“This is a beautiful heart-warming story about the Hansen family. This family of three heads to New Hampshire to spent one week together on vacation and for Abby's parents to celebrate their twentieth wedding anniversary. But this isn't any ordinary special occasion. It's going to be one for Helen, Abby and Elliott Hansen to remember. We see it through their eyes, when they deal with Helen's terminal diagnosis of brain cancer, when she has three more months left to life. In Hello Goodbye, we see how Helen deals with her illness, how Abby and Elliott copes with it, when they celebrate with family and friends. For Abby, as a college freshmen home for the summer, she experiences love and a rebellious streak, when she's in a love triangle of her own. For Elliott, it's how he prepares for the future and protects Abby from the truth, until the end. It's really moving. Although I don't reach much literary fiction, this touched my heart. It teaches us about life, love and death.”Kristen H wrote this review Thursday, April 25, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Everything surrounding the mother - the prose, the imagery, the dialogue - is wonderful. Everything about every other character is filler.”Amester wrote this review Friday, July 8, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“So sad but very very real. Wonderful writer.”Nancy R wrote this review Saturday, March 19, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Very sad.. good though. ”Sabrina O wrote this review Sunday, March 28, 2010. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Interesting topic but VERY boring. I just scanned the end because it was soooo... slow.”Sally B wrote this review Tuesday, December 29, 2009. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Having read several reviews I was looking forward to reading this book. Unfortunately I could not get into the story, and did not finish, though I probably read half. I was prepared to find the story depressing given the content, but I had read other books about dying and the experience of the final stages of an illness. However, the resort to which Elliott, the husband, takes his wife, Helen, who is dying of a brain tumo,r did not provide an intimate and comfortable setting. I found the formality of the place and the required dressing for dinner, etc. stultifying and rigid. I also had a difficult time reading about Abby the daughter, who in her teenage turmoil is being a pill, not in a non-cooperative way (though she is that), but rather is not willing to relate or be compassionate with a mother who is not the supportive parent she once was. Abby is in supposed to be unaware that her mother is terminal, and though she may not have been told specifically, she is aware that her mother is ill and vague, yet she pouts and goes off on her own. She was not a sympathetic character for me, given how close they had been in the past. So I was left feeling uncomfortable with the predicament the characters presented and unable to feel compassion for their experiences.
I may try reading this at a later time. I have found in the past that I was just not ready for what a story had to tell me, or able to glean out the beauty of the writing. ”
“In a single week, a family leaves behind its past and a daughter awakens to the future in Emily Chenoweth’s intimate and beautifully crafted debut novel.
In the winter of 1990, Helen Hansen–counselor, wife, and mother in the prime of her life–is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. The following August, Helen, her husband, Elliott, and their daughter, Abby, a freshman in college, take a trip to northern New Hampshire, where Helen will be able to say goodbye to a lifetime of friends. Ensconced in a historic resort in the White Mountains–a place where afternoon cocktails are served on the veranda and men are expected to wear jackets after six–the Hansens and their guests must improvise their own rituals of remembrance and reconnection.
For Elliott, the trip is a parting gift to his beloved wife, as well as some needed respite from the caretaking duties that have become his main work. For Helen and the procession of old friends who come to pay their respects, the days offer a poignant celebration of a dear, too-brief life. And for Abby, still unaware that her mother’s cancer is terminal, the week brings a surprising conflict between loyalty and desire as, drawn by the youthful, spirited hotel staff, she finds herself caught between the affections of two very different young men.
“Impressive debut book. Obviously a sad overtone but a beautiful story of one weekend of friendship, love, relationships and hope. ”Chris C wrote this review Sunday, August 16, 2009. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A heartfelt story of a family learning and adapting to the imminent death of mother/wife told from the perspective of the rebellious teenage daughter coming-pf-age, the distraught but multi-tasking husband, and the cancer-ridden dying woman who really is okay with it all. Well done.”She wrote this review Sunday, July 12, 2009. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“An amazing debut by Chenoweth. The lyrical quality of the story and its affirmation of life in the midst of the finality of death, will echo within me for some time. Its lesson is essential and heartbreaking, the appreciation of the essence of life only as it is ebbing.”Kathy B wrote this review Sunday, July 12, 2009. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No