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Good Grief Mass Market Paperback – Jul 2007

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition (July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 044661906X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446619066
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 2.5 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,291,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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How can I be a widow? Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nini on 21 May 2009
Format: Hardcover
Great book, the excellent writing takes the reader straight into the character's complex emotions, and the unravelling of the situation is smooth and lovely. Grief is a tough subject but Lolly Winsont handles it beautifully and kindly.
This book was previously sold under the name "Sophie's bakery for the broken hearted", don't buy it twice (or offer the second copy to someone you love).
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Laurel Whitehead on 7 Jan. 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sophie Stanton is thirty-six years old, has a steady, but unrewarding PR job in Silicon Valley and she is grieving. Married just four years when her husband Ethan died of Hodgkin's disease, she is not handling grief well. She devours Oreos like they're going out of style, can't seem to get enough of Cops on TV, goes without showering and then one day shows up at work in her bunny slippers and bathrobe. On top of that she has to deal with her mother-in-law, who is a perfectionist and wants to clean out Ethan's closest. She just can't keep it together.

So she lets her college friend Ruth convince her to come up to Ashland, Oregon, and she winds up staying, getting a job as a waitress. After a year she has embarked on a new carer, has a new house and has made a whole new group of friends, people who love her, people she loves back.

This is one of those happy and sad books that you just have to love, can't help but love. You know, sometimes when you are so sad, don't think life can get any worse, a little laughter may just be the cure, if not the cure, a pretty good temporary bandage.

Review submitted by Captain Katie Osborne
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I read the book because it was there but I would not recommend it to a friend.
I was sick in bed over Xmas and new year so I read it then.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 256 reviews
77 of 82 people found the following review helpful
Perfectly baked! 12 May 2004
By Dr. Cathy Goodwin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Good Grief belongs to a sub-sub-genre of women's fiction. Likeable woman faces crisis. Discovers herself through transforming domestic, warm-and-fuzzy talents into a commercial enterprise. And, if single, she gets a romantic interest as a bonus.
As it happens, I rather like this sub-sub genre. And Lolly Winston gives us a heroine who's likeable and intelligent. She adds an edge by giving us a blow-by-blow account of a year in the life of a grieving widow. In this case, the grief seems especially painful because Sophie, the heroine, is young, and because she lost her own mother at a very young age.
Sophie's grief seems like a blanket someone has thrown over her life, stifling her energy. Like most employers, Sophie's company allots a limited time for grieving. After that, Sophie is supposed to be a cheerful PR person, extolling the virtues of some deeply flawed medical product.
Just as she hits bottom in her career, an old friend invites Sophie to move from California's Silicon Valley to Ashland, Oregon. And Sophie's new life begins.
Sophie finds a charming rental cottage and a job in a restaurant, where she gets downgraded from waitress to salad prep and then to pastry, where she finds her true niche. She begins to study baking in earnest and, along the way, finds a new love and a new career.
Of course, it's not quite that easy. Sophie becomes a Big Sister (the reasons are a little value and I'm surprised she was accepted, given her grief-stricken state). Her Little Sister, Crystal, isn't the cuddly eight-year-old she expected, but a tough-talking teen with a ditzy mom and potentially serious problems. Some of Sophie's descents into grief can be hard to read, despite a comedic element. Sophie's opening party pushes the envelope when anything that can go wrong does go wrong.
In the end Sophie emerges as a strong heroine, although some elements of the happy ending owe more to luck than to Sophie's efforts. As a career coach, I wish these authors wouldn't make starting a business seem so effortless. But I have to say that most career transformations happen just this way: putting one foot in front of the other, remaining open to new options, and being willing to follow your passion to see where it leads.
43 of 50 people found the following review helpful
Something new. Chick lit/romance based on grieving 20 Jun. 2004
By Peggy Vincent - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
What an unusual premise for a sweet little romance to take off from: our heroine is in her thirties, recently widowed after only a few years of marriage. It's difficult to make profound grief funny, but Lolly Winston manages it in spades. There's an especially funny scene in which Winston keeps the point of view and voice and tone that of Sophie, her grieving narrator, while she's coming completely unglued (showing up for work in her bathrobe and slippers, scarfing down carbs and sweets - hot dog buns with honey! - and talking in gibberish). In writerly terms, this is called Your Basic Crazy Unreliable Narrator, but Winston holds it together just long enough for the poor woman to be packed off to a shrink.
Somewhere between quitting her job and being fired, she takes a leave of absence in the interest of mental health, treks off to pretty Ashland, Oregon, and begins, improbably, to try patching herself together by becoming a volunteer Big Sister to a very angry pyromaniac teenage girl - not the most sensible choice, but what the hay: it's a romance novel, after all.
And, right on cue, in comes Mr. Wonderful.
Happy ending, eventually, of course. Lots of improbable stuff along the way, but this book is so well written and handles the vagaries of grief so well that you've gotta love it.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
You will love this book!! 8 Jun. 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This wonderful book was able to make me laugh and cry almost at the same time. I could not put this book down and constantly felt a part of Sophie's life. Winston takes you through Sophie's every thought and emotion. Without missing a beat she manages to take the story of a widow starting over to a deep yet very entertaining place. I could not help but laugh out loud when Sophie proclaims:
"I will marry again. I'll marry my Santa Fe neighbor, a beautiful man with skin the color of strong tea and coarse black hair. He will not get sick or break my heart. He will not leave me for a red-haired actress. In fact, he will only have one leg. I'll keep his artificial leg on my side of the bed while we sleep at night, so that he will have to get past me if he wants to leave."
Sophie's new relationships are fascinating and we are instantly drawn in by crystal's character and her relationship with Sophie. I am not exaggerating when I say not only do I want to tell ALL of my friends and family about this book, but I also want to read it again. This will be on the best sellers list in no time!!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Left me wanting more... 21 May 2006
By C. Douglass - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Well, you know the phrase, "leave them wanting more". Lolly Winston did. (WHEN is that next book available?) I wanted to know how the rest of the character's lives panned out, and wanted another book by the same author the minute I was done with the first. Lolly took a subject that our culture finds difficult to discuss, talks about it openly and honestly, and pokes some fun at it along the way. Her characters are flawed and complex, as is her portrayal of grief. My favorite character was Crystal. As a mom of two teenage girls, I wonder if Lolly has spent the last year doing research in a high school - even the teenage vernacular is right on the money! Couldn't put it down, and I can't wait for the next book. Keep 'em coming!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Yet again... 24 Sept. 2007
By Elaine Benes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I get so excited when I see a book where the main character has the flaws we can all relate to. She's an emotional wreck, struggles with her weight, her frizzy hair, her overwhelming thankless job. But - and here be the spoilers!! - I get so disgusted when, time and time again, these characters make an impossible transition, discovering some amazing talent they never knew they had. From being an incompetent waitress to a fabulous pastry chef, from the frizzy hair to the silky ringlets, finding the perfect man who's hopelessly in love with her, and transforming a cutting arsonist into a well-rounded teenager. All this and so much more - within a year. It's not even believable.
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