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Goodbye To All That

3.37  ·  Rating details ·  343 ratings  ·  42 reviews
Redefining who we are in our family takes courage and an indestructible sense of humor.

Being the middle child is never easy, but thirty-six-year-old Jill Bendel is about to find out just how hard that job is when her mother throws away her sensible pumps, packs up her collection of classical music and runs away from home.

Longtime wife and mother Ruth Bendel loves her
Kindle Edition, 270 pages
Published March 29th 2012 by Bell Bridge Books
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Average rating 3.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  343 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Diana Hockley
Jun 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Novels which depict women leaving home to find independence from their husbands and families have been particularly prevalent since the 1970s, so much so, that one could be forgiven for feeling that this subject has been done to death. So it has by many, but not Ms Arnold!

Ruth Bendel, fed up with forty-two years of catering to her cardiologist husband and raising children without any recognition, calls a family gathering to announce that she and Richard are separating. Her astonished adult
Mar 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was a little bummed that there were so many loose ends at the end of this book. However, it was a nice light story.
Apr 28, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What happens when a wife decides, after 42 years of marriage, that she's had enough and wants a change? That is the focus of Judith Arnold's Good-bye to All That.

Ruth Bendel is over it. She is tired of her husband Richard leaving his beard shavings in the sink, tired of him channel surfing, and tired of taking care of other people. Her three grown children - Doug, an eye doctor married to a hot blonde wife; Jill, a work-from-home mother whose husband is a school teacher and who writes catalog
Jun 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook-arc
Goodbye To All That was an entertaining book that kept my attention from cover to cover. I felt a connection to the characters, and enjoyed the storyline. I will be looking for more by this author.

After forty year of marriage, Ruth Bendel moves out of the family home she shares with her husband, Richard, finds her own apartment, and obtains a job. The three grown Bendel children have felt that their parents' marriage was rock solid, so their worlds are rocked by change. As Jill, Doug, and
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The importance of treating every day like a new adventure

I really enjoyed this book. I can't imagine what it feels like to have parents who've been together for 40 years and the mom suddenly decides she wants to be alone. I can understand it however as that's along time to be with the same person and sometimes you need that space. And I think their mom finally going after what she wanted made Jill more willing to go after some things that she wanted, including realizing how much she loved her
Jun 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jun-12
This is my first novel by Judith Arnold and it won't be my last.

Her realistic portrayal of each member of a family and how they handle crisis and change was very touching and at times funny. Ms. Arnold took an all too common issue we experience today and turned it into a delightful novel.

I highly recommend Goodbye To All That.
Nov 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books that is just a good story. There's no great plot, no suspense or mystery, no crime or even love story. It's just good character developmentnt that makes you want to keep reading and find out what happens to them.
Jun 21, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

This story reminded me of the old Meat Loaf song, "All Revved Up and No Place to Go." Tons of buildup among a cast of selfish, egocentric characters and then, just as each of them begins to experience some growth, the book abruptly ends.
Diana Santoso
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great story, great plot, beautifully written, love how all the problems explained clearly, love how characters grow up and become better persons. I would seek more books from this author.
Jul 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For forty-two years, Ruth Bendel has been Dr. Richard Bendel’s wife. For more than thirty of those years, she’s been mother to Doug, Jill, and Melissa. She has spent the greater part of her life taking care of her family and being taken for granted. She’s weary of her husband’s whiskers in the sink, of the annoying click of the remote control as he channel surfs, of eating the food and seeing the movies and listening to the music someone else likes. What Ruth wants now is freedom to find out ...more
Zen Nana
Apr 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I should say right up front that I do not read what is called “chicklit.” I just don’t get into stories about women and all their relationships as a general rule. I don’t care about all the family drama people put up with and I don’t believe in happy endings and lovely reconciliations. Maybe these books are great and I’m missing a lot of wonderful literature, but I just don’t pick them up. That said, I have to recommend that Goodbye to All That by Judith Arnold be read by all AARPers, ...more
Nov 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story, written by a romance writer, was a pleasant surprise. What happens when a good jewish wife and mother decides it is now 'her time' and walks away?

Jill is the main character, the 'good daughter' who is usually the solver of the family. However, all of the various family members get the writers time and attention and you come to know and care about them all…. and they are all thrown for a loop by Ruth's decision to get her own apartment and job, walking away from her privileged life
Sep 07, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ruth Bendel, age 60, has been married for 42 years. She has always put her husband and three children first. Her family could count on her to be there when needed; she planed the events, babysat the kids, she could take over in a crisis… but she is tired. Her husband, Richard, a successful heart surgeon rarely lifts a finger around the house. She makes sure his meals are ready on time, his clothes are clean and pressed, his life is calm…… until now. She finally has had it. She wants to finally ...more
Jun 15, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this to be an intriguing book. Readers' opinions will reflect where they are in life and how they got there. Husband and wife of 40+ years announce to the family that they are separating. Everyone wants an explanation; no one understands. As life goes on, we are shown how earth-shattering this news is to some of the family. First (and second) reactions tend to be of the "oh, no! Who's going to take care of me now?" sort.

