The Art of Saying Goodbye
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The Art of Saying Goodbye

3.26 of 5 stars 3.26  ·  rating details  ·  379 ratings  ·  81 reviews
She was the thread that wove their tapestry together.

With a group of women as diverse as the ladies from Brightwood Trace, you might not think them to be close. There's Julianne, a nurse with an unsettling psychic ability that allows her to literally feel what her patients feel, Andrea, a strong fortress sheltering a faltering core, Ginger, a mother torn between being a st...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published June 7th 2011 by HarperCollins e-books (first published May 19th 2011)
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As I mentioned in my initial thoughts post, I didn’t really like how this book began. I continued to read a bit more, but I never connected with any of the characters and ended up putting it aside to read something else, intending to come back to it. I never have. It’s a bit of a let down, too, because I enjoy books that explore friendships between women and this one looks like a winner from the outside. The execution just didn’t jive with my style, unfortunately.

The book starts with a jerky nar...more
Cate (The Professional Fangirl)
Jun 13, 2011 Cate (The Professional Fangirl) rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: book clubs made up of women
A Reading Good Books @ Wordpress review.

* In compliance with FTC guidelines, it should be noted that I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

I won this book during the 30 May 2011 drawing of GoodReads First Reads. I had been playing for just a week. Lucky! I was one of 18 winners of this book. In the past, I have read only one similar book, a book about a bevy of women bonding together, and that was The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler. Although I do not have much exp...more
I thought this book was padded with mundane details. I was disappointed in not finding any light-bulb moments to give the title credence. I kept waiting for something to happen. Please just let Paisley's friends, at her funeral, drape feather boas across their shoulders and "dance, girls, and all the cares of the world will go away." Not even that. Bummer!
I have had this book since last June. For some reason it took until now to get to it(likely those other 1,000 books on my shelf have something to do with it.). Paisley is a carefree housewife living in Brightwood Trace. She is, no doubt, the life of the party and the neighborhood. The one who is always there for everyone in the neighborhood, no matter what they're going through. She goes in for a pre-op exam and her friend Julianne(another member of the neighborhood)finds something. That somethi...more
Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
Sometimes I hit a wave of books that I just don't connect with. Perhaps it's me and the circumstances of my life at the time, perhaps it's the books. The Art of Saying Goodbye was another disappointment to me.

I normally enjoy books that explore the friendships of women. I thought the author did a good job capturing some of the intricacies and feelings of each of these women as Paisley's cancer diagnosis causes them to evaluate their lives and relationships. The book's point of view/narration mo...more
A close-knit neighborhood is rocked by the news that Paisley, the most charismatic and kind woman on the block, has pancreatic cancer that has already traveled to her liver. Each person responds to this news differently. The novel describes the layers of friendship that exist between and among these women. We learn about their mixed loyalties, their indebtedness, their betrayals, their secrets and their saviors. The men and children in their lives are affected not only by Paisley's ill health bu...more
Amber Koppenhofer
I picked up this story hoping for a tale of love, loss, and grief. Instead I read about a bunch of caddy women jealous of their dying neighbor...jealous of her spirit and beauty that causes their husbands to stare at her instead of themselves. The characters are shallow and some are so similar to one another that's it's easy to confuse them with each other. I wanted to give it up early on, but I held onto the glimmer of hope that this story would somehow redeem itself. It didn't. My advice to yo...more
Two stars doesn't seem like it would make for a decent book, but "The Art of Saying Goodbye" was a nice read. Yet, "Liked it" feels a little too strong. The book always came across as a superficial glimpse into the character's lives. Yes, we found out deep dark secrets (like Juilanne's tattoo and her special vibe for detecting illness or about the one-time rendezvous between Paisley and Eddie (married to Mason and Ginger, respectively), but I never really seemed to get to know the characters and...more
This book was such a fast, smooth read. It had incredibly relatable characters and a realistic but sad storyline. It's moving in the simple, painful way that life often is. I enjoyed what felt like a glimpse into the everyday life of these women and by the end felt like I had known them for years.
May 31, 2011 Carrie marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Looks like a good book, I'm looking forward to receiving this in the mail so I can read it!! Thanks Goodreads for the win!
We meet 5 women off the bat, and then we go back and forth between all of them, finding out about them and what each one might be struggling with. Iona was my favorite. Seems like a hard lady on the outside but really is a loving lady and could be a wonderful friend. All these ladies I yearned to really like. Could like them on the surface, but there was no real depth. Even Paisley, as much as I was like, yea I think I might like her, after all the stuff I read, not really sure I do!

