"A quietly brilliant disquisition . . . told in prose that is so startling in its spare beauty that I found myself thinking about Khong's turns of phrase for days after I finished reading. ...more
Going home, holidays and expectations, childhood memories.
Relationships and Break-ups;
Doing our best even when it's hard and you don't 'feel' at your best, plus there are a lot of little factoids interspersed throughout the narrative that I found intriguing and new (at least to me).
Also, the book is relatively short and lends well to someone who might be short on time for reading on a deadline.
"Vegetable jokes," he says. "It's all I'm good for anymore."
"What do you mean?" I say.
He points to the couple. "Isn't it romaine-tic?"
I realise I’m in the minority, but I just didn’t find this book funny. I always feel that humour is one of the most subjective aspects of a book, and the style here didn't work for me at all. It wasn't my only issue with Goodbye, Vitamin, but it was probably the biggest one. Maybe my disconnect with the humour led into all the other problems I had.
It's a book ...more
It's ironic how a book told so simply could pack so much beauty and emotion into its words, but Rachel Khong's Goodbye, Vitamin did just that. This is a somewhat quirky, slightly odd book that I found quite moving—in fact, I had to do the "no, I'm not crying, I'm just rubbing my eyes" thing more than a few times on my plane ride this morning.
Ruth is 30 years old. Her engagement has ended and she feels untethered to the life she has known, so she ...more
"Goodbye, Vitamin" came highly recommended by many people whose opinion I trust and I had high hopes. I expected to enjoy it- if such a verb can be used in this context - but I didn't expect to love it so much. It was a novel that moved me deeply and made me lose my stop in the Tube on my way back from work. And this happens extremely rarely, so you understand how much it influenced me.
Ruth returns home ...more
There are moments of beauty, moments of laughter, many moments of sadness faced with the knowledge of what is to come, and recognition of what is now the past.
When Ruth comes home to help take care of her father who is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, it is partly an escape from the mess her own life has become, and a return to the comfort of home. A bittersweet return to her childhood home.
”What imperfect carriers of love we are, and what imperfect givers.”
We age togethe ...more
Yep, I had to head to the shed and drag out the old Complaint Board. It’s been collecting cobwebs, which is a good thing because it means that recently I’ve been reading a lot of books I love.
I’m in the minority here. Most people liked this book about a daughter, Ruth, returning home to care for her demented dad. It ...more
GOODBYE, VITAMIN is a light read about a heavy subject matter......Alzheimer's.
It is about a husband/father with declining "lapses in memory....a forgotten betrayal....a special love for daughter Ruth....and the various ways family members keep him eating, involved, happy and active....some are so very touching.
It is about....and a bit heavy.... on daughter Ruth's personal life, her past and most recent relationship...the breakup... and her reconnect...more
Poignant and bittersweet
I wasn’t sure if I had the emotional wherewithal right now to read a novel that most assuredly would lean toward the depressing side.
But, on occasion, I simply can't resist a publishing push and with less than two hundred pages I figured I could handle whatever emotional punches were thrown my way.
Once I started reading the book, however, I found the tone to be lighter than I had anticipated, and soon fo ...more
This is billed as a comedy. But at the beginning, it seemed more hopeless than comedic. It made me feel sad ...more
Ruth Young's life is falling apart, her fiancé just left her for another woman, and her career is going absolutely nowhere. Heartbroken and lost in life, Ruth decides to return home and spend Christmas with her parents. Once home, Ruth's mother begs her to stay for one year to help out with her father who has Alzheimer's, despite her ...more
This is an introspective time for her, and also a humorous yet heartbreaking time as she cares for him and deals with her own issues. I really liked the journal entries that her father kept about her through her growing up years which he shares with her throughout the book.
Thank you to Henry Holt and Company Publishing and Netgall ...more
Although this be a slim little book, it is chock full of feeling. Familial love. Romantic love. Selfish love. Imperfect love. This book chronicles a year in Ruth's life when she abandons her independent life away from home, to help her mother car ...more
Particularly lovely are the little observances that the dad makes about his little girl in his journal:
Today, when I told you to behave, you roared angrily: I'M BEING HAVE.
Today I had to stop by the post office, and you looked around and said, aghast, ...more
What a sweet, sad, yet funny book. Told in journal entry format, the novel follows one year in the life of Ruth, who, reeling from a break-up, goes home to help her mother take care of her father who is suffering from Alzheimer’s. She has avoided her family for years, as her father was a drinker and cheated on her mom.
Throughout the novel are snippets of journal entries of her father’s from when Ruth was a child. The wonder of the world through a child’s eyes is seen, as many of the en ...more
The plot revolves around Ruth, a woman who ...more
Thank you to Goodreads First Reads program for this book, which I won as a giveaway and might not have read otherwise (and thanks, Cheri, for the recommendation of this book that hits shelves on July 11).
I will be honest: I don’t know how to feel about this novel. Prior to picking up this book, I had just finished reading a heavily literary, epic novel that was almost 600 pages, and perhaps the contrast felt a bit like culture shock. This book is only 194 pages (and I think yo ...more
This is a slender little novel, barely 200 pages long. And it often feels like a short story stretched out on a rack, which may not sound complimentary but it's meant to be; there’s a perfectly full but fleeting sense to things. It's written as diary entries in a year of the life of Ruth ...more
Ruth goes to live with her parents after a breakup from her fiancé just when her dad is at the beginning stages of memory loss. Through most of the story it’s her dad giving her snippets of memories he had of her as a girl and at the same time Ruth is making her own memories with her dad before the dise ...more
What imperfect carriers of love we are, and what imperfect givers.”
When Ruth comes home to help care for her father, afflicted with Alzheimer’s a beautiful family story unfolds. By no means are they are perfect family, but my heart capsized when reading the notes her father wrote about her questioning mind when she was a child.“You scraped seeds off of bagels and planted them in the flower bed out front. I didn’t have the heart to tell you that ...more
By Judge Isaac Fitzgerald
I’ve always been a fan of a certain kind of summer read—the book you take to the beach, expecting only fun and laughter, when it blindsides you with emotion and devastating insights until you’re both laughing and crying, tears and sand on your cheeks combining into an abrasive paste that would feel painful if you weren’t completely immersed in an incredible book. (Just me?) The kind of book that matches lightness with a certain level of darkness, feel ...more
Soon after she is home for the holidays where she learns that her father has been having lapses. He’s in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and has already lost his position at the college teaching history. Ruth is asked to stay for ...more
Goodbye, Vitamin tackles the topic of Alzheimer's and the impact it has on the people around you. Ruth recently turned 30 and dealing with her own grief after being broken up with by her Fiance. Decides to return home to live for a year, to help her Mother care for her Father whose going through the beginning stages of Alzheimer's, while also getting a better understanding of herself and her family.
This novel although written well left me underwhelmed. I'm not quite sure if it was th ...more
I mention this because I expect that there's a link between my r ...more
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