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The Language of Good-bye
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The Language of Good-bye

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  113 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
What is the cost of leaving a country, a child, a marriage? What is the cost of not leaving? These are the questions at the heart of The Language of Good-bye, Maribeth Fischer's powerful and provocative debut novel.

For Annie and Will, who have left their marriages to be together, the future is fraught with the complications of starting over. Both have left pieces of them
Paperback, 352 pages
Published March 26th 2002 by Plume (first published April 1st 2001)
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Apr 01, 2011 Jackie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this novel. I became engrossed in it. But let me say a couple things that bothered me before I explain why I liked it. Though many people wouldn't care about these fine details of the main character's job, I am an ESL teacher at a university, so I care. And I'd like to clear up some misrepresented details.
I feel like this novel romanticized what ESL teachers do. The articles the main character writes are nothing like actual academic ESL articles, which usually focus on models for effe
Mar 28, 2014 Cathy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Cathy by: Maribeth Fisher at Writer's At the Beach, Dewey Beach, DE 2005
I really loved this book. I related to it on so many levels. The main character, Annie, is an ESL instructor (which I have been) at VCU (where my daughter attends) in Richmond (where I used to live and work). It was such familiar territory for me, and I felt at home reading the story. These characters were people I could know and relate to, people whose struggles I could understand.

Annie and Will have left their marriages to be together. Navigating their new and unfamiliar relationship and its
Oct 11, 2015 Becca rated it really liked it
This book really resonated with me, as an ESL teacher interested in other cultures. The main character, Annie, is a married ESL teacher who is in love with another man, Will. They separate from their spouses, Carter and Kayla, who are both devastated. The drama of adultery and the "will they or won't they" became tedious at times, but overall it was a beautifully written book and acknowledged various types of loss in thought-provoking ways. I especially loved the asides about the beliefs of ...more
Mar 23, 2009 Nadiah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2009
There are many reasons why I give 5 stars to this book. It took my breath away every now and then. It exposes one's feeling in a way that you cannot be more honest about it as it is how it is.

It also mentions Indonesia several times. It even discusses one of Indonesian's best writers, Pramoedya Ananta Toer.

I think the writer must have the same occupation as one of the characters. Things like this make it uneasy to separate writers and their writings.

But, most important, it's beautifully written.
Dec 12, 2014 Molly rated it really liked it
This well written book covers the stories of Annie, Will, and Sarah. Annie and Will cheated on their spouses (and then left them, respectively) with each other. Sarah is Annie's Korean ESL student, but also Will's wife's employee. These stories are so powerfully and emotionally intertwined it was hard to decide who to pull for. Ultimately, there is nothing that you can walk away from entirely if it was once a part of your life in some way. These characters fight very hard to figure that out.
Feb 28, 2008 Kelly rated it liked it
I really liked the begining of this book. Then it kind of dragged on. At tiems i coudl relate to 3 out of the 5 characters but coudl not stand Will. If you read you will see what i mean. I did liek that this book was a blantent reminder that with every decision you make there are conquences (good and bad) and yousay "goodbye" to soemthing.
Nov 01, 2008 Jessica rated it really liked it
Good book about relationships and love. It was a tad sad but really delved into what love is. The story of a woman and her husband who both left their spouses to be with each other and the ramifications of that decision and how it affects their current relationship with each other. Told from alternating points of view of each of the four spouses.
Nia Marie
Feb 27, 2015 Nia Marie rated it it was amazing
alot of what's portrayed in this book resonates with me intensely. alot of the emotions in this book were my very own at some point in my life & Maribeth Fischer put them into words beautifully and depressingly. I absolutely loved it.
Elizabeth  Higginbotham
Interesting novel, many intersecting lives, but I had more sympathy for the students in the language class. Attention to language was very nice, but the lack of attention to race and class was very troubling to me.
Jan 09, 2010 Diane rated it it was amazing
I absolutely adored this book about a woman who teaches adults from other countries who are learning to speak English, and the dynamics of the relationships they develop. I recommended to several friends, some of whom are not teachers, and everyone loved it!
Ellen Mecholsky
May 14, 2007 Ellen Mecholsky rated it liked it
I think this is an unbelievably good book, but the reality is that it's just too sad and draining to be a must-read. It's really heavy. Beautiful and profound and touching, but it made me ache as only real life should.
Janice Urbsaitis
Mar 16, 2012 Janice Urbsaitis rated it really liked it
Starting over or saying goodbye to a child, parent or someone you love? The pros and cons. In the end, it's still your own decision.
Mar 10, 2010 Jen rated it liked it
I liked that this book was very realistic. The first half of the book rang very true for me. The ending, though was disappointing and just kind of fell flat.
Heartbreaking. I'm sobbing. I don't know why I felt compelled to finish reading it today, climbed into bed at 3ish and just finished.
Kelly Boyce
Sep 28, 2010 Kelly Boyce rated it it was amazing
This is one of my all-time favourite books. The language and style draw me in every time. I cannot pick it up and read a little without getting sucked back into the story every time.
Alicia rated it really liked it
May 12, 2013
Erin Hitzfield
Erin Hitzfield rated it really liked it
Dec 24, 2010
Christy rated it really liked it
Sep 09, 2016
Megan rated it it was ok
Nov 17, 2007
Crys Hedgecock giglio
Crys Hedgecock giglio rated it it was amazing
Mar 06, 2013
Denise rated it it was ok
Jan 17, 2015
Deborah rated it liked it
Mar 08, 2012
Steve Robison
Steve Robison rated it it was amazing
Dec 20, 2012
Caly Noelle
Caly Noelle rated it really liked it
May 19, 2010
Aug 02, 2011 Allison rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
depressing, and not in a good way
Renata rated it liked it
May 16, 2008
Dominique rated it it was amazing
Jul 15, 2014
Nina rated it it was amazing
Jul 15, 2008
Kaye rated it it was ok
Feb 12, 2012
Ruthe rated it liked it
Sep 19, 2014
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