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This Is How You Say Goodbye: A Daughter's Memoir

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  83 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
A razor-sharp memoir in which a young woman travels to Cambodia, Stockholm, and Paris to overcome the legacy of her difficult and charismatic father

When Victoria Loustalot was eight years old her father swept her up in a fantasy: a trip around the world. It was a grandiose plan and she had fallen for it. But it had never been so much as a possibility. Victoria's father was
ebook, 240 pages
Published September 10th 2013 by St. Martin's Press
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Another impulse grab off my library's New Books shelf, which turned out in this case to be okay, though not great. Really deserves that classic 2.5 stars option.

Travel narrative aspect in Sweden and Cambodia were the strongest parts for me. Author's search for the "truth" about her father wasn't as compelling. Frankly, he didn't strike me as a very nice person, but rather shallow and full of himself like a narcissist. Still, I could understand the motivation for her quest; what I did not care fo
Megan Mills
Sep 14, 2013 Megan Mills rated it really liked it
I am pleased to say I lost my memoir virginity to this book. It made me want to read nothing but memoirs and explore more non-fiction. I laughed, I cried, I reread my favorite parts. Go read it.
Steve Hirsch
May 03, 2016 Steve Hirsch rated it really liked it
A touching memoir about Victoria and her father, or the memory of him. After her parents divorce, and her father's death when she's eleven, she sets out to follow some of his footsteps, traveling to places he'd lived and then on to places he'd only dreamed about going.
Sep 13, 2013 Sarah rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. LOVED. I want to buy it for everyone I know so they can read it and love it too. Painful but beautiful and thoroughly enjoyable throughout (I laughed, I cried . . .). I could go on and on, but I think you should just read it and then we can talk about it together.

(And now I desperately want to go to Stockholm)
Liz Simmons
Nov 14, 2013 Liz Simmons rated it liked it
My second book of the year that is the memories of a daughter whose gay father died from aids. I thought Fairyland was a more engaging and well written read, but they are pretty different stories. Loustalot never felt like she really knew her father. He kept separate households from her mother, and didn't tell her that he was gay and had HIV until they'd been married for about 13 years. He died when the author was only 11. The book describes her memories of her father and then her attempts to lo ...more
Jul 07, 2014 eLLen rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 29, 2015 Atara rated it really liked it
Heartbreaking, funny, and touching. A bit too saccharine and scattered at times. Though the scattered-ness also gave it more depth and quality. I'm a bit of a mess from this book, honestly, so I'm not making much sense. The writing was very poetic. Mostly loved it.
Jen Dee
Oct 08, 2013 Jen Dee rated it liked it
An interesting though uneven memoir. Just as Barack Obama's book Dreams from My Father focuses on a man he hardly knew, the author tries to reconcile her relationship with her long-deceased father, who seemed to be a pretty bad, though not abusive, parent, while virutally ignoring her long-suffering mother. In one heart-breaking passage six-year-old Victoria makes a key tray for her father in art class, only to have him throw it away because it doesn't fit his decor. Full disclosure - I know the ...more
Oct 22, 2013 Monika rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written memoir! It manages to pull together childhood memories, moments from adult life (and the blossoming of a romance), gorgeous scenes of travels, and fascinating retellings of Victoria's father's life in such a complete way!

Victoria's writing style is a magical combo of warm/funny/sharply observant. Losing a parent at a young age is a very strange thing. it's incredible to me how much insight and maturity the author had at such a young age to capture the complexity of her fat
Ted Krohn
Jun 28, 2014 Ted Krohn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Now all I wanna do is ride my bike around Angkor Wat. Good memoir from someone barely older than me.
Sep 29, 2013 Kelsey rated it it was amazing
It's a rare book that succeeds at being both sad and funny, but Loustalot's memoir had me laughing and crying, often on the same page. Her prose is stunning and she tells her story with wry honesty. As Loustalot travels from Angkor Wat to Sweden to Paris, trying to unriddle her father's past and character, the reader journeys along the full emotional spectrum. The answers she finds help her better understand not only her father but her own approach to life -- and love. A must-read.
Karen Lausa
Dec 29, 2013 Karen Lausa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really wonderful memoir. A journey of sorts through childhood and coming of age, realized through the young author's impressive writing and beautiful story of her brief but powerful relationship with her father. It really is a love story, and reads with a fast-paced pull that makes it difficult to put down.
Marie Galaz
Sep 25, 2013 Marie Galaz rated it it was amazing
An amazing memoir that made me laugh and cry. Beautiful imagery and an amazing use of time and space. I enjoyed every minute of it.
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I'm the author of the memoir This Is How You Say Goodbye (St. Martin's Press; September 2013). I also write a lot of tweets (@VLoustalot) and take a lot of Instagram pics (@VLoustalot).

My essays have appeared in a number of places like The New York Times, The New Yorker's Book Bench Blog, The Huffington Post, Women's Wear Daily, The Onion, Publishers Weekly, and even Munaluchi Bridal Magazine.

I gr
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