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The Goodbye Summer

3.33  ·  Rating details ·  1,255 Ratings  ·  133 Reviews
The New York Times bestselling author of the much-beloved The Saving Graces is back with a warm, winning new novel about daring to love, braving a loss, and setting yourself free.

How much change can one summer bring? If you're Caddie Winger -- thirty-two years old, still living with her grandmother, and giving piano lessons to neighborhood children -- one summer can make t
Hardcover, 389 pages
Published April 13th 2004 by Harper (first published April 1st 2004)
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Jun 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A light, feel-good book that's sweet, at times sad, funny, and hopeful. The characters are interesting, and I couldn't wait to see what happened to them. Perfect for summer reading.
Sep 15, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, 2009
I started out really liking this book then by the end I liked everybody but Caddy! She didn't want Migill because she was in too much pain she says it the last night again then desides to go and find him and has the nerve to get mad because he went to champain with another girl. She didn't learn anything just that he would be there whenever she wanted him to be and he would go away whenever she wanted him to go away.
An Odd1
Feb 19, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
** "The Goodbye Summer" by Patricia Gaffney is a bittersweet almost romance lasting over winter, so I do not understand the title. Caddy, thirty-two, has been raised by her eccentric artistic grandmother, who asks to recuperate from a broken leg in the former town magnate's mansion turned rest home. She befriends residents, especially loving elegant newcomer Thea, brain-injured engineer her age Magill, and a curmdugeon. The young man falls for Caddy, the oldest for Thea. [Spoilers: Odd behavior ...more
Jul 25, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
At 32, Caddie is facing my worst fear. She's left to live on her own for the first time (aside from a brief stint during college), with no one to care for her and no one for her to take care of. What do you do with yourself, alone, in a big, old house? If you are Caddie, you visit the old folks boarding house (where her grandmother is staying while she recovers from a broken leg)and you give the occasional piano lesson to children who don't want to take piano lessons. You experience a few life l ...more
Sep 18, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
ok first i was really into this book. As a matter of fact it made me cry!!! THats how good it was, how attached to it I was. Only one other book so far has made me cry. I'll say it, I did not like the main character(Caddie) persona. She kinda pissed me off, being afraid of life and all. But the ending KILLED it!!! I mean come on how do they not end up together, or maybe they do and its all how u take it....i dont know.
The Cats Mother
I was hoping to read a Lovely Book after a few too many gruesome crime fictions, something not too gripping that would distract me from study, and needed to get through some of my Book Club pile, so thought it would fit the bill. Sadly, it's not a LB, just rather dull. Caddie is 32 and still living in Maryland with the eccentric artist grandmother who raised her when her mother ran off to join a band, then was killed in a car crash when Caddie was 9. She teaches music and is dissatisfied with he ...more
Nov 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes contemporary fiction
Recommended to Mary by: Bookmooch
How much can one summer change a person's life? For thirty-two year old Caddie Winger, one summer can make the whole world look different. A piano teacher who gives lessons to the neighborhood children, Caddie still lives with her grandmother and is extremely happy with her present life.

Caddie's mother died when she was nine, and she was raised by her grandmother. Now, their roles are reversed, and it's Caddie who cares for her Nana. When her grandmother breaks her leg and insists on going into
Laura Beasley
I had a hard time rating this book. My feelings about the book keep changing. At times it was slow, boring and then it would get interesting and I wanted to know what was going to happen. Is a slow pace book and the characters for the most part are not very likeable. Depressing at times but also realistic about old age. Caddie is single and living with the grandmother who raised her. Her mother left her at an early age to go off with a band and then was killed in a car wreck. She never knew who ...more
Jul 23, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This book has been sitting on my shelf for a while; I think I got it from my mom years ago, and never really looked at it until now. I figured it was finally time to get it off my shelf. I haven't read anything by Patricia Gaffney before, and this sounded interesting, so I gave it a try!

