Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “When We Say Goodbye” as Want to Read:
When We Say Goodbye
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

When We Say Goodbye

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  139 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Can you love when all seems lost?

Ellie Perkins life was right on track until her boyfriend Sam suffers a near-fatal car accident, leaving him in a coma and all their future plans in limbo.

Desperately in need of something to fix, Ellie has to find a project and when her grandparents old house is put up for sale, she jumps at the chance. Because, like Ellie, the house is
Published October 7th 2019 by Orion
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about When We Say Goodbye, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about When We Say Goodbye

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  139 ratings  ·  30 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of When We Say Goodbye
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great story! Full review to follow
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A story of heartbreaking loss but wrapped in hope and friendship.

An accident and Sam was on the ventilator, probably brain dead. Ellie was devastated, her entire life was destroyed in a second. While Sam was in ICU, she took up a project of renovating her newly bought house. As her home took shape, her heart healed too slowly... Very very slowly. It was family and friendship which put her back again.

My first book by author Michelle Vernal, I read a few scenes with tears in my eyes. But though
Carla Johnson-Hicks
Wow, I seem to be saying this a lot lately, but this book was so much more than I expected. Ellie Perkins has not had an easy life. From the time she was a young girl she has felt unloved and abandoned, and when her partner dies, it all comes back again. This was a story that had me in tears one minute and laughing out loud the next. There were themes of mental health, influencers on instagram, family drama, grief, new beginnings, forgiveness, family relationships and more. All this is done in a ...more
Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)
See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary Flits

I've enjoyed reading a Michelle Vernal novel before, The Promise, so was happy to spot her newest work, When We Say Goodbye, on NetGalley. I enjoyed this story even more! It's a tearjerker and also a thoughtful study of grief, illustrating how Ellie struggles to put her own life back together after her boyfriend's terrible car crash. Don't let me mislead you into thinking When We Say Goodbye is a depressing read though. It isn't! Quite the
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
I found myself emotionally invested early on as you learn the back story that led to Sam being in a coma and how Ellie came to be living with her cousin.

Once I hit 25% I flew through the pages keen to get to know Ellie and the love she shared with Sam and how she is starting to piece her life back together the best she can.

This book packs an emotional punch throughout as is revolves around the love and loss that Ellie has experienced throughout her life. I felt all of the emotions as I read this
Susan Angela Wallace
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
When we say Goodbye by Michelle Vernal.
An emotional and moving read. Sad story with likeable characters. I do like Michelle's books. 4*.
Dec 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
LEARNING how to go on

We all have to walk in someone shoes to understand, Why a person is the way they are love them.
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
I’ll admit that this was a book that took a little while to draw me in – and that’s a polite way of saying that, for the first 50 or so pages, I really thought it just might not be the book for me. A lot of that was down to the early characterisation of Ellie, who seemed far younger than her age – I found her voice jarred a little, as did her total dependence on her uncle and aunt (with a few too many references to “0800unclecolin” – I might just have blocked her calls). I really did wonder if I ...more
Misfits farm
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Ellie has just bought herself a house. Years ago it was her grandparents house and she has happy memories there. It’s been a tough time of late as her partner Sam was involved in a serious road traffic accident and is now laying in a coma with machines doing most things for him. She needs a project to occupy her free time and take her mind off things. The house had earthquake damage and with the help of her aunt and uncle she has been able to buy it. A book about life and the traumas many of us
Cara Ross
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
When We Say Goodbye is the story of Ellie Perkins and her boyfriend Sam and her road through grief, facing problems of the past and learning to let go, which is one of the most difficult things to do. Now, I did read the synopsis for When We Say Goodbye it does warn you that you will need tissues, well I took that as a suggestion, IT'S NOT! So unless you want to be like me and have panda eyes as I had for a whole day, don't read it while you're at work and keep the Kleenex handy.

To say that
Pam Robertson
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Set in Christchurch, New Zealand, you get to see some of the day to day problems that have affected the population, since the earthquake which decimated part of the city. What comes through strongly, is the warmth of the community and the 'can do' attitude which exists. Ellie is a slightly quirky, endearing twenty- something whose sense of humour is undimmed by the tragic circumstances which have put a sledgehammer through her life. You are fully aware of her grief and anguish which she feels ...more
Monica Mac
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have read several of this author's books now and I always enjoy reading them. Apart from the fact that her books are set in New Zealand (one of my favourite countries in the world), I find that her style is thoughtful and relatable.

Ellie is a girl who has a lot going for her, until her boyfriend Sam ends up in a nasty accident and slips into a coma. Naturally enough, this is enough to derail her for a while but then she decides to buy her grandparents old house. It is full of memories but
Luisa A.
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
First things first: the reason I only gave this four stars instead of five. This book would benefit from better editing. I found the typos, punctuation errors and occasional clunky sentences distracting. But I’m so glad I looked past them and kept going, because I thoroughly enjoyed everything else about this book.
It’s a story with emotional punch: a terrific mixture of pathos and humour, with a cast of beautifully realised characters who wormed their way into my affections. As the story
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Life can be cruel and unfair, but there are moments where it can be wonderful too. It's those moments we need to seize hold of and cherish, and nothing, not even death, can take them away from us. We carry them always in our hearts."

