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!!!”

38 thoughts on “Good Grief, by Lolly Winston

  1. SandySays1 says:

    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.

  2. Debbie Rodgers says:

    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.

    • stacybuckeye says:

      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.

  3. Bumbles says:

    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!

  4. Staci says:

    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!!!!!!

    • stacybuckeye says:

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

  5. Carrie K. says:

    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.

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