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Good Grief

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  27,070 ratings  ·  1,433 reviews
Thirty-six-year-old Sophie Stanton desperately wants to be a good widow-a graceful, composed, Jackie Kennedy kind of widow. Alas, she is more of the Jack Daniels kind. Self-medicating with ice cream for breakfast, breaking down at the supermarket, and showing up to work in her bathrobe and bunny slippers-soon she's not only lost her husband, but her job, house...and ...more
Paperback, 357 pages
Published April 4th 2005 by Grand Central Publishing (first published April 13th 2004)
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  27,070 ratings  ·  1,433 reviews


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Candice
Aug 19, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Candice by: Mellissa
I read this about a month after my husband died, and I remember thinking at the time how amazing it was that someone absolutely GOT so many of the crazy things that were going through my head. Some of the descriptions of grief and the crazy things you think, feel, and do are absolutely spot on...but after about halfway through the book it just traipses off into la-la, fantasy land. At 2 years now after my husband died, and having met a great number of young widows in those two years, it's ...more
Andrea
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I am filled up with so much love for this book. I wonder if it's visible, like a big red cartoon heart over my head?

It may be a case of the right book, at the right time.

What an honest, raw depiction of an all encompassing loss. The ending was sort of sudden, but it's okay. I loved it all the same.
Rhonda Rae Baker
Jul 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
I loved this book! At first, I wasn't sure if I should even buy it because of the expected start of the protagonist dying...as if some karmic cycle would point that fate into my pathe. But because of the topic of grief, I thought to give it a try.

Yes, yes, and yes. I totally related to this story...the phases of grief and loss...what a person does and doesn't do can be actually extremely hilarious.

I LOL, I cried, I shouted, I rooted and cheared, I became involved with these characters as if they
...more
Abigail Hillinger
May 01, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lite-lit
Good Grief was on a bookshelf at my job last winter and I picked it up, read the first few chapters, and loved it. It chronicles Sophie's mental breakdown after she loses her husband to a cancer. Sounds very Lifetime-movie-of-the-week, I admit, but Winston managed to write something serious and make it tender and funny at the same time. I was bummed when the book went missing and kept forgetting to buy my own copy.

I finally read it and I was disappointed. Really disappointed, actually. When
...more
Linda
Aug 20, 2007 rated it liked it
A quick read; funny, likable protagonist but the plot is a little too pat. Devastated widow leaves old life behind. Sells house, moves to Oregon, opens a bakery, joins the Big Sister organization and finds that by helping others she helps herself - Amen. P.S. She also immediately finds a handsome, hot, helpful straight guy who wants to marry her. Maybe this should be shelved under fantasy.
Carmen
Dec 03, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: I honestly have no idea
Sophie Stanton is a widow at age 36. Her husband died of cancer. This book looks at how she moves through the stages of grief.

She tries to go to support groups. She self-medicates with strong prescription drugs with disastrous results. She eats tons of food - pints of ice cream, packages of Oreos - while sitting in bed crying and watching COPS. For weeks on end.

Finally she makes a move across the country in an attempt to jar herself out of this breakdown. Her father and her stepmother take care
...more
Cathy Graham
Aug 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
I picked up this paperback not expecting too much more than some light fluff for my vacation. I was pleasantly surprised that it turned out to be such a good story.

It is about a woman recently widowed and how she copes with her grief and rebuilds her life. I thought the author did a good job showing her grief and how there is humour in the sadness. This author is really funny but real and I enjoyed the story despite the sad subject. I plan on sharing it with a friend who lost her husband at a
...more
Lize
Sep 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2004
Read this one on audiobook, and found it totally charming. I chose it mainly because it was one of the few audiobooks in the sorry rural Arkansas library collection that I hadn't read, and my expectations were low. The evil librarian said, "That's a good book." when I checked it out. (I used to really hate people commenting on my book, video or grocery choices after I moved to Arkansas, but it's a fact of life here, and I've gotten used to it--although I still hate it when it comes from the evil ...more
Lois Duncan
May 16, 2010 rated it liked it
This is an amazingly well-written book for a first novel. I was torn between giving it a 3 or a 4. On the basis of the writing, it deserves a 4. The only reason that I didn't "really, really like it" was because the subject matter, while realistically presented, was so painful. This book is about the first year of a young woman's widowhood, and by necessity the first half is about her agony, grief and depression. In the second half, she starts the healing process and develops ways to cope and ...more
Wei Cho
Aug 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance, chick-lit
You know that time when you're too young to know better about books? Yes? Well, that happened to me when I was thirteen and my literary tastes had not yet fomented themselves. Mind you, I was already a huge Harry Potter fan. However, my opinionated parents encouraged me to try different types of books. And along came my good-humored neighbor and told my mother to read this book. It was like her salvation. My mother then tossed the book to me and said I should give it a try.

