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.
Heartbreaking and luminous, Hello Goodbye deftly explores a family’s struggle with love and loss, as a summer vacation becomes an occasion for awakening rather than farewell, and life inevitably blossoms in the face of death.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of History eBook: Hello Goodbye|
|Release Date: 05-05-2009|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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|Parent title||Hello Goodbye|
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By the time Helen comes in from her run, the first sparks of dawn, pale orange and chilly, are reaching through the bare trees in the backyard. On the other side of the fence, across a gully cut by a thin creek, the neighboring hospital puffs steam into the morning. From its vents and chimneys and pipes, clouds rise, catching light in their curling forms, turning pink and then fading to white. She slides a filter into the coffeemaker, pours in the last of the dark grounds, and leans against the counter. She’s been dizzy since her last mile, and sometimes when she turns her head quickly, her vision takes a moment to catch up: the breakfast table seems to wobble in the corner, and a silver blob resolves itself belatedly into the refrigerator. Call eye doctor, she scribbles on the grocery list, then adds Folgers below milk and carrots.
When her daughter came home for winter break, Helen brewed endless pots of coffee; four months of college had turned Abby into a proper addict. She’d become a vegetarian, too, and a quasi- environmentalist, and an earnest proponent of domestic equity. She’d lectured Helen about the necessity of composting and talked at length about “the second shift,” which had something to do with how Helen, like most American women, had to work outside the home as well as make the dinners and do the laundry.
When Helen went to college, there was Mass every day in the chapel and a dress code; one studied European history, geography, and psychology. Two decades later, her daughter is going to classes with names like&...