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Goodnight Dear: The Unsentimental Diary Of A Bereaved Husband

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  221 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
Maïté Humphries-Farge died on January 14th 2011, quite suddenly and without warning.

She was not targeted by a serial killer or the victim of some vampire boyfriend's nemesis because this was not fiction. This was merely the kind of day-to-day family tragedy that barely makes the local news.

This is the story of the first year after Maïté's death, as told in diary entries ma
Kindle Edition, 250 pages
Published March 26th 2012
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Community Reviews

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Alicia Ehrhardt
Sep 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A tribute to a woman who picked the father for her children well

This was a difficult book to read, but I'm glad I did. There is no way to make the year after the death of a beloved wife easy, and there is so very much to do when you've been left with two small children. This diary was a tribute to both the husband who suddenly had to be both parents, and the wife and mother of his children who had made them such a happy family. Mr. Humphries tries to make it all about her, and the children, and
Kath Middleton
Mar 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
How can you do anything as trivial as award stars to the true story of a family's loss of a young, talented wife and mother? This is, as the title states, an unsentimental, very factual account of a sudden death and the way it devastated the lives of author Darren Humphries and his two young children. Ambulance and Police log details are interspersed with accounts of how thoughtful friends brought milk and teabags, the details of putting up relatives from far away, the potential over-running of ...more
Apr 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
I wish I didn't have to write this review, in fact I wish this book didn't exist. The idea that something so terrible could happen to someone so obviously loved broke my heart but then we can't turn back time and this book is a perfect example of how life certainly does go on after a tragedy.

Darren Humphries is a very brave man and from reading this book, obviously an amazing husband and father. I have no doubt that they will need more than a one man tent for his wake as he is have more love tha
H.O. Charles
Mar 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I do not tend to write reviews of books, but this one made me do it.

The humour and sarcasm used by the author is pitched right at my level. It’s wonderful to read and beautifully appropriate. I really felt as if I clicked with this man; I got him. That is an incredible feat for any author to achieve with their reader. In one line I would be sniffling, and on the next I’d be laughing aloud. I don’t know if other nationalities would find this to be a very typically ‘British’ approach, but I felt r
Mar 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Darren's usual genre is surreal sci-fi parallel universe type of thing, full of humour and madness. I have read 2 of his books and they make me smile and giggle. This one made my sob my eyes out.

The simple summary for this book is that it's his diary of his life after his wife died suddenly and unexpectedly at a heartbreakingly early 39 years old, leaving him with his two children, an 8 year old boy and 16 month old girl.

This is no heartstrings pulled sentimental tale. It's just life as Darren c
Lorraine Versini
Mar 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It is certainly difficult to put in words what the reader feels when reading this book.
I hear very often that tastes are so different from person to person that it's hard to find a book that everyone would agree upon as a "memorable book". I don't mean everyone will love this book, but I am sure that everyone will be affected by the diary. We all have or will lose someone we love.
Maite was very much a rare and precious flower that faded too suddenly. The diary may be unsentimental, but this stil
T4bsF (Call me Flo)
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
We all pretty much expect that one partner from a marriage/relationship will die before the other, but what we don't expect is that it will happen suddenly, or at such a young age as it happened to Darren! I'm 65 now, so I've dealt with family deaths (both of my own family members and my in-laws), many times and so have learned that life does indeed go on. None of the deaths that I've experienced, however, has led to a complete alteration of day to day life. Sure, I've had to deal with the pract ...more
Karen (Kew)
Mar 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I've just finished reading this, it didn't actually make me cry, as it has some, but it's left me sombre and thoughtful. It's given me a real admiration for Darren and how he has been there for his kids. It was brave of him to publish such a personal account. It is good to read this - it makes you ask yourself questions. I would recommend this to everyone as it is insightful and encouraging. It helps us to understand people who are bereaved and how we can help. This is well-written and with hone ...more
Jud (Disney Diva)
Mar 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written story about a most horrible event. It is such a shame that anyone has to go through an ordeal such as losing a partner or a parent especially while still so young. Darren, you have done a wonderful job with this story, your love for Maite and your children and her love for life and everyone in it are so plain to read. It was just beautiful and brought many tears to my eyes (and indeed coursing down my cheeks).

