The Art of Saying Goodbye
By Ellyn Bache
(William Morrow & Company, Paperback, 9780062033680, 335pp.)
Publication Date: June 2011
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She was the thread that wove their tapestry together.
With a group of women as diverse as the ladies from Brightwood Trace, you might not think them to be close. There's Julianne, a nurse with an unsettling psychic ability that allows her to literally feel what her patients feel, Andrea, a strong fortress sheltering a faltering core, Ginger, a mother torn between being a stay-at-home mom or following her career aspirations, and Iona, the oldest, whose feisty, no-nonsense attitude disarms even toughest of the tough. Not exactly the ingredients for the most cohesive cocktail . . . Until you add Paisely, the liveliest and friendliest of the clan, who breathed life into them all.
But when their glowing leader falls ill with cancer, it's up to these women to do what Paisely has done for them since the beginning: lift her up. Overcoming and accepting the inevitability of loss, the women draw closer than ever; finding together the strength to embrace and cherish their lives with acceptance, gratitude and most importantly, love. Finally living with the vigor that Paisely has shown them from the start, they are able to see their lives in a new light, while learning to say goodbye to the brightest star they've ever known. Over the course of just three months, these four women will undergo a magnificent transformation that leaves nobody unchanged.
- In many ways, Paisley is the star of the suburban development where she lives – the pretty one who’s nice to everyone, who gives the best parties, who seems to enjoy raising her daughters and living her conventional life. In what ways does her “stardom” inspire varying emotions in her neighbors? Overall, how do they regard her before she gets sick? How does this affect the way they feel after they learn she’s ill?