The Beginner's Goodbye

The Beginner's Goodbye

A Novel

eBook - 2012
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"In this book the author give us a wise, haunting, and deeply moving novel in which she explores how a middle-aged man, ripped apart by the death of his wife, is gradually restored by her frequent appearances, in their house, on the roadway, in the market. Crippled in his right arm and leg, Aaron has spent his childhood fending off a sister who wants to manage him. So when he meets Dorothy, a plain, outspoken, independent young woman, she is like a breath of fresh air. Unhesitatingly, he marries her, and they have a relatively happy, unremarkable marriage. But when a tree crashes into their house and Dorothy is killed, Aaron feels as though he has been erased forever. Only Dorothy's unexpected appearances from the dead help him to live in the moment and to find some peace. Gradually he discovers, as he works in the family's vanity publishing business, turning out titles that presume to guide beginners through the trials of life, that maybe for this beginner there is a way of saying goodbye. This book is a subtle exploration of loss and recovery, pierced throughout with the author's humor, wisdom, and always penetrating look at human foibles."--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, c2012.
ISBN: 9780307958228
Characteristics: 1 online resource (197 p.)
Subjects: Middle-aged men -- Fiction.
Wives -- Death -- Fiction.
Bereavement -- Fiction.
Electronic books.
Ghost stories.
Psychological fiction.


From the critics

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Mar 28, 2015

A beautiful novel unexpectedly upbeat in spite of its story. A quick read that I read a second time in order to see the foreshadowing of later events.

A patron review from the Adult Summer Game: "A nice easy read about loss and love. People find love later in life and find the happiness they're seeking."

Jul 09, 2014

The male voice too many times did not sound authentic. I found myself thinking; a woman might say that, but not sure a man would have used that expression.

Aug 21, 2013

Well , I truly wish I had liked this book better than I did . Your early work was so wonderful ( Homesick Restaurant , Searching for Caleb )However , I will never stop reading your work

May 27, 2013

A quirky tale of love and loss. Interesting characters that are flawed, yet endearing. A nice, easy read with a good message.

ChristchurchLib May 20, 2013

"Partially disabled by an illness in childhood, 36-year-old Aaron is fiercely independent, but when his pragmatic, slightly older wife Dorothy is killed by a tree that falls on their house, he is devastated. The house destroyed, he moves in with his overbearing sister and hides out in his office at the family's publishing company (known for publishing a series of instructional books, advice from which is scattered throughout the novel). It's not until Dorothy's ghost begins appearing that Aaron starts moving through the process of grieving - and starts truly understanding their marriage. Check out The Beginner's Goodbye for a sensitive portrayal of love and grief." May 2013 Fiction A to Z newsletter

May 15, 2013

Only Anne Tyler can make peripheral misfits compelling.

gracindaisy Jan 28, 2013

After a tree falls on a house & kills his wife, a man is visited by his deceased spouse.

Dec 01, 2012

This was a very sweet story. Highly recommend.

Nov 07, 2012

Anne Tyler never disappoints although this is not her best novel. The story follows the trail of grief to its natural resolution. Her characters are quirky as usual and yet we find something of ourselves that we can forgive by sharing this tale.

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