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View Full Version : Has anyone read 'Good Grief' by Lolly Winston



Perks
08-27-2007, 12:49 AM
I'm a third through and can't decide if it's worth this really irritating writing. Opinions, please. It seems to have been very popular...

MonaLeigh
08-27-2007, 12:52 AM
I read it a while ago. I can't remember any of it, which might answer your question. :)

Perks
08-27-2007, 12:53 AM
Yeah, that's what I'm thinking.

MonaLeigh
08-27-2007, 12:56 AM
Also, I think I heard something about a movie being made with this with Julia Roberts.

Perks
08-27-2007, 12:58 AM
It's the strangest book, because you can read the paragraphs of any page out of order and it doesn't matter.

I get that the narrator's thoughts are scattered, but it's a device that wears very thin after a chapter or two.

rwam
08-27-2007, 01:40 AM
Funny you should mention because I'm two-thirds of the way through it. I'm a guy and don't usually read chick-lit, but I'm reading this mainly to see how Winston conveys grief, since I write a lot about characters who've lost a loved one. Now that I think of it, there doesn't seem to be any pressing conflict at the moment (besides the dull, aching conflict of getting on with your life).....but I have to think that will change in the next twenty pages. If it doesn't, then that's a problem.

Perks
08-27-2007, 01:48 AM
That's a pressing concern I'm having with this book, too. It's a problem with what I've lately been calling 'hyper-reality' in fiction (and dramatic films). I've read a few books over the last few years (The Lovely Bones,Outside Valentine come to mind right away, as does the film In The Bedroom) that seem to think that characters feeling stuff is the same thing as having a story to tell.

And, frankly, it drives me batshit.

'Being sad' or 'being distracted' or 'being angry' is not a plot. It feels like all this stems from pop-psychology's trend (that seems to be losing its limelight, thank god) that everyone is special. Everyone is valuable. Everyone is deeply valid. Which, of course, is true. It's just not interesting.

Or book-worthy.

MonaLeigh
08-27-2007, 02:58 AM
Perks, Have you read PS I love you? (that's going to be a movie too, with Hilary Swank)

Perks
08-27-2007, 02:58 AM
No. Should I?

MonaLeigh
08-27-2007, 03:10 AM
I liked it. You can read a few chapters here (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/I liked it. You can read a few chapters here: http://books.google.com/books?id=Qo__56Y0ZgUC&dq=&pg=PP1&ots=Tnq_Qyv7P4&sig=w6nJYcudCuGZFc3mowC91HhQ7kA&prev=http://www.google.com/search%3Fq%3Dps%2Bi%2Blove%2Byou%26rls%3Dcom.micro soft:*:IE-SearchBox%26ie%3DUTF-8%26oe%3DUTF-8%26sourceid%3Die7%26rlz%3D1I7GGLJ&sa=X&oi=print&ct=title#PPA2,M1).

Oops, that didn't work. Try this: http://books.google.com/books?id=Qo__56Y0ZgUC&dq=&pg=PP1&ots=Tnq_Qyv7P4&sig=w6nJYcudCuGZFc3mowC91HhQ7kA&prev=http://www.google.com/search%3Fq%3Dps%2Bi%2Blove%2Byou%26rls%3Dcom.micro soft:*:IE-SearchBox%26ie%3DUTF-8%26oe%3DUTF-8%26sourceid%3Die7%26rlz%3D1I7GGLJ&sa=X&oi=print&ct=title#PPA2,M1

scarletpeaches
08-27-2007, 03:20 AM
No. Should I?

Avoid it like the plague. It's shit. The author obviously hasn't a single clue what real bereavement feels like and she tells, tells, tells rather than shows. And we only know Holly is sad, because the author (daughter of the Taoiseach; I'm sure that had nothing to do with her being published) tells us she's sad. And she cries a lot, because she's sad. And Gerry's never coming back, so that makes her sad. And then she, like, cries. Because she's, you know, sad.

*snooooore*

Perks
08-27-2007, 03:37 AM
Well now I'm conflicted. Lol! I'll check out the sample chapter, but your review, Scarlet, does not warm me up.

Plus, you really made me laugh because this (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=583885&postcount=2) is what I had to say about The Lovely Bones

MonaLeigh
08-27-2007, 03:49 AM
OK, I admit I can't remember the writing or exactly what happens. I think I liked it. Didn't I?

