Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Rules for Saying Goodbye” as Want to Read:
Rules for Saying Goodbye
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Rules for Saying Goodbye

3.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  321 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
Kate is having a hard time. Lucas, the journalist she moved to Rome to marry, seems to be breaking up with her; he is certain that when the time comes, she won’t want to farm geese for foie gras in the Périgord with him. In actual fact, he doesn’t want to feel responsible for making her happy.

“You were never responsible for that,” she answers, confused. “Happiness simply h
Hardcover, 311 pages
Published May 29th 2007 by Farrar Straus Giroux (first published January 1st 2007)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 571)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Maria Headley
Sep 13, 2007 Maria Headley rated it liked it
This was just okay. I wanted to love it, and then it had plot problems. As in, really, it didn't have much of a plot. It felt like a diary written by a pretty good writer, but as far as story structure, it wasn't there. Bummed me out, actually, because I was prepared to love this. Actually, though, this was a good learning experience. She did some things that I'm sure I'm right in the midst of doing, writing-wise, and hopefully the unsatisfied, puzzled feeling I had when I finished this book wil ...more
Jennifer Maiser
Apr 09, 2008 Jennifer Maiser rated it did not like it
Waste of time -- I slogged through it hoping that there would be something redeeming (I heard about it through NPR so thought there might be something redeeming) -- but the plot never picked up or got interesting. I never got emotionally involved with the main character.
Sep 28, 2008 Helene rated it did not like it
Maybe I "lack social class" or the "proper" knowledge in what a good novel is supposed to be like. That, or I'm dead on the mark with this review: this book was a royal waste of time and brain cells. I sped-read through the book mainly so I could just say I finished reading through it and gave it a full chance.

The book seemed promising from the beginning; seemed to have witty dialogue and interesting characters. As I read on, however, I realized that the book had no real point. The conversations
Christina Rau
Nov 13, 2015 Christina Rau rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels
Rules For Saying Goodbye is less obtuse and more narrative than Sittenfeld's style, but the themes and tone mirror each other.

The character narrator Kathrine brings up cocaine and cancer the way people bring up butter and slippers. Things happen in life. That's what this book is about.

It's also about those guys who come and go, those that stay, and those that need to never have existed. It's about friendships that fade and those that, no matter distance, change, and time, are the most fulfilling
Jun 11, 2008 Lydia rated it did not like it
Katherine Taylor wrote a book about Katherine Taylor and called it a novel. Fiction afforded her the opportunity to make herself interesting but did she? Not even. Blonde, skinny, trust-fund, dilettante, rent-control apartment. Fresno (?), prep school, New York, London, Rome. I read this was supposed to be a satire but the reviewers are overestimating "Ms Taylor". Too many dull anecdotes and poor-me scenarios. The book should have been about Clarissa, the one character she manages to bring to li ...more
Dec 22, 2008 Christina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed Rules For Saying Goodbye. After reading reviews, I can understand many readers' points of view that it's very aimless, but I think that's what I enjoyed so much. The disjointment of plot and paragraph gives a sense of aimlessly wandering through life, something I find very relatable. The dialogue was very witty and had me laughing out loud at times. All the characters that Katherine met were unique and refreshing and real; there weren't two that were alike, and trust me, there ...more
Katie Dreyer
Jul 26, 2009 Katie Dreyer rated it really liked it
Honest, funny, sad, and nostalgic - the best part of the book is probably in the title, when our heroine lists the rules for saying goodbye to your latest lover.

You'll be laughing out loud bye Rule #4:
'Buy things to leave in his house, things he won’t have the energy to throw out, like jars of the peanut butter you like. Do not leave things you might want later. Leave hair rubber bands and your toothbrush, but not your Sonicare toothbrush.'

The list takes a somber turn when we come to Rule #10:
Mar 24, 2010 KDee rated it really liked it
I am loving this book. I picked it up to pass some time. Later I realized the cover had images of wine, beer, cocktails on the front. That made laugh at myself.

