Hello Goodbye by Emily Chenoweth
Paperback: 304 pages
June 14, 2011 by Harper
In the summer after her freshman year of college, Abby Hansen embarks on what might be a final vacation with her parents to a historic resort in northern New Hampshire. The Presidential Hotel, with its stately rooms and old-fashioned dress code, seems almost unbearably stuffy to Abby, but the young, free-spirited hotel staff offers her the chance for new friendships, and maybe even romance.
However, for her parents, Elliott and Helen, their time spent together in the shadow of the White Mountains has taken on a deeper meaning. By inviting family friends to join them, they open their marriage up to a lifetime of confessions, and they must confront a secret about Helen’s health that they have been hiding from their daughter.
A summer yawn based on a gal traveling with her parents and soon to be deceased mother from brain cancer. The family dad (Elliot) decides that his wife needs peace, and that they will all benefit from a family vacation tucked away near the White Mountains in a cozy historic motel. There Abby will spend time reevaluating her life, spending precious goodbye moments with her mother and making new friends that help her move past the inevitability of her life.
Admittedly, I had a bit of hard time getting through this story, the main reason being that the novel presented itself almost as a memoir when the story obviously was fiction based upon real life events. I found the prose while beautiful and lyrical detach itself from a true fiction novel. Most of the story was told using a third person narrative and while being shown moments of dialog and interaction, the deep meanings behind every sentence began to rear a huge shadow over the characters development. Abby in all her reflecting, lamenting and poetic seeping thoughts, like I said before while lovely on paper, stressed to many meanings out of one word and caused the opposite effect I think the author was hoping for. Hello Goodbye read more like a text book depression on patient 101, rather than fictional character tied with emotion. I did and do respect Chenoweth's inspiration in writing Hello Goodbye, even with its failed attempt to capture my heart, the story speaks volumes of love for a mother.
Hello Goodbye is recommended to adult readers and contains: Mild language, handling ill-parents, death, sexuality, life lessons and learning to let go....
Thanks to Harper and Tlc for review copy