Stacy's Books

books, movies, and boy

Good Grief, by Lolly Winston

Cover ImageFinished 6-26-11, rating 5/5, fiction, 342 pages, pub. 2004

My name is Sophie Stanton and I’ve joined the grief group because…well, because I sort of did a crazy thing.  I drove  my Honda through our garage door.  I was coming home from work one night and-even though my husband has been dead for three months-I honestly thought I would run inside and tell him to turn on the radio because they were playing an old recording of Flip Wilson, whom he just loves.  Loved.  Ethan had been trying to find a copy of this skit for years, and now here it was on the radio.  If I hurried, we could tape it.  Then I had the sudden realization that my husband was gone, dead, and the next thing I knew the car was lurching through the door.

Chapter 1

Sophie is 36 years old, childless, newly widowed, and unhappily employed.  She had only been married for three years when her husband died of Hodgkin’s disease and she wasn’t dealing with it very well.  She went to work in a bathrobe, wanted to sleep with her grief counselor and had the police come to her house when she started throwing her dish set against the house late at night.  She needed a change and when her job forced a leave of absence on her a move up to Oregon to live with her best friend from college and daughter seemed like a good idea.

Sophie is a mess, but an honest and charming one.  She is not superwoman and she falls and fails at many turns, but she never stays down (well, down for very long at least).  She picks herself up and muddles her way through another day until she has put together enough good days to make a real life for herself.  And as sad as some of this book was it was always tinged with enough humor and wit to make it immensely enjoyable.  At the end I was sad to say goodbye to Sophie and her friends.  I really wanted to continue hanging out with them.

I’m giving this a 4.75 rating, only my second one since starting the blog.  It was so close to being perfect for me.  I wasn’t sure until I started typing where my rating would land, but there it is.  I love Winston’s voice (I also enjoyed her second book) and am amazed that she had the guts to write such a poignant book about being a widow when she’s not one.

I highly recommend this one.  Oh, but don’t read it expecting it to be a grief workbook.  It is still a work of fiction and meant to entertain.

This is from my personal library and chosen by Staci, Jenners, and Margie.  Here’s what Jenners had to say… “I love this author and she only has two books but this one is wonderful. I’m anxiously awaiting her next book!!!”

June 29, 2011 - Posted by | 5 Star Books |


  1. I really enjoyed this one – more than I expected to. Sophie is such a wonderful protagonist.

    Comment by Misha | June 29, 2011 | Reply

    • She was mess, but a fun one!

      Comment by stacybuckeye | July 7, 2011 | Reply

  2. I liked this book a lot too!

    Happy summer, Stacy.

    Comment by Beth Hoffman | June 29, 2011 | Reply

  3. Liked your review. It got to the structure and meaning of the book without a lot of superfluous BS some reviewers resort to- Well done.

    Comment by SandySays1 | June 29, 2011 | Reply

    • I try to be as BS-free as possible.

      Comment by stacybuckeye | July 7, 2011 | Reply

  4. This is on my list to read this year as I really enjoyed Happiness Sold Separately, look forward to it.

    Comment by Marce | June 29, 2011 | Reply

    • I liked Happiness too, but this one is so muich better.

      Comment by stacybuckeye | July 7, 2011 | Reply

  5. I bought this book at a library sale awhile back. You’ve made me want to dust it off and give it a try!

    Comment by Anna (Diary of an Eccentric) | June 29, 2011 | Reply

    • You should!

      Comment by stacybuckeye | July 7, 2011 | Reply

  6. Alright, this is now on my to-read list. Sounds great!

    Comment by alitareads | June 29, 2011 | Reply

  7. Well this sounds like perfect for me 🙂 And I am sure i will enjoy this. Thanks for the lovely review!

    Comment by Veens | June 29, 2011 | Reply

  8. Sophie sounds so likable – flawed & human. And although there is humour in the book, I suspect her grief comes through loud & clear. This is definitely going on my TBR list! Thanks.

    Comment by Debbie Rodgers | June 29, 2011 | Reply

    • I think you’ll love Sophie.

      Comment by stacybuckeye | July 7, 2011 | Reply

  9. This one actually sounds really good. Sad books are not usually my thing, but Sophie sounds like a wonderful, honest character.

    Comment by Carol | June 29, 2011 | Reply

    • I really wouldn’t even call this a sad book. Surprising, I know.

      Comment by stacybuckeye | July 7, 2011 | Reply

  10. She’s two years older than me and I’d like to get to know Sophie. Thanks for the review!

    Comment by Alice Teh Teh | June 29, 2011 | Reply

  11. I read this a few years ago and really liked it. Glad you did as well.

    Comment by Mary | June 29, 2011 | Reply

    • It’s a keeper.

      Comment by stacybuckeye | July 7, 2011 | Reply

  12. Sounds like my kind of book.

    Comment by Nise' | June 29, 2011 | Reply

  13. You mean you’ve never given a 5 star rating?? Wow, this must be some book. I’m curious as to which other received the 4.75 stars.

    Comment by Stephanie D. | June 30, 2011 | Reply

    • Oh, I’ve given 5 star ratings. The Shadow of the Wind, The Glass Castle, The Tea Rose…I only mentioned the 4.75 rationg because it’s not even a real rating for me, but I couldn’t make up my mind.

      Comment by stacybuckeye | July 7, 2011 | Reply

  14. I really need to read Lolly Winston novel…I keep hearing great things!

    Comment by softdrink | June 30, 2011 | Reply

    • Start with this one.

      Comment by stacybuckeye | July 7, 2011 | Reply

  15. Reminds me of how I felt about the protagonist in Anne Lamott’s “Blue Shoe.” Thanks for the review – have now added to my To Read list enthusiastically!

    Comment by Bumbles | July 1, 2011 | Reply

    • I think you’ll like it.

      Comment by stacybuckeye | July 7, 2011 | Reply

  16. I’m so glad that you almost gave this one a perfect 5 rating!! You have to read her other one too…I wish she’d write more!!!!!!

    Comment by Staci | July 1, 2011 | Reply

    • I did read her other one and really enjoyed it, but not as much as this one. Thanks for recommending it!

      Comment by stacybuckeye | July 7, 2011 | Reply

  17. Wow going to pick this one up it sounds intriguing. PLus the high rating is hard to argue with.

    Comment by caspette | July 2, 2011 | Reply

  18. I absolutely adored this book! And then I read her second one, Happiness Sold Separately, and it didn’t work for me. I’ll definitely be watching for more work form her, though.

    Comment by Carrie K. | July 3, 2011 | Reply

    • I liked Happiness, but it wasn’t rearly as good as this one. I love her voice.

      Comment by stacybuckeye | July 7, 2011 | Reply

  19. Thanks for the recommendation. This author is new to me and this sounds like a thoughtful read.

    Comment by Jennygirl | July 5, 2011 | Reply

  20. I really enjoyed this one, too! Although, I tried another by her and the magic was gone. 😦

    Comment by Thoughts of Joy | July 5, 2011 | Reply

    • I enjoyedthe second one, but this one was a lot better. I look forward to more from her.

      Comment by stacybuckeye | July 7, 2011 | Reply

  21. So glad you liked it as much as I did!!! I wish she would write another one!!!!! I think she is such a talent.

    Comment by Jenners | July 7, 2011 | Reply

    • She has such a unique voice. I’m a big fan. Thanks for recommending this one.

      Comment by stacybuckeye | July 7, 2011 | Reply

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