It is the winter of 1990 and Helen Hansen has a secret. It is one that rips her apart from the inside out to keep… but along with her husband Elliott, they decide at least for now… this is the way it will be.
Within a year the Hansens’s are celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary, and they do so a luxury hotel in New Hampshire, going all out by inviting friends and neighbors who have been there along the way. Meanwhile, 18-year-old daughter Abby has also been kept in the dark. Little does she know , she is not the only one. Abbie knows something is up and is resentful that she has not been in the know. Seeking solace, she finds it in a cute waiter named Alex, and the rest of the summer staff .
While the champagne flows, guests dance around the elephant in the room…
Whoa. *Deep breath here*
Emily Chenoweth comes out of the shoot with this debut novel with a whirlwind of activity, at times heart wrenching, at times sweet, but always breath-taking.
The topic of this book is a hard one. We are dealing with a family and an illness. And at times, you can even wonder if the family itself is part of the illness by not necessarily making healthy decisions. At the same time, you come to realize that the decisions that are made, are made out of love – and that really becomes the heartbeat of the book.
If I seem like I am talking in code here… I am. This is a book that is easy to give away key plots in the excitement of the review and I am walking a fine line trying not to do that, instead leaving the beauty and the mystery of this book unravel itself to each reader.
Abbie really captivates me as you can imagine how an 18-year-old girl would struggle with what is going on with her family, as well as where she stands in the midst of life. When the storyline shifts her way, I could almost feel that struggle, even in the story shift.
While this book could easily have tipped the scale by being considered heavy – it never does. Handled with a well written prose, instead it is graceful, and real… as you watch a family enjoy the last dances of life together.
I read this book as part of a TLC Book Tour
21 thoughts on “hello goodbye by Emily Chenoweth”
Your review makes it sound worth taking a close look at, have a great week!
It was nicely done Joy 😀
Sounds like it has the potential to be a tear-jerker. (I cry easily.)
It does Carol, and oddly as you mention this I am surprised I didn’t… I usually tear up too 🙂
This one does sound potentially awesome…now I’m very curious about what’s going on…..
LOL – if you read almost any other review you will see they shared what is going on… I read a few this afternoon, but I decided to keep the whole thing a mystery – even though in the book it is told early on.
What a difficult situation to be faced with! I’m glad the book didn’t become heavy or difficult to read.
Thanks for being on the tour Sheila.
It was an interesting plot Heather! 😀
I thought this was a read too in spite of the subject matter.
Right Aths 😀
I keep hearing good things about this book. It sounds intriguing, and the plot sounds very interesting to me, though also very sad. I appreciate that you were trying not to give too much away – can’t stand spoilers!
I wonder whether the secret-keeping in this novel would drive me crazy – is it the kind of book where you just want to shake the characters? And why is it that fictional characters in books and movies always seem to keep so many secrets?? It does tend to drive me crazy…
Thanks for the great review!
LOL – its really not a bad secret Sue, just a sad one that is kept to keep others from being hurt.
I know what you mean though in some books the secret is just dumb… its like seriously, just say it out loud! 😛
I’m intrigued, so I’m adding it to my wish list.
Oh good – I hope you like it 😀
Wonderful! I think I have this one in hard copy so I need to pull it out, like now! I agree, I like the paperback cover better too.
The paperback cover speaks more to me…. who is she… what is she doing…. what is the “good bye”?
I will certainly be adding this one to my TBR list. Sounds great! And I worry sometimes when reviewing a really good book if in my excitement, am I giving away spoilers??? But you didn’t, just added to the intrigue!
Its really hard sometimes isnt it Kristal…. sometimes I look at a review I wrote and think… this is so …. vague….
but sometimes – it needs to be 😀
I just went to put this on hold on my library’s site, and the brief, one sentence description on there gave away the big secret of the book! Boo 😦 Now I’m on the fence about whether or not I want to read it. Sounds like a wonderful, touching book, though.
I have seen that everywhere…. after I finished my review and went to look at what others thought of this book I seen they were all saying it. I checked the back of my book thinking that it must be part of the synopsis but it is not.
Its not like it is a big secret – it is identified very early in the book. 😀 I just like the suspense…