But it was better than Good Grief!

Perks
08-27-2007, 03:54 AM
I appreciate the recommendation either way. So, thanks!

I'm sampling the chapters and the writing is not the sort I like, but I'm sort of interested to see if it does that thing I was complaining about a few posts ago. I want to see how many pages she can go before there's a hint of why this person's problem should be of any concern to me. I want a story.

Stew21
08-27-2007, 06:53 PM
I read Good Grief. I sort of liked it. Yes the excavation of every possible emotion was tedious, but some of it was funny. For instance, I could imagine myself eating oreos until the gritty sweet had rubbed the roof of my mouth raw in moments of severe depression.
It definitely could have done with more (what I'll call) Actual Events, but I went in considering it light reading (everything I read with two small kids around has to be light reading - even if it isn't intended to be) and got just about what I expected.

I think it took the path a lot of books seem to take: life is moving along fine. something tragic happens. in getting life back on track the protagonist takes a much simpler happiness. A lot of books seem to do this. This was no exception.I want to see a character make a positive change that doesn't involve leaving corporate world for "running a small shop". :)

It was a bit tedious, yes, but for light reading, it could have been worse.
I did like the author's humor though and would like to see it in a different sort of story.

Perks
08-27-2007, 07:13 PM
Urg. Time for a rant. I've been reading a bit this morning and, content aside, this has to be some of the most insipid writing I've come across in ages. Reliably, ten to twenty times a page, Ms. Winston has to flourish a trying-too-hard turn of phrase, to my very great annoyance. What exactly is 'a hopeful shade of powder blue'? And I'm straining to imagine what radiation disaster happened to the window so that 'sunshine spills through warbly glass'. If she uses the word 'gummy' one more time, I may have to hunt down her email address and have a chat.

This book is dreadful. Although, you're right Trish, she seems to be reasonably deft at coming up with descriptives for excessive eating.

Gah!

Perks
08-28-2007, 07:32 PM
I think I have to give up. I had a choice this morning - read this book or sweep the deck and rake gravel in the driveway. No one would have been the wiser.

I'm on a break from being outside, sweat running under my shirt. If you know me, that really doesn't speak well for this book.

aadams73
08-28-2007, 10:44 PM
Good Grief is one of those books I pick up in the bookstore every so often, leaf through a few pages, and ultimately end up sticking it back on the shelf. I think perhaps it's not for me either.

Horseshoes
08-29-2007, 12:18 AM
It's been a few years since I read it, but I liked Amy Yurk's treatment of grief in THE KIND OF LOVE THAT SAVES YOU.
Anyone else?

Perks
08-29-2007, 04:11 AM
I haven't seen that one, but I'll keep a lookout for it.

I have no problem with a 'treatment of grief' in a novel, but an entire novel about grief seems to be a bit of a grind.

rwam
09-03-2007, 05:23 AM
Funny you should mention because I'm two-thirds of the way through it. I'm a guy and don't usually read chick-lit, but I'm reading this mainly to see how Winston conveys grief, since I write a lot about characters who've lost a loved one. Now that I think of it, there doesn't seem to be any pressing conflict at the moment (besides the dull, aching conflict of getting on with your life).....but I have to think that will change in the next twenty pages. If it doesn't, then that's a problem.

Just finished (yeah, I'm a slow reader). I liked it. Of course, I'm a former hospice volunteer, so I'm sympathetic to the subject matter and to the MC.

I think my earlier 'lack of pressing conflict' comment touched on something. The real conflict in GOOD GRIEF is nothing you can see or touch....it's all internal. Sure, there was some conflict sprinkled into some subplots, but all that was secondary to the MC working through her grief towards healing. This kind of conflict is quite hard to pull off for an entire novel, so I'll tip my cap to Lolly Winston. In fact, she was quite brave making this her debut novel.

Susan Breen
09-03-2007, 06:15 AM
Speaking of grief, I just read What Remains by Carole Radziwill. It's non-fiction, but just so honest and thoughtful. She lost her husband to cancer three weeks after the death of John Kennedy Jr. and Caroline B. (and they were on their way to see her when the plane crashed). I thought it was going to be a celebrity tell-all sort of thing, but I was very moved.