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". . . an astonishing read on courage and love and hope."
“No one ever said: Someday you’ll have to babysit your own mother.”
That sentence featured in the early pages of Hello Goodbye pretty much sets the novel’s mood. Abby Hansen, a young college student who hovers between intelligence and stubbornness, must face the realism of what may be the last summer she spends with her mother Helen.
Helen Hansen, once a bright and semi-athletic beauty, is stricken with a brain tumor. While a brain tumor is certainly a devastating event, author Emily Chenoweth describes the moment of discovery with a flourish that one may mistaken for the critique of an achingly beautiful painting. With her doting but emotionally stricken husband Elliott, the family goes on what could be a final family vacation for Helen.
Chenoweth seems familiar with what families go through when a terminal illness puts a terrifying grip on them. Humor, confusion, guilt and acceptance are thrown in with a dash of quirky but loveable characters. Readers can relate to Elliott and Helen putting on brave faces against their possible future as well as Abby’s fight to embrace reality and open her heart and soul. Hello Goodbye is an astonishing read about courage, love and hope.
Reviewer: Lisa D. DeNeal