That thing is misleading because Sophie actually finds romance with a handsome actor and the ending is definitely not one that will drive one to drink. Along the way, she sinks into depression, loses her job, but manages in the end to find a way to move on with life without severing the ties to her past and Ethan. All I can say is that the first half of the book is a draining, heartbreaking read, one which is also laugh-out-loud darkly funny at the same time. Sophie is a very likable heroine which makes my reading this book an even more enjoyable experience. Even when she is crippled from depression, her level-headed personality shines through.

Author:Zolomi Akik
Language:English (Spanish)
Published (Last):4 August 2013
PDF File Size:16.53 Mb
ePub File Size:4.1 Mb
Price:Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]

It was chosen as a No. I even found myself resenting the mourners at our house. How could they accept his death so readily? I remember sitting at my desk at work one day, unable to pick up my pencil. The result is a blend of pathos and humor that rings true for many readers. The Bell Jar, Lolita. If you go back and re-read those books, you rediscover their humor with surprise. Suicidal depression, funny? Pedophilia, funny? Somehow, yes. This seems to be where poignancy comes from—in finding the irony and humor in the worst things that happen to us in life.

This is an autobiographical part of Good Grief. I learned to boogie board and dance the hula and barbecue in the wind without using any lighter fluid. My 20s were basically one long summer. Then I had to come home from camp and grow up and face the real world. I began reading her short stories when I was 15—around the time I started writing fiction. I also like how she puts characters in extreme situations that serve to reveal their true natures.

The way she blends horrifying and humorous details in the same story is brilliant. Book Reviews Good Grief Where Good Grief does have an authentic ring is in its intermittent descriptions of illness and loss. At such moments — as when Sophie looks at pictures of her husband and realizes "that photo paper, cardboard, leather and gold trim outlast most people" — a hint of bitter honesty does emerge.

Her anger, however muffled, also flashes on occasion. Winston does not shy away from the pain of mourning, but she reminds us that we can still be funny, sarcastic, aware and smart, even when we are brokenhearted. Ann Hood - Washington Post A bright and terrifically funny writer With generous and welcome doses of wit, compassion, and originality, Winston deftly balances the inherent sorrow of life with effervescent humor Good job.

Great book. Miami Herald "The grief is up already. It is an early riser, waiting with its gummy arms wrapped around my neck, its hot, sour breath in my ear.

With the world rolling on, unaware of her pain, Sophie does the only sensible thing: she locks herself in her house and lives on what she can buy at the convenience store in furtive midnight shopping sprees. Everything hurts—the telemarketers asking to speak to Ethan, mail with his name on it, his shirts, which still smell like him. At first Sophie is a "good" widow, gracious and melancholy, but after she drives her car through the garage door, something snaps; she starts showing up at work in her bathrobe and hiding under displays in stores.

Her boss suggests she take a break, so she sells her house and moves to Ashland, Ore. Grief comes along, too—but with a troubled, pyromaniac teen assigned to her by a volunteer agency, a charming actor dogging her and a new job prepping desserts at a local restaurant, Sophie is forced to explore the misery that has consumed her.

She leaves her Silicon Valley marketing job after a meltdown whereby she arrived at work wearing her robe and slippers and moves to Oregon, where a friend lives. The protagonist here is grief: all-controlling, all-pervasive, crushing grief that sometimes cycles through all its stages in 15 minutes, sometimes over months.

Recommended for public libraries. Like Bridget Jones, Sophie is made endearing by her many faults: her "hurricane hair," her weight-gaining tendency, her compassion for losers—like the men who try to pick her up—and her unconquerable hopefulness. Yet a much-needed friendship sparks between the two, as well as between Sophie and a handsome local actor, Drew, as she comes into her own—invariably over the theme of food!

The characters are frothy, the dialogue chipper, the introspection restricted. Death becomes just another hurdle on the way to self-betterment—along with weight-management and resume-padding. Are women this desperate? How do Sophie and Marion differ when it comes to grieving? Are we sometimes too quick to tell people to "get over it," and move on with their grief?

How might we be more comforting to those who are struggling with grief? At one point, Sophie says, "I look at the house and all I see is cancer. Do you think that the death of a loved one casts a shadow on a living space?

What other clues does the author give that Sophie must leave the house she shared with Ethan? As a young widow, Sophie feels alienated at times from other widows and widowers in her therapy sessions, and among her friends.

Does her youth make it more difficult for others to sympathize with her? Crystal is one of the most intriguing characters in the novel in that she both provides comfort to Sophie and gets under her skin. Low self-esteem is a huge problem for both Sophie and Crystal, but they cope with it differently. How does each character deal with their self-esteem and confidence issues?

Yet for someone who grew up without a mother, she demonstrates an incredible maternal instinct. And at the end of the novel Sophie becomes a surrogate mother for Crystal and Marion and even Drew in the last scene — once again she is in the position of being a maternal caregiver.

Is being a motherly-type figure therapeutic to Sophie? Did you find that unbelievable or disappointing? Or did you think that was okay since clearly her knight on a white horse has already revealed that he has some commitment issues? The concept of the non-traditional family manifests itself several times in the novel. Who constitutes this new family? Can this new family fill the void that Ethan left?

Why is it so difficult to part with the physical things left behind when someone dies? Do you think the expression "good grief" is apt? Is a grieving period necessary in order to recover and move on?

And do you think someone ever moves on from a loss such as one that Sophie experienced? When is it okay to acknowledge that something—a relationship, a person—has died and that the person left behind can start anew? Questions issued by publisher.


Lolly Winston

Ethan, her husband of four years, died three months ago, and Sophie is having a tough time keeping it together. Desperate to keep some semblance of normalcy, Sophie continues to work at her Silicon Valley PR job, attempting to say good things about a flawed medical product. Sophie finds herself eating Oreos by the dozen and watching Cops marathons on TV. She goes days without showering or changing clothes. The final straw is when she goes to work in her robe and bunny slippers. After recovering from her breakdown, Sophie decides to make a big change and move to Ashland, Oregon, where her college roommate, Ruth, lives.



It was chosen as a No. I even found myself resenting the mourners at our house. How could they accept his death so readily? I remember sitting at my desk at work one day, unable to pick up my pencil. The result is a blend of pathos and humor that rings true for many readers. The Bell Jar, Lolita. If you go back and re-read those books, you rediscover their humor with surprise.

Related Articles