So, I started reading
...more
Cheryl
Apr 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is a funny and heartwarming book about a young woman's fight to build a new life after the death of her husband. Sophie Stanton is in her mid thirties and loses her young husband to cancer. In an age where women are expected to be high-achievers, Sophie desperately wants to be a good widow but things don't turn out that way as she is not the sterotypical type. Instead she puts away gallons of ice-cream and has major breakdowns which in turn cause her to lose her job, to say the least. Once ...more
Sunshine
Apr 21, 2009 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Linda Day
Nov 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Probably a 4 1/2, but then, I could change my mind. I logged in this book a few days before writing this review, and found I missed the characters, their ins and outs, the folks they met along the way so much, I upgraded !

This is a glimpse into grief, and how differently it is handled. The central character, Sophie Stanton, is widowed very young losing her husband to cancer after three years of marriage. The Parts are divided into sub-parts which are the stages of grief and how Sophie deals with
...more
bookczuk
Apr 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to bookczuk by: Rebekkila
I read this book in what basically turned out to be a sick day, lolling on my couch. Normally, books about widowhood make me very nervous, because it is one of my biggest fears to think about life without javaczuk. I often tell him if he dies before me, I'll kill him. I just don't want to contemplate it at all. But at Rebekkila's urging, I read this, and found it to be in the upper end of chick lit, with some believable characters, touching not only on grief, but issues of trust, and some other ...more
KyneWynn
As I read this book I found myself alternately giggling or holding back tears, and nodding my head in agreement; uh huh, I've done that myself (wearing Kelly's clothes, being angry because he's not here, wanting to pull the covers over my head, etc.) The story is engaging, the author has a light touch, but it seemed almost too trivial in places,or perhaps contrived would be a better description, like the author is making sure all of the "steps of grieving" are included in the book. I wouldn't go ...more
Dana Baze
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am currently reading this book. It was given to me right after my husband died and I couldn't bear to open it. I now can't put it down. I can't believe how much of the book feels exactly like me! I would recommend this book to anyone who has lost their husband and to their friends so they can understand what they are going through.
RockChick19
May 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I thought this was beautifully written. It was funny as well as touching. I felt sad for the character because I have seen first hand someone close to me deal with how hard it is to live after a loved one has passed on. Lovely story. I will be reading more from this author.
Cathy
Aug 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved, loved, loved this book! Highly recommend it !
Evelyn Wilson
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I can't seem to be able to stop talking to people about this book! It was hard to begin it because of Our Stevie but I finished it and am so glad I did. Heartbreaking. Romantic. Funny at time. Seems like real life for some people. Definitely a great book to read!
Marge Rudman
A Tidy Tale of Life's "Untidyness"

In the aftermath of her husband's death from cancer, Sophie first nearly self-destructs then moves to Ashland, OR. Once there coping is made possible through the necessity of making a living and just plain getting on with it. Part of her recovery is facilitated by being helpful to others. The swift and easy romantic involvement wasn't the least bit convincing to me.
Unfortunately (for me) I wasn't able to find as much humor in the story as was perhaps intended.
...more
Beth
This really should be a 3.5 stars.

