BOOK REVIEW: Good Grief by Lolly Winston

Title: Good Grief
Author: Lolly Winston
Publication: April 4, 2005
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Genre: Self Help, Humor
Pages: 368

SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)

Thirty-six-year-old Sophie Stanton desperately wants to be a good widow-a graceful, composed, Jackie Kennedy kind of widow. Alas, she is more of the Jack Daniels kind. Self-medicating with ice cream for breakfast, breaking down at the supermarket, and showing up to work in her bathrobe and bunny slippers-soon she’s not only lost her husband, but her job, house…and waistline. With humor and chutzpah Sophie leaves town, determined to reinvent her life. But starting over has its hurdles; soon she’s involved with a thirteen-year-old who has a fascination with fire, and a handsome actor who inspires a range of feelings she can’t cope with-yet.


I recently joined a book club ran by a local library.  Why I have never joined a book club before is beyond me.  You would think with how much I read that would be a natural thing.  However the book they had chosen this month had me a little cautious.  It didn’t sound like something I would pick up on my own.  I decided to give it a try anyway. 

Sophie is 37 and had been married for only three years when her husband, Ethan, dies of cancer. She is suddenly thrust into a life that she never thought she would have to live.  One that involved being a widow and finding a new normal.  She battles her mother in law, who at three months after her son died has come over to box all of his belongings and calls Goodwill to pick them up.  Sophie has other ideas.  She moves all the boxed belongings to the garage and has them take the furniture in the house instead.  She doesn’t understand how her mother in law can move on so easily.   She slowly falls into a deep depression.  Calling into work, not showering, and sleeping on a blow-up mattress in her now empty living room.  Things slowly come to a head when she goes into work unshowered wearing her pajama’s, bathrobe and fuzzy bunny slippers.  Her job gives her a leave of absence.  When she gets home she calls her college friend Ruth who lives in Oregon. She suggests coming and living with her.  Sophie decides to sell her house and move to Oregon to start afresh.  Will Sophie be able to pull herself out of the deep depression that she has sunken into?  Will Sophie find the new normal to her life?

I  loved this book,  I wouldn’t say that if you are grieving you need to go get this book but I will say that if you are grieving it may help you realize that there is not a single cookie-cutter form of grief.   Everyone grieves in there own way.  Some may soldier on, some may be like Sophie and fall into a deep depression and live on ice cream for breakfast.  The author wrote Sophie’s grief so well.  Half the time I just wanted to reach into the book and wrap my arms around her and give her a big hug and hold her until her pain had passed.  She made each of the characters come to life.  I could see each one of them in my mind’s eye.  I could feel the grief that she had.  I wanted her new life to work out so well for her.  I laughed, cried and cheered my way through this book.  I will definitely look for more books by this author.


Pick up your copy of Good Grief by Lolly Winston on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, and check your local bookstores. Also make sure to add it to your To Reads list on Goodreads and leave feedback for the author when you are finished. Check out more from author Lolly Winston on her website HERE.

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