Each woman,...more
Twenty years ago I lost a friend to breast cancer. By the time it was diagnosed she had only 2 months to live. She left a husband and 3 children under the age of 15. In 2007 my big sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a single mastectomy and chemo. Not long after 1/3 of a kidney was removed due to cancer. More chemo. She is a survivor.

I was ambivalent about entering the giveaway for this book but I did enter. I was hoping for something uplifting.

That wasn't quite what I got. The book...more
The story of five women brought together by one feisty, fiery "hot mama". Desperate to bring some life to the neighborhood, Paisley hand delivers invitations to all the women neighboring her house to a "Happy Hour for Hot Moms" claiming they all deserve it. What begins for many as a nervous meeting in Paisley's backyard, blossoms over the next ten years in to various degrees of friendship between the five women, the rock and guiding force is always Paisley.

Until Paisley's terminal cancer diagnos...more
“Odd, how in the afterglow of someone else’s life, your own looks so much brighter.”

This line from Ellyn Bache’s new novel The Art of Saying Goodbye (William Morrow, 2011), gives you a sense of the glowing feel you will gather from this artful novel.

In the novel, golden girl Paisley suddenly learns she has a late stage cancer. It is unthinkable, and throughout the course of the novel, we see the women who know Paisley re-examining their own lives, revealing secrets and shames, and finding new fo...more
Sara Strand
I will start by telling you that this is another one of those books where the readers voice changes between characters. Each woman is friens with Paisley is different ways and not necessarily with each other. Some characters I felt were stronger than others and some are the kind that you just get annoyed with because you know someone like them in real life. Mostly, they are the kind of people who aren't able to move on in a positive direction from anything. Everything in their life after a parti...more
I received this book from Librarything and loved the idea of the storyline. After reading it, I found that the author wrote this story after going through a similiar situation several years ago in her own neighborhood. That made it even more touching for me.

The story takes place over 1 1/2 months in the lives of Paisley, the woman with cancer, and her neighborhood friends. The story mostly takes place in current time with a few flashback chapters to give you the backstory. The storyline flows e...more
Lydia Laceby
Originally Reviewed at Novel Escapes

The Art of Saying Goodbye has a Desperate Housewives element to it, with five neighbourhood friends, their lives and children intertwined as one of the women receives tragic news. I love reading about the friendships between women and was looking forward to this novel, but unfortunately I was disappointed and couldn’t really get into it.

The characters seemed disjointed and not genuinely interested in each other. Maybe this is where the novel should be interes...more
Aug 20, 2011 Jacque rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
This story was very good. I loved it. It made me cry in many places. It was hard to read when you know how the story is going to end. I found it to be very interesting to find out that the writer had really gone through this herself. It made the story more real than it already was.

In the story I found the way each woman reacted to the diagnosis of their friend with pancreatic and liver cancer to be interesting. Each one reacted differently, but still I felt that they all wanted to help her get t...more
Laura de Leon
3.5 stars.

This book felt like it should have been a 4 star book, but it never quite lived up to the potential for me.

There wasn't anything really wrong with it, as such. There was quite a bit right with it.

Still, I clearly enjoyed it, and am glad I read it.

What was most interesting to me was the picture of the neighborhood, and the links between the women there, even more so than the women themselves.

The women each had her own story, and they all included Paisley at some point, at some time, to...more
Stephanie (StephTheBookworm)
When I first heard about this book, I knew right away I would need to read it. I loved the sound of it: a group of female friends dealing with their leader having cancer. Right up my alley. I’m having a little bit of a hard time, though, gathering my thoughts about this one. I would say I liked it, but it was much different than I’d expected so I was slightly let down because I went into it thinking I would LOVE it.

