Saturday, January 19, 2008

Book Review: Good Grief by Lolly Winston

Lolly Winston is quickly rising to the top of my favorite writers list. This is the second of her books I've read, and while I didn't love it as much as I loved Happiness Sold Separately, I loved enough to grant it a place on my "books I'll keep" shelf.

Sophie is 36 and a widow. Her husband, Ethan, has recently succumbed to cancer, and while she wants to be an elegant and graceful widow, she instead turns into a basket case widow. She arrives at work on the day of a key meeting wearing her slippers and robe. Oreos become the main staple in her diet.

Something's got to give, and Sophie eventually decides to sell her house--their house--and move to Oregon to be near her best friend, Ruth. She takes on a Little Sister, and tries to carve out a new existence for herself in the midst of the first year of widowhood.

The book spans the entire first year and then some. It harkened back to Marian Keyes's Is Anybody Out There?, which I liked much more than this book. Marian Keyes had me weeping from the middle of the book to the end, but I remained stoic during Good Grief. There were a few times I welled up, but nothing serious. I did, however, turn to look at the form of my sleeping husband next to me in bed and marvel how lucky I am.

I liked the writing a lot. There were the usual reminders of enjoying the people you have in your life while you have them and living for today, but it was couched in such lovely ways that it didn't feel cloying. For instance, Sophie and Ethan's mother Marian go to the beach for Ethan's birthday to put some roses in the water where they scattered his ashes. Sophie is wistful that Ethan was always at work and never spent enough time with his wife for her liking. She says:

It was always for us. He said I needed to realize that and focus more on the future. Now I'm here in the future with a handful of yellow roses.



Also, I realized it's kind of lame to do the same thing I did last year reading-wise. So my new reading goal for this year is to clear off my "to be read" shelf. More on this later.

1 pearl(s) of wisdom:

Lauren said...

Can I borrow Happiness Sold Separately? I'll trade you for Coming Back to Me. :)