You hope to raise awareness of the practical side of losing a lo
Maureen (Mews)
Mar 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I've been struggling over reviewing this book for days. Simply because I don't think I have the words to do it the justice it deserves.

This is exactly the kind of book I would normally avoid reading. I am one of these types that likes to try to pretend to herself that by avoiding reading about issues like these means that I will never have to deal with it. Rediculous of course.

A few years ago my mother tried to sit me down and tell me in a practical way where I could find everything (insurance
Susie Kelly
Apr 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
I found this a very interesting read, written by a man whose wife dies unexpectedly at a very young age, leaving him with an 8-year-old boy and 16-month-old daughter. As the title suggests, it is unsentimental, even at times quite funny in a rather dark way. There is nothing maudlin about this book, despite its tragic subject, nor any trace of self-pity from the author. He charts the year following his wife’s death, the mountains of paperwork he faces with insurance company, bank, building socie ...more
Emma (Queen of the weirdo's)
Mar 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have read this book in a time of bereavement for my family (not anything like Darrens situation, but one of loss all the same) and I have found it probably one of the most uplifting and thought provoking books I have ever read. Yes, it is heart wrenching in places, requiring lots of tissues and the occasional break from reading. But it is so much more than a story of grief and tragedy. It is an inspiring story of love and about how to move on should the unthinkable happen.

Darren is an inspirat
Patti (baconater)
Mar 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Darren Humphries' recounting of the events following his beloved wife's early and unexpected death is deeply moving. Darren's bravery in sharing his experiences is monumental but if it helps even one person to cope with the unthinkable it will be worth his efforts.
You are an amazing guy, Darren.
Apr 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
How do you rate a book that is based upon the death of a loved one? I've given it 5* because the strength and courage to write about such a personal tradgedy, and to do it so well, is very much deserving of it. This book made me cry, it made me smile, it made me wish I had the kind of relationship Darren and his wife Maite had. A well recommended read.
Lynne - The Book Squirrel
Apr 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e-books
A heart warming diary of the first year after the sudden death of a beloved wife and mother. The trials of dealing with banks, government officials, and grieving relatives and all while looking after an 8 year old and a toddler, as well as working and finding childcare.

Jenny Karraker
Apr 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book, journal entries describing what life was like for the author, who lost his wife quite suddenly and unexpected at 39. With caring for an 8 year old boy and 1 1/2 year old daughter, he discovers a new respect for single parents. The author also discovers the value of his friendships, as his wife's friends, parents, and child-minder across the street often came to the rescue when life gets too complicated. Living in the United States, it was interesting to read about the detail ...more
Lynda Kelly
May 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is subtitled The Unsentimental Diary of a Bereaved Husband and it is that. It made me laugh AND made me cry. Darren kept this diary for the first year since his wife died very suddenly and unexpectedly and described how he found her to the inquest, the redtape involved when someone dies relatively young and no will has been made, how he copes (or doesn't at times) with being a single parent and how those around him help (or don't).
Interspersed between days in the diary are sentiments left b
Jul 19, 2012 rated it did not like it
I don't know that I have EVER read a more mean-spirited, malicious account of a "beloved wife's" death than as written by this unappreciative, inconsiderate, arrogant and downright narcissistic man. His poor wife, may she rest in peace and never know the selfish, self-serving, jackass the world has come to know through this "Diary".
He brings up her flaws and the things that made it "hard to be with her." He criticizes her shopping, her housekeeping, her maddening habit of "taking too many photog
Whistlers Mom
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a memorable book. I read it several years ago and I've thought and talked about it many times since. It's a beautifully written, heartfelt story of the shocking, sudden, unexpected death of a young wife and mother and the effects on the lives of her surviving family as they try to pick up the pieces and move on.

It is not a "weeper" but an intimate account of the realities of death and life-after-death for the survivors. It makes the reader examine his feelings about family, marriage, and
Oct 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Maïté Humphries-Farge died on January 14th 2011, quite suddenly and without warning.

She was not targeted by a serial killer or the victim of some vampire boyfriend's nemesis because this was not fiction. This was merely the kind of day-to-day family tragedy that barely makes the local news.

