In the winter of 1990, Helen Hansen counselor, wife, and mother in the prime of her life is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. The following August, Helen, her husband, Elliott, and their daughter, Abby, a freshman in college, take a trip to northern New Hampshire, where Helen will be able to say goodbye to a lifetime of friends. Ensconced in a historic resort in the White Mountains a place where afternoon cocktails are served on the veranda and men are expected to wear jackets after six the Hansens and their guests must improvise their own rituals of remembrance and reconnection.
For Elliott, the trip is a parting gift to his beloved wife, as well as some needed respite from the caretaking duties that have become his main work. For Helen and the procession of old friends who come to pay their respects, the days offer a poignant celebration of a dear, too-brief life. And for Abby, still unaware that her mothers cancer is terminal, the week brings a surprising conflict between loyalty and desire as, drawn by the youthful, spirited hotel staff, she finds herself caught between the affections of two very different young men.
Heartbreaking and luminous, Hello Goodbye deftly explores a familys struggle with love and loss, as a summer vacation becomes an occasion for awakening rather than farewell, and life inevitably blossoms in the face of death.
Themes of love, relationship and loss abound, but are sometimes obscured by the commotion of shifting plots and story lines. Despite such fluctuations, Emily Chenoweth's novel holds unexpected and pleasant surprises. Her witty and engaging characters easily balance out the darker issues of mortality and the transience of life. A quick read, one laments the lack of time to get to know this group more intimately, but perhaps that is precisely the point of Hello Goodbye. (Reviewed by Megan Shaffer).
An understated debut novel of great beauty and power about a vibrant woman who contracts terminal brain cancer.
First novelist Chenoweth ... writes gracefully and eloquently of loss and love, portraying both generations at their most self-absorbed and most vulnerable.
Starred Review. Chenoweth's smart, unsentimental and poignant takes on living and dying ring true, and her exploration of coming-of-age and coming to terms with mortality is divine.
Dave King, author of The Ha-Ha
In Hello Goodbye, Emily Chenoweth fuses the lightness of social comedy with the ferocious candor of grief.
Alice Sebold, author of The Almost Moon Hello Goodbye is a beautiful novel about a family on the brink of loss. Chenoweth's eye for telling detail is as sure as her language is playful ... both a wise and generous work.
T Cooper, author of Lipshitz Six, or Two Angry Blondes
Is it terrible to suggest that Hello Goodbye is like a literary Dirty Dancing - only with the added gravitas of terminal disease, and acting courtesy of the Royal Shakespeare Company? I hope not, because you're in some really good hands with Emily Chenoweth, whether she's surprising you with just the perfect detail or masterfully crafting moments so intimate that you almost want to turn away for fear of eavesdropping too blatantly. This is a powerful, tremendously accomplished debut.
The White Mountain National Forest
It is no wonder that Elliott Hansen chose the White Mountains of New Hampshire
to restore health and hope to his friends and family. The White Mountains have long been revered as a deeply spiritual place by the Abenaki, Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Micman, Maliseet, and other Native American tribes in the region. With its breathtaking scope and beauty, the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF) boasts several ranges including Mt. Washington, which features the tallest peak in the northeast.
Though the White Mountain region was once sold off to large logging companies, the Weeks Act of 1911 allowed for the purchase of private lands by the federal government to establish National Forests. Under the protection and acquisitions of this Act, the WMNF has grown to just under 800,000 acres in both New Hampshire and Maine.
Areas surrounding the Forest bear evidence of Anglo settlements from the 1600's; archeological testing indicates prehistoric and Paleo-Indian populations dating back 10,000 years. Historical...
From the acclaimed author of the New York Times bestseller The Post-Birthday World comes a searing, ruthlessly honest new novel about a marriage both stressed and strengthened by the demands of serious illness.
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