Monday, October 1, 2007

Good Grief

This review can also be found here.

I read Good Grief by Lolly Winston for the "Something About Me" Reading Challenge. Before I start this review, I have to take a little break to sing
Lolly Lolly Lolly, get your adverbs here!
Lolly Lolly Lolly, got some adverbs here!
Come on down to Lolly's, get the adverbs here!**
Okay, that's enough. She probably never got THAT growing up.

As I was saying, I read Good Grief by Lolly Winston, which is about a 36 year old woman, Sophie Stanton, who loses her husband to cancer, and her grieving process over the following year or so. It covers her relationship with her mother-in-law, her relationship with her best friend, depression, grief groups, jobs, dating again, psychiatrists and the wonderful medications they prescribe. Written from Sophie's point of view, the novel seems to me to be a realistic portrayal of the feelings someone in Sophie's situation would have and the actions one would take.

What I liked:
I liked Sophie's sense of humor. She couldn't help the things she was doing, but at the same time could see how her behavior might appear to someone else as the behavior of someone at the very least mentally unstable. That was just funny. And I found it SO easy to relate to being able to see a situation from an objective point of view, but still behaving in the situation as someone with a very subjective viewpoint.

My favorite realization Sophie comes to:
Maybe she [Marion, Sophie's mother-in-law] needs me to be her basket case. Just as sometimes you need a person to be strong for you, maybe sometimes you need a person to be weak for you. Maybe I am to Marion what Cops is to me. Kooky screwups who help you tell yourself: Hell, I could be worse.

I liked the relationship between Sophie and her 'Little Sister,' Crystal. Actually, now that I think about it, it was a lot like what Sophie says in the above quote about needing someone to be weak for you. It was when Sophie had to be strong for others, Crystal, her best friend and later her mother-in-law, that she really began to heal.

I'm not going to do a 'what I didn't like' section, because there's nothing that I remember that struck me in an overly negative manner. Overall, it was a fairly quick and enjoyable read with realistic characters.

This novel was from Chasida's list, where she said she chose it because she lives in Silicon Valley and because of her husband's job. So my guess is that her husband has a high-tech job that keeps him busier than they would like. I can relate. I don't live in Silicon Valley, but my husband is Chief Technology Officer for a local bank, which requires long and sometimes lousy hours.

** As a footnote, I miss "Schoolhouse Rock," and really think it should be brought back to Saturday mornings. Along with Mr. Yuckmouth and the little western dude that made the healthy snacks, the wagonwheels and the pineapple and cottage cheese "sundaes" that I think he called "saturdaes."


soleil said...

i always get conjunction junction, what's your function? stuck in my head. i never saw schoolhouse rock on saturdays but they showed it to us in school and i loved it!

Madame Rubies said...

I read this a while back and really enjoyed it. I want to read Lolly's latest.