This book has been sitting on my shelf for so long, I don’t even remember why I originally purchased it. I admit that one of the reasons I passed over this book so many times is because I figured it would be depressing, all about death/dying, or too much of a chick-lit-book, or maybe just not very interesting. Well, sure, there was a bit about death and dying, but the author finds a realistic way of looking at how people tend to deal with grief over the death of
...more
David Jay
Apr 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
I picked this book up years ago for a dollar and I'm not sure why. I think I just liked the title. I know I hated the cover graphic of a pair of bunny slippers. I didn't expect much from it, it seemed like 'chick lit does widowhood.' But I'm so glad I read it because it was just wonderful.

Sophie Stanton is a 36 year old woman who is widowed after 3 years of marriage. She completely falls apart and the story of her coming apart and subsequent healing is beautifully told. One thing that I loved
...more
Karen
May 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
I would have given this book only 3 stars if it hadn't made me laugh so much and right out loud. That alone brings it up a star in my opinion.
This is a fun easy read about a woman who had lost her hustand to cancer and follows her through the first 18 months after his death. You get to go through her grief process with her. The story is told with so much insight and humor that you fall in love with Sopie the widow. In her own words, she desperately wants to be a good widow - graceful,
...more
Elizabeth
Nov 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor
This novel tells of a widow who struggles to regain some measure of normalcy (with varying degrees of success). I was a little peeved when she would go out to eat at restaurants and attend theatre and then complain about not having enough money, but for the most part, she's a wonderfully human character, struggling through the loss of her husband, her house, her job, and her waistline. If she were a real-life person, I'd want to meet her for coffee. This novel balances the protagonist's ...more
♥ Marlene♥
On bookcrossing I wrote on Saturday, March 17, 2007

7 out of 10
Well I guess i am one of few who wasn't so thrilled with this book.
Maybe because I thought it would be a chick lit book. On amazon I see all the reviews talking about all the humour in the book. I did not really think it was funny at all. As I mentioned in my other JE, maybe it is just the mood I am in. This book made me sad at the start and after awhile I was just bored.

Anyways I still thank you for sending this to me Ant. I will
...more
CynthiaA
Jun 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a really good read, a perfect balance between deep emotions and light-heartedness. I loved how realistic the characters seemed, and I particularly loved Sophie's relationship with the young girl. The only iffy part for me was that she started a new romance within the year. Maybe its because I've been married so long... but I cannot imagine starting a new romance that quickly. Nonetheless, it was a perfect summer read that left me smiling.
Ju Haghverdian
Feb 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
What a pleasant surprise Lolly Winston's story turned out to be. Despite the heartbreaking and painful subject matter, the narrative is light, witty, with some really funny moments there.
More than Sophie's tough times battling depression after losing her husband of 3 years to cancer, the story has a good dose of compassion, friendship and companionship... with yummy-for-my-tummy cheesecakes and cookies thrown into the mix.
Karen
Jul 07, 2015 rated it liked it
This was my second time reading this book. I enjoyed it better the first time. Would give it a 3.5. Worthy read. Character loses husband to cancer & struggles through the first year of grief. Very touching & quirky insight into grief
Amy Hatvany
Dec 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Re-read this fabulous novel this weekend, as a way to treat myself. It is alternately funny, disarming, and insightful. One of my favorites.
Gwendolyn Broadmore
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good Grief, a compassionate novel, by Lolly Winston, captures the essence of grief in unexpected intimate ways. Most of us realize how painful loss can be, but we rarely "get" how messy and utterly confusing it can be too. Thirty-six-year old, Sophie Stanton, yearns to be a graceful dignified widow, not an out-of-control griever who arrives at work in her bunny-slippers. Peopled with strong unforgettable characters, who yank you into their lives, Good Grief is alternatively heart-breaking, ...more
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Born and raised in the glamorous insurance capital of Hartford, Conn., Lolly Winston holds an MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College, where she wrote a collection of short stories as her thesis.

Her first novel, Good Grief, published in 2004, was a New York Times best-seller, a #1 Book Sense pick, and was translated into 15 languages. The film rights have been optioned by Universal
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“Suddenly what to do with the rest of my life and what shirt to wear became equally daunting decisions.” 4 likes
“On my way home from work that night, I get in an accident: I’m broadsided by the holidays.” 0 likes
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