I feel like I am walking through many differently decorated rooms of the same house as I am reading. It's enticing.

I don't want this book to end.

Well, I finally gave in and finished this one. I adored it. It had a section on Rome so that endeared me even more.

I am not sure this book is for everyone, but it is dark and emotive and clever e
Samantha Smith
Jul 30, 2012 Samantha Smith rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
This book was just ok. It was mildly entertaining with about 3 funny parts or sentences. The main character is a giant weirdo and not particularly likeable. Not entirely sure what the book is supposed to be about. I read that this book is supposed to be satire, and I can kind of see how that could be but also I kind of don't. This book is odd as the main chracter has the author's name. Autobiographical? I guess, but I hope not for the author's sake. Everybody is depressed, nobody goes to work, m ...more
Dorothyanne Brown
Jan 19, 2012 Dorothyanne Brown rated it it was ok
The Rules were good.
I didn't like this book, a sort of free-ranging memoir of a life of travel and learning without anything learned or travelled. It felt like skating along on the surface of ice, while seeing shapes underneath.
That said, I read the whole thing. In fact, looked forward to reading it.
So I'd skip this one by Katherine Taylor, but look forward to the next one. She can write well. But this surface tale of family events and growing up is not worth the time.
I'd read the rules. They ar
Marie Anette
Aug 14, 2012 Marie Anette rated it it was ok
This was an okay book. I thought I was going to love it, after getting through the first part, that focuses on her life in a boarding school. I liked the honesty and freedom the writing gave off. But then it just kind of sank into a bunch of different stories that happen in Kath's life and it gets a little dull. The ending left me quite unsatisfied and unsure of what I, as a reader, was supposed to learn from it.
It's a book that could have been much better.
Ursula Lyon
Oct 13, 2008 Ursula Lyon rated it liked it
HAHAHAH! $14 drinks and no $$$... ya, that sums of the life of a real new yorker!!! I liked this book but my heart kinda raced as I read it bc she is 11 when the book starts and in her 30's when it ends.... thats a lot of life to cover in one book... she went to grad school in like a paragraph! If only it where a paragraph, I woudld go too!!!
Sep 05, 2008 Jenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book had great dialogue but you never really had a good sense of the main character. This is even worse because the character was the author (even down to the first name). The last half was enjoyable but I don't really understand how this was published. I ended the book feeling like I had read something with no point.
Aug 21, 2008 Melissa rated it did not like it
It felt like a memoir, which was was a bit odd, and I kind of liked it at first. But then, the last half off the book she spent drinking and cruising through multiple (read: many) relationships, all which failed. The ending -- which was supposed to be happy, I guess -- fell flat. Blech.
Apr 29, 2011 Raechel rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
The book engaged me in the first few chapters and I was eager to learn of what would happen of the girl who left home behind so quickly and her crazy mother. It lost its luster though by the time she was a grown up and I was happily awaiting the end of the book.
Apr 21, 2012 Stephanie rated it did not like it
This book was just eh. There were times where I felt like the main character was just blah. no depth to any of the other characters. as the plot developed it just seemed very predictable and sort of uninteresting.
Jan 08, 2009 Anne rated it it was ok
I thought this book was going to be chick lit. It's not. The characters are kind of one dimensional and unlikable and there really isn't a much of a plot. Thumbs down.
Jan 15, 2009 Slone marked it as unfinished-never-to-be-started-aga
Whiny, privileged protagonist alienates reader! Not a new story, but a hated one ...
Amanda J
Apr 29, 2009 Amanda J rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 01, 2013 Alphawoman rated it really liked it