This is the story of the first year after Maïté's death, as told in diary entries made by her husband, recounted in the hope that anyone involved in a committed relationship who reads it might think to find ou
Virginia Welch
Mar 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Picked up this book free on a Kindle daily deal. I suppose it seems odd to choose a book that deals with the death of a stranger. Why should I care? What's more, why should I needlessly depress myself with a stranger's suffering? But I have found that a first-person account, treated by a thoughtful writer, can be very absorbing, and so it was with Mr. Humphries' story in which he records his experiences, good and bad, during the first year after the sudden death of his 39-year-old wife. The book ...more
Jun 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It took me a while to read this as I had to take breaks between reads because I felt pretty choked up reading this funny, sad and loving diary of a bereaved husband and father of two. I finished reading it in a little park in London before I came to work (one of those tiny patches of green they dot around the city so we don't go insane through being surrounded by so much concrete and dirt).

I think the author's honesty and humour are probably how he has survived and they draw the reader in. I di
Cheryl M-M
Oct 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Very emotional and frank
Like others before me I find it hard to put a price/rating on a book which is in fact a piece of this authors life and heart. It seems so trivial to rate it in comparison to the events I have just read about.
It must have been incredibly cathartic (I can only presume) and difficult to write about the death of his wife. At first I wondered at the seemingly detached way he handled and wrote about it and then had to remind myself that I have no idea what I would do in that si
Nov 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a no-frills, tell-it-as-it-is account of a surviving spouse. It is not so much "unsentimental" as it is a sterile (as much as grief can be so), compartmentalized approach to dealing with loss, with picking up the pieces and moving on -- in other words, coping. The world over: someone loses a spouse, becomes a single parent, has to deal with lots of loose ends and uncertainty, etc. -- it's the same for everyone who's been through it. Reading this made me commiserate with the author, becau ...more
Oct 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: g, male-author, 2015
This is a really hard book to review simply because of the nature of the book and the fact that the author was pouring his heart out and trying to express his feelings in a way that he felt comfortable with. It simply wasn't for me. I found I didn't enjoy reading the parts about the police notes and coroner's reports and felt this made the book quite cold on reading through the experiences.

I appreciate that many people grieve in their own way but I felt that after reading this that I personally
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Unsentimental, but very moving

Sudden death of a spouse is one of the hardest things a person can face. When government and social bureaucracy must be dealt with, the loss is really compounded. Grief, by necessity, becomes compartmentalized. Things must be done, and life goes on. I remember how hard it was for my mother nearly 50 years ago when my father died suddenly. Thanks to Mr. Humphries for sharing the loss of his sweet wife and friend. I especially liked the inclusion of the comforting not
Nov 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I'm not one for reviews normally, I rate the books I read and occasionally leave a brief comment. This book was different, not only is it one of the few books I've rated five starts, but I felt that I had to post a review to truly do it justice.

I smiled at parts and choked up on more than a few occasions, the kind words interspersed throughout were very moving.

I came across this because I'm an avid reader of Science Fiction and had read most of Darren's books, it is not the kind of book I normal
Aunty Janet
Jun 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is the very moving (but not sentimental... as in the title) story of Darren's sudden and unexpected loss of his dear wife. The diary charts his shock and the often frustrating practicalities following her death. Darren has two small (one of them very small) children, his love and devotion to them shines through this memoir, as does his wonderful sense of humour. Diary entries are interspersed with messages from friends and family. These, along with Darren's diary provide a wonderful tr ...more
Nicola Palmer
Apr 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Although stars seem trivial for the subject, I feel justified in awarding them for the number of emotions experienced while reading this book; numbness, frustration, grief, even a touch of humour. But most of all, I feel that sharing such a difficult experience with sheer honesty and openness deserves recognition. For me, it is strength of character rather than unsentimentality that shines through. A tribute to Maite which I'm sure will bring comfort to some - not as a guide, but as reassurance ...more
Susan Mills
Feb 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing

This unpretentious book gives the reader a look into a private family tragedy where a wife and mother is suddenly taken in death. I read the entire book in one sitting and felt the confusion, sorrow, fear and hope that her husband experienced and generously shared through his personal diary. His account is uplifting and informative, and I deeply appreciate his candor.
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I am English and recently bade a fond farewell to my forties. I have been writing stories since school when I won a parker pen for being shortlisted in a national schools writing competition.

My particular genre of choice wanders around all over the place, but has mainly settled into humorous fantasy and science fiction (or at least I think they're humorous and some people who have kindly left revi
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