This was an interesting read. It didn't suck me in and I don't think it was an amazing book, but I liked it. It kept me interested in reading and I wanted to figure out what happened to the characters. Caddie liv
Teri Simonis

At the start of this book, I almost put it down because it was so clownish, especially the development of the characters at the elder care home. I kept plowing along because a friend had recommended the book. I found some worthwhile moments. What turned out to be best about this book is its look at aging. I liked the remembrance writings by the residents of the elder care home. The idea that they felt the same inside as they had when they were in their twenties; that they didn't necessarily have
Lorena Drapeau
honestly- how many books have people written where the main character learns almost nothing?? in my head i see the next chapter after the last one she wrote and its the same damn thing over and over.
caddie doesn't know how good she's got it but she spends the whole time feeling sorry for herself. you'd think after the people like magill who she meets she would get off her ass and do something with her life... maybe make a friend her own age or get a job that requires leaving the house her grand
Nov 12, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not the kind of book I usually enjoy, but the characters were so sympathetic and well-drawn that they really pulled me into the story.
By the end, I was ready for the main character to grow up and stop whining, and the ending was definitely trite, but I still enjoyed it.

I was in the mood for reading something light, which was how this book started but soon turned into a chore.
i hate not finishing a book but i just couldn't do it. i tried and tried but less than half way through it became so predictable it was almost painful.
Slow moving book. I wanted to like the main character more than I did. A disappointing book.
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Patricia Gaffney is good, but I have to space her books out amongst lighter fare, because they are the kind that make me cry.
Sep 19, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Caddie Winger, a music teacher, endures a string of losses the summer she turns 33. It comes as no surprise, since most of her friends are nearly half a century older than she is. Caddie has always lived with her determinedly wacky grandmother, Nana, who moves into Wake House after she breaks a leg while working on one of her embarrassing lawn sculptures. Soon, Caddie is spending all her time at the small convalescent home and growing especially close to Thea, a firecracker who convinces Caddie ...more
"Wege der Liebe" ist schon das zweite Buch, das ich nun von Patricia Gaffney gelesen habe, und ich bin positiv überrascht, wie gut mir das zweite auch gefallen hat. Es ist eine sehr schöne Lektüre, bei der allen voran die Protagonistin Caddie so sympathisch, herzensgut und liebenswert ist, dass man eigentlich von Anfang an mit ihr befreundet ist und über die 500 Seiten hinweg mitleidet und -fiebert. Umso enttäuschender war für mich dann das Ende, das ich als sehr fragwürdig empfand, und bei dem ...more
Mary Anne
Apr 07, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
Caddie is in her early 30's, she lives at home with her Nana, and she makes a living giving music lessons. Nana falls and breaks her leg and goes into a rest home to recuperate. Caddie meets Christopher and falls swiftly in love, but Christopher isn't in love with her. Caddie develops relationships with the residents of the rest home, forming quick, loving bonds with several of them. Magill is a young man, about her age, and he is recovering from a sky diving accident. When Caddie discovers she ...more
Well--and if you read my "reviews" very often, you know that it's not a good sign if I begin with "Well--." This wasn't quite one of those about which, when I finish, I think, "There're several hours I won't get back," but it was first cousin to those. This book--which I must hasten to say came to me from my "replacement" via my daughter, rather than via any money expended from MY pocketbook, thank goodness--is a predictable women's tear-jerker, reasonably well-written and with at least rather i ...more
Susan Conboy
I would not recommend this book. I listened to it on CD, and still wonder if I missed something about Caddie's relationship with Chris. In any case, I enjoyed the other characters, but not Caddie who is portrayed as pathologically sweet, good, cheerful for most of the book, then so miserable and ungrateful for a good portion of the book. I don't get the connection between her and McGill: there is no depth to their relationship.boring. At the end of the story, when the CD indicated the story was ...more
Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: summer
This was a very unusual plot for a book that I ended up enjoying - the story of a mousy 30-something who is forced to move her grandmother into a psuedo-nursing home while she lives alone but pretty much being a constant presence at the home. However, at the heart of the story, I fell for the love story of Caddie and her unlikely suitor. I've always been a sucker for this type of romance so I ended up really liking this book. The other minor stories revolving around the elderly occupants I breez ...more
Jul 17, 2011 rated it liked it
I loved "The Saving Graces" so I picked this up at the library the other day. I think it takes awhile to get into but it's a good read. The main character was raised by her grandmother, who ends up needed to go to an elder care home for a few months as she recovers from a broken leg. Caddie befriends the people who live in the house and the relationships between them grow and evolve into deep love and friendship. I found myself thinking about the characters throughout my day and wondering what w ...more
Sep 09, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
One and a half stars with the possibility of two stars for the unabridged version. Ugh- so painful to get through this story. First, I've never seen an abridged version of a novel with such poor transitions. One moment, the main character can't find love, and suddenly she's heartbroken over the end of a relationship that apparently occurred in the novel, but not in the abridged text and this relationship that was over before I knew it existed plays a pivotal role in the rest of the plot line! No ...more
Oct 02, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a book I wanted so much to love, but I ended up forcing myself to finish. Why? I loved all of the elderly characters and their stories. I wanted to see how they came together. But, I found the Caddie, the protagonist, so frustrating because she never changed. She recognizes her need for change throughout, but continues to remain passive and pathetic in a way that makes me want to shake her completely. I found that completely frustrating.

