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In a summer cottage on the coast of Maine, an unlikely love was nurtured, a marriage endured, and a family survived. Now it is time for the children of that marriage to make peace with the wounds and the treasures left to them. And to sort out which is which.

The complicated marriage of the gifted Danish pianist Laurus Moss to the provincial American child of privilege Sydney Brant was a mystery to many who knew them, including their three children. Now Eleanor, Monica, and Jimmy Moss have to decide how to divide or share what Laurus and Sydney have left them without losing one another.

Published: HarperCollins on Oct 13, 2009
ISBN: 9780061863783
List price: $9.99
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Had to give this one up too. It was written like a play. Too many characters all fighting over their dead parents stuff. Ugg. Why can't I pick up a good book!read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Goodbye and Amen is a contemporary family drama with a large cast of characters. It begins as three adult children are dividing up the family heirlooms following their parents’ deaths. The story follows all three families, including the spouses and children, and pulls in assorted neighbors, friends, coworkers, and assorted bystanders along the way. The format is unusual. The story is told in little “bursts” of one or a few paragraphs from a particular character, and then switches to another character. It took me a few pages to get used to it, but I found it quite enjoyable. The phrasing of each “burst” is very conversational – I could almost “hear” each character talking to me. I got the sense of being at a party, milling around collecting the gossip from various people. Or of watching a montage of television interviews, getting just the sound bites without the interviewer’s questions. Each character’s personality really comes through just in their perspective of events and the wording they choose.There is one character who has passed on, and is sharing his lofty wisdom from the great beyond. I didn’t enjoy this perspective as much as the other characters, as it didn’t seem to fit with the daily concerns and everyday personalities of the rest of the ensemble. Perhaps that was the point, and it was just lost on me. I may have appreciated this voice more had I already read Leeway Cottage (the prequel).read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
If you have not read Ms. Gutcheon's novel, Leeway Cottage I fear you will be hard-pressed to make a lot of sense out of this book. However, if you were a fan of that earlier novel, you'll enjoy catching up with Sydney & Laurus' children as they try to divide their inheritance in Dundee, Maine after the death of their parents.Told through the voices of the many participants in their lives, and a little bit like reading random Facebook postings, the novel is a bit like fitting a jig-saw puzzle together & I ended up being grateful for the glossary of characters that the author supplied at the end of the book.I don't think this novel really worked stylistically, but I so enjoyed the book that it's a sequel to, that I kept reading all the way to the end.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Reviews

Had to give this one up too. It was written like a play. Too many characters all fighting over their dead parents stuff. Ugg. Why can't I pick up a good book!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Goodbye and Amen is a contemporary family drama with a large cast of characters. It begins as three adult children are dividing up the family heirlooms following their parents’ deaths. The story follows all three families, including the spouses and children, and pulls in assorted neighbors, friends, coworkers, and assorted bystanders along the way. The format is unusual. The story is told in little “bursts” of one or a few paragraphs from a particular character, and then switches to another character. It took me a few pages to get used to it, but I found it quite enjoyable. The phrasing of each “burst” is very conversational – I could almost “hear” each character talking to me. I got the sense of being at a party, milling around collecting the gossip from various people. Or of watching a montage of television interviews, getting just the sound bites without the interviewer’s questions. Each character’s personality really comes through just in their perspective of events and the wording they choose.There is one character who has passed on, and is sharing his lofty wisdom from the great beyond. I didn’t enjoy this perspective as much as the other characters, as it didn’t seem to fit with the daily concerns and everyday personalities of the rest of the ensemble. Perhaps that was the point, and it was just lost on me. I may have appreciated this voice more had I already read Leeway Cottage (the prequel).
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
If you have not read Ms. Gutcheon's novel, Leeway Cottage I fear you will be hard-pressed to make a lot of sense out of this book. However, if you were a fan of that earlier novel, you'll enjoy catching up with Sydney & Laurus' children as they try to divide their inheritance in Dundee, Maine after the death of their parents.Told through the voices of the many participants in their lives, and a little bit like reading random Facebook postings, the novel is a bit like fitting a jig-saw puzzle together & I ended up being grateful for the glossary of characters that the author supplied at the end of the book.I don't think this novel really worked stylistically, but I so enjoyed the book that it's a sequel to, that I kept reading all the way to the end.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This was a disappointing follow up to Leeway Cottage. The format is ambitious and interesting, with the characters taking turns in telling the story. The format wasn't the problem with this novel, it was the fact that the characters were pretty uniformly uninteresting and shallow. The dismantling of an estate, with the siblings vying for favorite belongings and keepsakes, isn't necessarily the most sympathetic way to portray characters. The members of the Moss family essentially come across as self-satisfied and privileged. The most interesting sections of the book, and the shortest, were the observations and comments from the people who were not family members but who had to deal with the self-absorbed and selfish Mosses. Somehow, in Leeway Cottage, Gutcheon managed to make this group appealing while still showing their many shortcomings. This time around, not so much. This was disappointing to me since Gutcheon's past efforts have always struck me as readable and entertaining.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Disappointing follow-up to the very enjoyable Leeway Cottage. The last third of the book was interesting but definitely not for anyone who hasn't read Leeway.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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