JanB 's Reviews > Goodbye, Vitamin

Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong
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really liked it
bookshelves: netgalley, book-of-the-month

4.5 stars

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 entries are the cute, funny, and endearing things children say. The love her father has for her shines through. It helps Ruth, and the reader, see her dad with new eyes. The themes of family, love, forgiveness, friendship, and of course, memory, are explored.

Most of Ruth's journal entries are small snippets of her day, in conversational narrative. A fun aspect of the novel is how Ruth researches AD and attempts to slow down the progression of her father’s Alzheimer’s through vitamins, oddball recipes (jellyfish), and superfoods. Food plays an important role in the novel.

The comic relief is what keeps this novel from being maudlin. Ruth’s wry observations and her imperfect family can be quite funny. The truths the book contains are never heavy-handed or manipulative. I love it when an author trusts the reader to “get it”.

A couple of favorite quotes:

“what imperfect carriers of love we are, and what imperfect givers.”

“…all of a sudden it didn’t matter what you remembered or didn’t, and the remembering - it occurred to me – was irrelevant. All that mattered was that the day was nice – was what it was.”

I really liked Ruth’s voice and when I turned the last page, I wasn’t ready to say good-bye. A fantastic debut!

**thanks to Netgalley and Henry Holt & Company for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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Reading Progress

June 30, 2017 – Shelved
June 30, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
July 17, 2017 – Started Reading
July 17, 2017 – Shelved as: netgalley
July 22, 2017 – Shelved as: book-of-the-month
July 22, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-16 of 16 (16 new)

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message 1: by Mary (new)

Mary Love your thoughts on this one, Jan. It's on my list!


message 2: by Alecia (new)

Alecia Very nice review. I'm putting it on my list.


JanB Mary wrote: "Love your thoughts on this one, Jan. It's on my list!"

Mary, thanks! I hope you enjoy it too :-)


JanB Alecia wrote: "Very nice review. I'm putting it on my list."

Alecia, thanks! Enjoy - it's a quick read at around 200 pages :-)


message 5: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Nice review, Jan! This sounds like a pretty great read. :)


Lindsay - Traveling Sister Great review Jan! You have just convinced me to add it. So glad you enjoyed it! :-)


JanB Melissa wrote: "Nice review, Jan! This sounds like a pretty great read. :)"

Melissa, thanks! It was :-)


JanB Lindsay wrote: "Great review Jan! You have just convinced me to add it. So glad you enjoyed it! :-)"

Lindsay, thank you! I hope you enjoy it too!


Debbie Oh, so glad you liked this one! It's next up for me. Great review!


JanB Debbie wrote: "Oh, so glad you liked this one! It's next up for me. Great review!"

Thanks Debbie! It's a little different, which in this case I liked - I hope it's good one for you too!


message 11: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Joint I really like those quotes! Great review. :)


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

i hope to somehow procure this title.


JanB Sarah wrote: "I really like those quotes! Great review. :)"

Sarah, thank you! :-)


message 14: by Deanna (new)

Deanna Great review, Jan!! :)


JanB Deanna wrote: "Great review, Jan!! :)"

Deanna, thank you! It was a fun read :-)


message 16: by Victoria (new) - added it

Victoria I started this some time ago and maybe it just wasn't the right time for me, but based on your stars and review giving it another shot. You sold me with the quotes!


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