November 5, 2010

Saying Goodbye (Julie Rember and Mike O'Mary, editors)

I received a copy of this book for review purposes, but my review and opinions are entirely my own.

Think about how many times in our lives we will say goodbye to someone or something. We say goodbye to our spouses every day when they leave for work, our children when they go to school or off to practice, to our waistlines after we birth children. We say goodbye to ever being carded ever again when we buy beer, to our car when it finally sputters to a stop, to our house when we move away, to our loved ones when their time has come. Life is full of goodbyes. Some are painful, but some are downright humorous.

Saying Goodbye is an anthology of short (true) stories about people saying goodbye to a variety of people, places and things. The authors vary as much as their subjects and this collection does a nice job of showcases how different people have so many different experiences with saying farewell.

One of the most humorous stories to me was "Saying Goodbye to a Faithful Companion" where the author laments about his wife throwing out his trusty old jogging suit, despite the fact that the suit was "older than vermin." The author even considers bribing his "curbside sanitary engineer" in order to retrieve his old friend and I was left hanging, wondering if this marriage could ever be saved following such a betrayal.

In contrast, "Lotus, Falling" is a beautifully written story written by a daughter about her mother's final weeks on earth. It reveals the harsh reality that many people face when confronted with their own mortality and the frustration they encounter in the medical field more often than many of us would like to think about. At the same time, the subject of this story remains graceful and beautiful as she attempts to enjoy the things she cherished most in the world like literature, German hot dogs, and red wine. The final paragraph of this one moved me to tears.

Couches, marriages, loyal dogs, husbands, fathers, and more. Saying Goodbye is put together well, for a freshman anthology effort from Julie Rember and Mike O'Mary. Some stories are, of course, stronger than others, but they work together nicely as a collection. It's hardly a page-turner that keeps you hooked to the point you can't put it down, but it serves its purpose well as a bedside read or as a casual book to keep on the coffee table. I enjoyed it, but isn't one I would feel I need to re-read. 3 Stars.

The publisher is offering a special just for Book Nook Club readers on this and other books by Dream of Things. You can get 30% off this book at with coupon code DREAM ON. Use the same code at to get 30% off a book of your choice.

1 comment:

  1. I love it. I love the book. The title and its all about.


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