The Art of Saying Goodbye: Book summary and reviews of The Art of Saying Goodbye by Ellyn Bache

The Art of Saying Goodbye

A Novel

by Ellyn Bache

The Art of Saying Goodbye
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2011
    352 pages
    Genre: Novels

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About this book

Book Summary

In the tradition of Kristin Hannah and Marisa de los Santos's heartfelt novels comes this beautiful and touching full-bodied contemporary story sure to propel Ellyn Bache among the top ranks of women's fiction writers

In a close-knit suburban development, four women find their lives thrown into sharp relief as they tie white ribbons to trees in front of their house - a gesture of support and affection for a long-time neighbor who has fallen ill.

During the tense three months that follow, comforting their friend also makes each of them remember how to celebrate the joys and triumphs of love, family, and girlfriends. As the days go by, these sisters in spirit grow closer, bonded by a new sense of hope, courage, and strength that will help them face any challenge, cherish every wonder, and, ultimately, learn to let go. And in the afterglow of someone else's life, each will discover that her own is brighter and more precious than she’d ever dreamed.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"What appears to be standard women's fare deepens into something more engaging." - Library Journal

"This is a moving, gratifying, and inspiring reminder to live life to its fullest and demonstrate love in every possible way to friends and family." - Publishers Weekly

"The Art of Saying Goodbye is a deeply felt and beautiful story that portrays what friends can mean to each other in ways that are difficult to articulate, and Bache has done so here in perfect pitch. Bravo!" - Dorothea Benton Frank, bestselling author of Sullivan's Island and Folly Beach

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Reader Reviews

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Susan B. (Coventry, RI)

The Art of Saying Goodbye by Ellyn Bache
I loved this book; I couldn't put it down. It was full of characters who lived in a neighborhood that provided the setting for this absorbing story. The characters were real people; Ellyn did a wonderful job in fleshing out their personalities. For me, it was one of those books that I hated to see come to an end because I wanted to spend more time with them. I think this would be an excellent choice for any book club.

Lucille B. (San Jose, CA)

The Art of Saying Good-bye
It’s mid-October and neighbors in Brightwood Circle are tying white ribbons to trees. Paisley Lam, mother of two children, a leading, lively and eccentric member of the community, has been diagnosed with late stage cancer with a few months to live. In the ensuing weeks four women remember past joys and sorrows, settle unresolved accounts, and forge new futures as they support each other and their dying neighbor. Ellen Bach has created a circle of friendship encompassing woman of different ages that is both inspiring and heartwarming. First chapters are slow; though characters are distinctly drawn, it takes some time to identify who’s who, since points of view shift within each chapter. A good read, especially for book groups

Cindy C. (Owen, WI)

Not what I expected, but enjoyable
I chose to review this book because the description led me to believe it would be about how a group of close knit women deal with one of them dying of cancer. I don't feel the book lives up to this description. I found it a little slow at the start, but after the first few chapters found it difficult to put down. I couldn't wait to find out what Paisley asked her friends to do for her in the end. I feel that the book did a fairly good job of describing how each of her "friends" lives was changed by her illness and death. I would recommend the book as a good read, but would change the description inside the cover.

Lillian D. (Apache Junction, AZ)

The Art of Saying Goodbye by Ellyn Bache
The Art of Saying Goodbye deals with loss. Primarily, it describes how each of five (including the stricken one) women and their families cope with terminal cancer. The insights about the neighbors and their reactions to illness are portrayed realistically. I experienced a sense of peace as this novel ended, believing that each character had found the gem that may be discovered in the loss of a loved one.

Tamara S. (Wenatchee, WA)

Real Women, Real Life
Well-written and a realistic portrayal on how women friends and neighbors react when someone close to them is diagnosed with a terminal condition at the prime of their life. Reminds us that knowing your losing someone you have known for a while results in reflecting on how this person has influenced your personal choices and interpersonal relationships even if they were not your best friend or even a close family member.

Laura L. (Providence, RI)

a topic people don't talk about
I chose to review this book because I have been thinking a lot about life and death. Both of my parents passed away from cancer in the past five years. Both were quick deaths from diagnosis to death. I appreciated that this novel speaks about how things happen that we have no control of. At times I became confused as the characters are not as complicated as they could be, and I think that less characters and deeper inner lives would bring this book to a rating of five. Nevertheless some of the lines hit home.

...12 more reader reviews

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More Information

More Information

A native of Washington, D.C., Ellyn Bache studied English at the Universities of North Carolina and Maryland, but didn't begin writing seriously until the first two of her four children were born and she knew, for sanity's sake, she'd better find an "adult" activity to do at home during the children's naps. She began as a freelance newspaper journalist while teaching herself to write fiction. After nearly six years of rejection slips, her short stories began to be published in both commercial magazines, including Good Housekeeping and Seventeen, and literary magazines ranging from Shenandoah to the Carolina Quarterly. A collection of sixteen of her stories, The Value of Kindness, won the Willa Cather Fiction Prize.

After more than twenty years living in Wilmington, North Carolina, Bache now divides her time between the Carolinas and Pennsylvania. You can visit her website at http://ellynbache.com.

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