We see the characters look around and begin to question themselves,
J. A.  Lewis
Feb 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After 42 years of marriage, Ruth Bendel decides to leave her husband. She and her husband have a meeting with their 3 children to announce their decision to separate and when asked why, Ruth comes up with mundane answers such as she hates his channel surfing or he doesn't wash his whiskers down the drain. For the adult children, what follows is a soul-searching look at their own marriages and lives. This book has subtle humor that I found very amusing, often laugh-out-loud funny. The son grows ...more
Jun 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ruth wanted to do something for herself.
She moved out of her nice home with Richard, her husband, to a one bedroom, very small apartment.
She felt she had done things for her family all of her life and now she wanted to do things differently.
I liked how she did that and then her children started worrying about their lives and how the separation of 42 years of their parents had effected them.
The middle child, Jill, started helping everyone try to stay on track.
Even Thanksgiving was a great affair
May 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a clever look at the disintergration and re-building of an all American family. When Ruth, the matriach of the family, leaves her husband, Richard, each family member is impacted. I particularly enjoyed seeing past the surface of Brooke and Doug's marriage, and reading about the growth experienced by Jill and Melissa. Ulimately, I wasn't sure if Ruth really loved Richard underneath it all, but nonetheless, it was an enjoyable and well-written story.
Please note that I received an advance
Angie Bartley
May 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Wonderfully entertaining read

absolutely thought provoking. Ruth's kids are grown with their own lives, her husband is busy with his and she finally gets fed up and leaves to get her own life. perfect read for anyone with a family. we have all had that taken for granted feeling and just want to be selfish for a change feeling. this book gives you the perspective of everyone involved and you see the change in their lives. did hate the ending. it felt like the characters have more to say, and I
I think the story is very relatable, from the perspective of a married couple. You've been married so long, living your life for everyone else that you just need a change. You are under-appreciated as a mom, as a wife, and you are relied on to make everyone else happy and after the kids are grown and gone, with families of their own, you want to say, "know what? Screw it. I'm doing this for ME now." I can sympathize with the characters for sure.
Amazon daily special...
Aug 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ruth is unhappy with her life - the children are grown and her husband is stodgy. So she leaves and starts a new life - a job, an apartment, new friends and new experiences. Jill, the middle child, feels like everyone epects her to fix the situation. Everyone in the family has to learn that it is okay to move on in life without anger or blame. Compareable to Three Weissman's of Westport.
Margaret Jepson
May 17, 2016 rated it liked it
True to life

Started out slow for me .

As. I sorted out the various characters I understood each individual and their personalities. I would recommend for middle age as they have gone through stages of frustration and could relate to this family.
Apr 22, 2014 rated it liked it


I enjoyed this book. I related to this book on some levels,but I do not like the way it ended. I like perfectly wrapped up endings. I think it's a very real story though that a lot of people can relate to.
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
More than just another fluffy romantic comedy, Goodbye to All That is a charming and thoughtful read, complete with an unexpected plot and plenty of likable characters.

Read the full review at
Oct 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. It is a look at a woman finding herself again after years of being lost in other roles--wife, mother, etc. It is a good book and I found myself admiring the main character for breaking out of her rut and moving her life forward.
Bonnie Tharp
Jun 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
It's never to late to dream

I believe this is my first Judith Arnold story but it won't be my last. If you've ever dreamed of starting over you'll enjoy Ruth's quest for independence. It's never to late to dream or to follow one.

Sep 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's worth reading you guys.
Krista Lillquist
May 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What wife & mother hasn't wanted to check out of being responsible for the others in her family? Ruth has had enough and finally checks out to the shock of her husband & 3 kids. A fun read.
Apr 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Cute chick lit about a family. I liked the humor.
Jennifer Blake
Nov 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A highly readable story about family dynamics and how they can change, also the ability of women to gain independence from the endless duties and annoyances that mark their lives.
Kyra Krupa
This was an ok book. A little slow at first but enjoyable once it got going. Not a book for everyone but very relatable for a married mother of three grown children.
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Barbara Keiler
aka Ariel Berk, Thea Frederick, Judith Arnold

Barbara Keiler was born on April 7th. She started telling stories before shecould write. She was four when her sister, Carolyn, stuffed a crayon intoher hand and taught her the alphabet, and she's been writing ever since.

Barbara is a graduate of Smith College, where she learned to aim for thestars, and she received a master's degree in