Sophie Stanton is working through the five stages of grief after losing her young husband to cancer. In the first section of the book, she is working as a public relations specialist, but she has a major depressive episode and shows up at work in her slippers. She decides to quit her job, sell her house, and move in with her friend Ruth, who lives in Portland, Oregon. After moving to Portland, she rents an empty bed and breakfast, signs up for the Big Sisters program, and gets a job as a waitress in a local restaurant. She misses her husband, but she longs to move on with her life. Sophie eventually meets an actor named Drew, opens her own bakery, and becomes more comfortable in her own skin.
Best part of story, including ending:
The author manages to tug at your heartstrings without writing too much about the death of Sophie's husband. There are humorous moments interspersed with scenes about grief, making Sophie a very relatable protagonist.
Best scene in story:
My favorite scene is when Sophie feels angry at Ethan for dying because it's something anyone who has lost a loved one will understand.
Warner, Apr 2004, 18.00
In San Jose, thirty-six years old Sophie Stanton still mourns the loss of her spouse Ethan, who died three months ago from Hodgkin's disease. Everyone from her mother-in-law to her employer expects Sophie to get out of her funk and return to routines.
However, routines are painful as they invoke Ethan such as when Sophie drives through the garage door to inform her deceased husband that a Flip Wilson classic was on the radio. Relief from her feelings come in cartons of praline and cream for breakfast and related soul food. Work is no better as it is hard to get it up when you are responsible for running a PR campaign for a scrotal patch to help males with their testosterone count. Desperate for a change, Sophie heads to Oregon to be with her best friend and try to regain some equilibrium as she goes slowly though the stages of grieving.
This is an incredible look at the grieving process through the eyes of a person going through pain though she was prepared for her spouse's death. Most interesting is how people react to Sophie which can be categorized as either move on already or the inability to say words like cancer or death in her presence. GOOD GRIEF is a tremendous book that lucidly insists that grieving is not only personal, but breaking plates is okay if it relieves some of the stress.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner