Review: The Art of Saying Goodbye by Ellyn Bache

28 Jun

The Art of Saying Goodbye by Ellyn BacheMy rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

This book felt like it should have been a 4 star book, but it never quite lived up to the potential for me. There wasn’t anything really wrong with it, as such. There was quite a bit right with it. Still, I clearly enjoyed it, and am glad I read it.

Summary via

She was the thread that wove their tapestry together.

With a group of women as diverse as the ladies from Brightwood Trace, you might not think them to be close. There’s Julianne, a nurse with an unsettling psychic ability that allows her to literally feel what her patients feel, Andrea, a strong fortress sheltering a faltering core, Ginger, a mother torn between being a stay-at-home mom or following her career aspirations, and Iona, the oldest, whose feisty, no-nonsense attitude disarms even toughest of the tough. Not exactly the ingredients for the most cohesive cocktail . . . Until you add Paisely, the liveliest and friendliest of the clan, who breathed life into them all.

But when their glowing leader falls ill with cancer, it’s up to these women to do what Paisely has done for them since the beginning: lift her up. Overcoming and accepting the inevitability of loss, the women draw closer than ever; finding together the strength to embrace and cherish their lives with acceptance, gratitude and most importantly, love. Finally living with the vigor that Paisely has shown them from the start, they are able to see their lives in a new light, while learning to say goodbye to the brightest star they’ve ever known. Over the course of just three months, these four women will undergo a magnificent transformation that leaves nobody unchanged.

What was most interesting to me was the picture of the neighborhood, and the links between the women there, even more so than the women themselves.

The women each had her own story, and they all included Paisley at some point, at some time, to some degree. They included each other as well, but not as strongly.

Thinking back on the book, I’m a little puzzled as to why I didn’t feel more strongly about the characters, why they never came to life for me as individuals, not even Paisly.

On the other hand, the book really did feel honest and complete as these friends faced Paisly’s illness. The women don’t always know how to support each other when things get really rough– they are willing to pitch in to organize meals and prayer groups, but are unable to spend time with someone in crisis– human nature, but sad!  This experience causes the women to grow, individually and together.

I wish I was better able to express my thoughts about The Art of Saying Goodbye.  I appreciated the balance of the personalities of the characters, of the good and the bad in the lives of each one, and of the honest look at the reactions of good people to a terrible situation.  I just wish the characters had popped a little further off the page.

I read this book as part of a TLC Book Tour.  Thank you to TLC and William Morrow for arranging for me to receive a copy of The Art of Saying Goodbye to review. For other opinions, check out the other tour stops, most of which seemed to love the book!
TLC Book Tours


Posted by on June 28, 2011 in books, reviews


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4 responses to “Review: The Art of Saying Goodbye by Ellyn Bache

  1. bookmagic

    June 28, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    I’ve come across this book a few times but it just hasn’t grabbed me. Now I know I’ll skip it.

  2. Carol

    June 29, 2011 at 11:30 am

    It’s a shame this one didn’t live up to it’s potential.

  3. Heather J. @ TLC

    July 1, 2011 at 10:58 am

    It’s too bad this didn’t turn out to be as good as you’d hoped – it sounds like a moving story.

    Thank for being on the tour Laura!


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