Good Grief by Lolly Winston

griefThis was our book club choice last month and I’m glad it was chosen because I remember wanting to read it when it came out.  I really enjoyed this, despite a little hesitancy about reading about a young widow.  Since getting engaged (almost six years ago, now married for 5) nothing has been scarier than the thought of my husband dying while we are still young.  We all expect that at some point when we are old one of us will have to live without the other, but no one expects that after finally finding the right person and imagining growing old together your partner might die before you have even gotten out of your honeymoon phase, much less had children.  That is the situation 36 year old Sophie (my age even!) finds herself in when her husband Ethan dies of cancer. The book covers the different stages she goes through, from depression and going to work in her bathrobe, to tentatively going on a date with someone.  Sophie musters up the courage to sell her house and move to another town (where she does have a friend.)  It is there that she really begins to heal.  I was delighted to read that part of that healing was discovering a career in baking.  Another part would be caring for someone else, which Sophie does through a Big Sister program.  The book covers just one year, which sounds like a fairly short time to heal as much as she does, yet it really seemed realistic. I was grateful that it was not so sad that it was difficult to read, but parts were very moving. I liked how there were different sections of the book, the labels at first making you believe they would be the stages of grief (DABDA-denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance), but then veering off into different ones. I also found Sophie to be a believable, likable, yet flawed character.

Another story about a young widow and her grief is a Marian Keyes, the title of which escapes me at the moment.  However, reading it was pivotal in my decision to change my last name to my husband’s! I would also recommend it (but you have to look up the title because I have to dash off…)

4 thoughts on “Good Grief by Lolly Winston

  1. Actually I’ve just been reading (in actuality, listening to) this unnamed Marian Keyes (my first of hers) and it would have been a spoiler to know before starting it that the protagonist is a widow; it does not become clear until you’ve read a third of the book. The death was not mentioned in the blurb I read. I’m loving it. I’ve never laughed so much at a book with such a serious subject. The reader is excellent.

  2. Huh, in my memory I went into the book knowing abut the widow angle so it wasn’t a surprise to me. Glad I didn’t spoil it for you! I really like Marian Keyes, I think I’ve read just about everything of hers. Her books always make me laugh, and yet they often have very real serious problems in them (addiction, divorce, etc.)

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