What I can say is that this is the kind of story that just begs to be read slowly...more
I really enjoyed this book- so much so that I read it in one sitting. I don't normally read books like this, but every now and then it's good to read a little chick-lit (like a chick-flick, but for books). I thought this book was a little bit of Steel Magnolias, Now and Then, and Stepmom all rolled together. I enjoyed the characters and their development throughout the book. I thought they would be a little closer as friends, but some seemed more acquaintances than friends. However, all of their...more
First, I love this cover. I just adored it, the colors are vibrant and it's just a really pretty hard cover book. Second, the writing style is just my type. I love the voices that Ellen Bache gives these women. Each one distinct and personal, yet distant as well. The reason I didn't go up in stars is because I find it hard to read about women I dislike. Besides Paisley and Julianne, I dislike all the other women. Their petty personalities, while realistic, just drove me nuts and made the book di...more
This is the story of five women, very close women, who struggle to exist when one of them, the strong one who held the group together, gets cancer. Who is going to help HER??

It was OK. Not as good as I thought it could be, too much 'chick-lit' and not enough depth to the relationships.

Favorite Quotes:

"How old do you have to be before you understand that the burst of energy that guides us through the world turns into the exhaustion that makes us loosen our hold, and finally the pain that teaches...more
I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

“The Art of Saying Goodbye” by Ellyn Bache is a heartfelt novel of a group of diverse women; Iona, Julianne, Andrea, Ginger and Paisley, friends living in a close knit neighborhood. But this group is shocked when the liveliest and friendliest of the group, Paisley, is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

This book isn’t just a story about a woman going through her battle with cancer. It is the story of five individuals. Ellyn Bache takes u...more
Just received the book in the mail! Thank you Goodreads,Ellyn Bache, and Megan, who hosted the giveaway! Can't wait to read it! I liked the ribbon you put on it too :) (June 4)
Update: (June 21)
First off, I really like the cover. It's pretty!! Next, after reading the book I get why there was a white ribbon tied around. Liked it even better!! Thirdly, I really enjoyed the book.If it wasn't for good reads I probably would have never come across this book in the book store, since it is not the type...more
The Art of Saying Goodbye
Ellyn Bache
Stars 4 out of 5

The story lets you know about a neighbor who is dying of cancer and the friendship she has with her neighbors. (I have family dealing with this right now, don't know why I chose it), however, I did enjoy this book and believe it or not, did not shed a tear!

It alternates back and forth from current times and years before. You learn how the neighbors came to be friends.

There are many characters in this book besides Paisley (the woman with cancer...more
Amy Siegfried
I just could not connect with any of these women...they all seemed so shallow and petty and in some ways blamed their troubles on Paisley. I never got a sense that they learned that much, were that supportive, or just got over themselves. I am not sure any of them learned that much about saying good bye...I am not sure they even really said Hello.
A neighborhood of close friends deal with the terminal cancer of one of their own, in a story that ultimately felt insipid and shallow to me. The grown women in the book reminded me more of sorority girls than thoughtful, mature mothers/daughters/wives. So, into the "sell at Half Price Books" bin for this one!
This book got lots of good reviews and sounded promising, but I just didn't "get" it. Maybe if I had read the book in one sitting, it would've had more of an impression on me, but every time I picked up the book, I had to try and remember who was married to who and which kid belonged to which family and then there was the bit of "supernatural" built in that just seemed contrived to me. In another place and time, I might've liked the book more. I've never been fond of books written in present ten...more
I have not read any of this author's other books, but received an advanced copy of The Art of Saying Goodbye at a conference and decided to give it a try. Each of the characters, and the story as a whole, felt very real and true to me. Grief, friendship, love, uncertainty - all the feelings that make up a life, or several lives - were portrayed quietly and convincingly, without being over done. It was not extremely sappy, it did not try to be a tear-jerker, the book simply felt as though I was g...more
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Back when I was about eight and my mom worked full-time in an era when most moms stayed home, I rebelled by reading all the short stories in her women's magazines. There were lots of them in those days, most of them marvelous glimpses into a grown-up world I could barely imagine, but that felt glamorous and forbidden and appealing. So I grew up writing women's fiction instead of becoming the docto...more
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