Set in Christchurch, New Zealand, in the years after the earthquake of 2011, Ellie has to find a project, and when her grandparents old house is put up for sale, she jumps at the chance. Because, like Ellie, the house is broken.

This is a story about love and loss,
Joanne Cartwright
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ellie has lost Sam and needs a way to grieve. The only problem is that Sam is not dead- he is in a coma and Ellie struggles to move on with anything being left in limbo as she is.
Set in New Zealand after the devastating earthquakes Ellie's story focuses on doing up her grandparents old house for her and Sam to live on once he is better. Through the plaster dust and paint splatters we are treated to glimpses of Ellie's family and friends and to glimpses of what her future might be.
patricia murphy
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When We Say Goodbye

Michelle Vernon’s book “When We Say Goodbye “ is another must read”.
True to the times when pitches an unexpected curve and one suffers the personal loss of a loved one.
Learning how to survive faced with life without their loved one.
She takes you through life’s many challenges and stages of acceptance.
Also faced with her own life long questions regarding the identity of her birth father not to mention a very difficult history with her birth mother.
How does one face these
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was such a surprise to me - I wasn't imagining such a sad emotional rollercoaster of a story. The story of loss and rebuilding a life was so well written I actually cried in places. I didn't think I had read anything by this author before but it turns out I have read 2 - but they were both quite different from this book. I will be keeping my eye out for more of her titles. Thank you to the author and to tbc for the chance to read this title in exchange for an honest review.
Maureen Moyes
This was my first Michelle Vernal read and I am glad to have been given the opportunity to read her work.

Michelle Vernal tells a sweet tale. There is a strong sensitivity in the way she writes and with her ability to describe scenes and people we can envisage all aspects of Ellie's life throughout the book.

I generally prefer a faster paced novel however due to the subject matter I felt this book was perfectly balanced.
Tracey Jordan
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow! What can I say! This wonderful story gave me chills. It made me laugh out loud, it’s hilariously funny, it made me cry (real tears, books never do that to me!), it made me feel warm inside.
I loved the characters, they are brilliantly likeable!
A really sad but beautiful story. The author has done a wonderful job in taking the characters, and the reader on a journey of discovery.
I just loved it. Thank you for a fantastic read which I devoured in less than 48 hours.
Beccy Thompson
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book from TBC Reviewers request- Thank you
An absolute tear jerker of a novel, honestly I cannot convay in words just how well written and emotive this book is. Michelle has taken a hearbreaking situation and shown throughout the book that love and friendship really is priceless!
A lovely read that brought several tears to my eyes- thank you
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a lovely book. It had me crying my eyes out in several places, but I loved it. The writing was great, it took me by surprise a couple of times that it wasn’t set in the UK, it seemed like home to me. Thoroughly recommended
Greta Halliday
Dec 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
An emotional story along with humour and laughter makes for an excellent read. My first read by this author but will certainly not be the last. Thanks to TBC for giving me the opportunity to read this book.
Christine Spelman
Fantastic read. Enjoyed the book from start to finish. Looking forward to reading some more Michelle Vernals books. Definitely a 5star rating ...more
Linda Peberdy
Nicely writen

Sad story but I wanted there to be a happy ending and I wanted to know how Gemma and aunty Paula got on but it was a good read
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was an emotional, tear jerker book, but a well written one. I enjoyed it. many thanks to TBC group for allowing me to review it
clare brack
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review-books
This was an emotional read right from the start...Ellie played a very good part and there were many bittersweet moments throughout...I did need tissues at times.
Michelle Poole
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
A great read. A sad story but very well written and heart warming.
Kathleen Woodford
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant story full of emotion and so well written it rung me out . Packet of tissues should be sold with each book, different to the the O’Maras and well worth reading.
Tiziana Langone
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Just beautiful!

Ellie and her boyfriend Sam seemed to have their future all figured out. But all their plans are thrown out of the window when Sam has an accident putting him in a coma. .
Despite this, Ellie keeps hoping that one day Sam will wake up and together they will continue to build their future together.To keep herself from going crazy, she starts a project: buying her grandparents’ house and renovate it.She wants to rebuild the house, making it ready for when Sam wakes up. Because when
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Light in the Hallway
  • Grace
  • The Day that Changed Everything
  • The Daughter's Promise
  • Dreaming of Verona
  • Erotic Fiction?: So outrageously funny you'll laugh your knickers off.
  • The Family Gift
  • The Place We Call Home
  • The Cake Fairies
  • The Cottage in a Cornish Cove
  • The 24-Hour Café
  • One Moment
  • New Beginnings at Wynter House (Wyntersleap series Book 2)
  • Trials and Tribulations - The Robinswood Story Book 3
  • Snowdrops on Rosemary Lane
  • The Cornish Secret of Summer's Promise (A Little Hotel in Cornwall Book 4)
  • The Farmhouse: A Hickory Grove Novel
  • The Forgotten Wife
See similar books…

Michelle Vernal is an Amazon bestselling author of ten novels. She's both traditionally published with Harper Collins and Orion Books UK as well as indie. She writes women's fiction with warmth and humor. To hear about Michelle's latest releases and book news subscribe to her newsletter As a thank you receive an exclusive O'Mara women, Character Profile!