That said, the stories of the people in Wake House
Aug 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-2008
Caddie's mother died when Caddie was nine, and she was brought up by her eccentric artistic grandmother. Now Caddie is 32, and looking after her increasingly frail grandmother. Caddie swings from maturity to childlikeness, as circumstances lead to major changes in both their lives. Gradually, Caddie comes to terms with her fears and past hurts.

Great holiday reading with likeable people.

Jan 02, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Unfortunately, I read this book immediately after reading a Ken Follet book. It was written a little strangely, a bit choppy and the author left a lot unsaid. I liked the overall story, but hated the ending. It felt rushed and not complete, I liked the characters and I related to the epiphany that age is just a number and old people don't feel as old as they are. I don't think I would recommend this book, but don't regret reading it either.
Jul 01, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have loved Particia Gaffney's books for the way she is able to explore women's relatiosnhips with each other without being too sappy. The Goodbye summer is yet again about relationships but on many different levels: familial, personal, and professional. Gaffney, however, is fairly predicatable in the development of these relationships. I would say this is a good beach read because of it ease but you will be able to predict the end within the first 50 pages.
Sep 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Summary of the book: Caddie's mother died when she was nine, and her grandmother raised her. Now their roles are reversed, and it's Caddie who takes care of Nana. When her grandmother breaks her leg and insists on going into a convalescent home, Caddie finds herself being pulled out of her comfy self-made nest. Living alone for the first time since college, she uncovers some startling truths from her past. A wonderful story about youth and old age. Lovely story
Diana Murphy
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good one. Slow moving at parts but a really good story. Quirky characters. The Wake House sounds like a great, upbeat place for seniors to live. Like a college dorm for the elderly. lol Great story lines, friendships, fun, kindness, surprise relationships and found family. The life and times of Caddie. I love a story with a happy ending. Sometimes you find happiness in the least likely place.
Coleen Mcconnell
Jun 26, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't really enjoy this book, really skimmed the last half of it. Caddie frustrated me because she was just waiting around for life rather than getting out there and having adventures. I just couldn't work up any sympathy for her at all and grew very tired of her character. I did enjoy the antics of the people at Wake House, but it didn't make up for the rest. The book was just a big yawn for me.
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Patricia Gaffney was born in Tampa, Florida, and grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English and philosophy from Marymount College in Tarrytown, New York, and also studied literature at Royal Holloway College of the University of London, at George Washington University, and at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

After college, G
More about Patricia Gaffney...