death of her computer programmer husband, she reexamines her life as a public relations agent in money-obsessed Silicon Valley. Sophie decides to ease her grief, or at least her loneliness, by moving in with her best friend Ruth in Ashland, Oregon. But it's her difficult relationship with psycho teen punker Crystal, to whom she becomes a Big Sister, that mysteriously brings her at least a few steps out of her grief. Winston allows Sophie life after widowhood: The novel almost indiscernibly turns into a gentle romantic comedy and a quirky portrait of life in an artsy small town. At all stops on her journey from widow to survivor, Sophie is a lively, crabby, delightfully imperfect character. --Claire Dederer
Thirty-six-year-old Sophie Stanton desperately wants to be a good widow- a graceful, composted, Jackie Kennedy kinds of widow. Alas, she is more of the Jack Daniels kind. Self-medicating with ice cream for breakfast, breaking down at the supermarket, and showing up to work in her bathrobe and bunny slippers- soon she's not only lost her husbnad, but her job, house... and waistline. With humor and chutzpah Sophie leaves town, determined to reinvent her life. But starting over has its own hurdles... (from back of book)
Thirty-six-year-old Sophie Stanton desperately wants ot be a good widow--a graceful, composed, Jackie Kennedy kind of widow. Alas, she is more of the Jack Daniels kind. Self-medicating with ice cream for breakfast, breaking down at the supermarket, and showing up to work in her bathrobe and bunny slippers--soon she's not only lost her husband, but her job, house...and waistline. Funny and poignant.