I would want to be friends with this girl. I loved a lot of this book. I loved the way she was able to hit a home run in describing situations. for example, how one character would sit in the lunch room. Others would have to join her. I laughed when she went into a hotel in the middle of somewhere (I read this book several weeks ago) and told them "Elizabeth Taylor" needed a room and then brought her Mom in with a coat over her head. I loved her climbing a mountain with her ass hole boyfriend. I ...more
Krystin Petras
May 03, 2015 Krystin Petras rated it it was ok
Had a real hard time reading this. Felt like it just dragged on and on. Didn't want to stop half way when maybe something remotely interesting would happen but nope. It's a good book to put a person to sleep.
Noelle Merritt
Jul 23, 2015 Noelle Merritt rated it it was ok
A light read. Entertaining but nothing fantastic.
Oct 19, 2008 Carolyn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"You're going to like the farm," his mother said to me.
I kenw farms and farm people. I had spent my childhood climbing up peach trees. I was the only girl in graduate school who knew how to eat a pomegranate. Climbing up peach trees had not reminded me, however, not to wear heels to a farm. Heels work very nicely at a small market in rural France, but not quite so well in the rich rural soil and wet depth that is every farm outside of Paris. I stuck in the mud and tried to pretend with each ste
Apr 24, 2015 Leslie marked it as to-read
Festival of Books 2015
Suzanne Guillette
Jul 28, 2009 Suzanne Guillette rated it really liked it
I read this for my book club, and due to time constraints, ended up having to read it in one sitting. I think if I had been able to put it down and pick it up, I might have enjoyed it more, since the book has a sort of meandering, episodic tone. There's also an undercurrent of anxiety, which would be better served by reading in parts. That said, Taylor is a very entertaining and talented writer. I especially enjoyed the scenes with her mother.
Aug 18, 2008 Jackie rated it liked it
Recommended to Jackie by: Jervis
Kate and her family remind me a little bit of David Sedaris and his family. They are crazy, intense, depressed, dramatic characters whose antics and reactions made me laugh - sometimes outloud. However, at one point the book reminded me of Eat, Pray, Love and I began to tire of it. Overall, a quick and entertaining summer read.
Jan 18, 2016 Kate rated it liked it
First half of the book far exceeded the second half.
Apr 08, 2012 Clare rated it it was ok
I enjoyed this book but felt it could nave been better. The author left several threads underdeveloped that would have been more interesting I think. Not sure I would read anything else by her but I did like the parts set in other countries so if other novels were set in Europe or elsewhere I might give them a try.
Apr 27, 2012 Carla marked it as to-read
I keep hoping there will be some redeeming value to this novel, but am ready to give up on it. The main character's mother reminds me of my younger brother and the annoyance may get the better of me.
beth anne
May 26, 2009 beth anne rated it it was ok
i didnt realize this wasnt a real story until about haof way thru. i also didnt realize that the main person and her mom battled depression.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 19 20 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Letters in the Attic
  • Microsoft Secrets: How the World's Most Powerful Software Company Creates Technology, Shapes Markets, and Manages People
  • I Thought You Were Dead
  • Halfway Hexed (Southern Witch, #3)
  • Last Last Chance
  • Rainy Nights 4
  • Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains)
  • Wrecked
  • Feathered
  • Leader of the Pack (Tales of an Urban Werewolf, #3)
  • Tainted Life: The Autobiography
  • Quantum Leap: The Novel
  • Houston, We Have a Problema
  • Time Travel
  • Shining City
  • Spur Of The Moment
  • The Meat Free Monday Cookbook
  • Definitely Naughty
KATHERINE TAYLOR is the author of the novels Valley Fever (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux 2015) and Rules for Saying Goodbye (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux 2007). Her stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times, Elle, Town & Country, ZYZZYVA, The Southwest Review, and Ploughshares, among other publications. She has won a Pushcart Prize and the McGinnis Ritchie Award for Fiction. She has a ...more
More about Katherine Taylor...

Share This Book

“Dad told me, 'Mommy doesn't need antidepressants, you see. She needs flowers and sometimes she needs antiques.” 7 likes
“Shame on you for dating a musician. At your age.” 2 likes
More quotes…