Melanie, a perfectionist mom who views the approaching end of parenting as a type of death, can’t believe she has only one more year to live vicariously through her slacker senior son, Dane. Gorgeous mom Sarah has just begun to realize that her only daughter, Ashley, has been serving as a stand-in for her traveling husband, and the thought of her daughter leaving for college is cracking the carefully cultivated façade of her life. Will and his wife are fine—as long as he follows the instructions on the family calendar and is sure to keep secret his whole other life with Lauren, the woman he turns to for fun (and who also happens to have a daughter in the senior class).
Told from the points of view of both the parents and the kids, The Goodbye Year explores high school peer pressure, what it’s like for young people to face the unknown of life after high school, and how a transition that should be the beginning of a couple’s second act together—empty nesting—might possibly be the end.
With this review you may think I didn’t like this book. I did. I finished it willingly. I wanted to keep reading. I needed to know that these kids would get their life figured out. I have read others of Kaira Rouda’s books and have enjoyed them a lot. This is a book I would recommend for someone looking for an easy read.
I have a college age daughter and high school age daughter. The Goodbye Year was what I thought would be the perfect book for me. I wanted to relate to the mothers, for their husbands to be like mine, and for their children to be experiencing similar things that mine are. There were similarities but these families were living entirely different lifestyles than me. These families were rich, privileged, and spoiled. The kids were having regular kid issues. Choosing colleges, fitting in, and getting along with their parents is something all kids experience but beyond that I struggled to relate.
The mothers… they were crazy! Between the affairs, the controlling husbands, and the need to control everyone I was really hoping I had nothing in common with these ladies. I felt like they were selfish since all they worried about is how what their kids were doing would affect them. I wanted to have sympathy for their problems but didn’t. With every conversation, whether with another mom, a kid, or their husband, these women were something else entirely.
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“Rouda deftly examines the difficult transition parents and their children face as they prepare for the end of one life and the beginning of another. Her latest is a compelling story and a thoughtful examination of the nature of change and the importance of working to accept it.” ―Booklist
“The Goodbye Year is an often hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking, always engaging look at the last year before high school seniors leave their families for good. I devoured it!” -Meg Mitchell Moore, author of The Admissions, So Far Away, and The Arrivals
"The family dramas and dynamics are things that we can all relate to..." -Redbook magazine, "20 Best Books to Read Come Spring"
"Kaira Rouda channels Peyton Place meets The Real Housewives of Orange County with her newest book, The Goodbye Year.” ―Working Mother magazine
About the Author
Her women's fiction titles include THE GOODBYE YEAR, HERE, HOME, HOPE, ALL THE DIFFERENCE and IN THE MIRROR. Her bestselling short story is titled, A MOTHER'S DAY. Her sexy contemporary romance series include the LAGUNA BEACH Series, the INDIGO ISLAND Series with a new MALIBU Series launching in 2016.
Her nonfiction titles, REAL YOU INCORPORATED: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs, and REAL YOU FOR AUTHORS: 8 Essentials for Women Writers (available for free download on her website) continue to inspire.
Kaira's work has won numerous awards including the Indie Excellence Award, USA Book Awards, the Reader's Choice Awards and honorable mention in the Writer's Digest International Book Awards. She lives in Southern California with her husband and four almost-grown kids, and is at work on her next novel.
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