By Emily Chenoweth
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780062034601, 304pp.)
Publication Date: June 2011
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In the summer after her freshman year of college, Abby Hansen embarks on what might be a final vacation with her parents to a historic resort in northern New Hampshire. The Presidential Hotel, with its stately rooms and old-fashioned dress code, seems almost unbearably stuffy to Abby, but the young, free-spirited hotel staff offers her the chance for new friendships, and maybe even romance.
However, for her parents, Elliott and Helen, their time spent together in the shadow of the White Mountains has taken on a deeper meaning. By inviting family friends to join them, they open their marriage up to a lifetime of confessions, and they must confront a secret about Helen's health that they have been hiding from their daughter.
Heartbreaking and luminous, Hello Goodbye deftly explores a family's struggle with love and loss, as a summer vacation becomes an occasion for awakening.
Emily Chenoweth is a former fiction editor of Publishers Weekly. Her work has appeared in Tin House, Bookforum, and People, among other publications. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
- How would you describe Abby’s relationship with her mother and father? Do you feel she is closer to one parent than the other, or is she close to both in different ways?
“This bright, well-crafted novel, set at a family gathering to celebrate a mother whose death is imminent, steers competently away from the maudlin and makes what could be a heavy-handed exploration of mortality instead an entertaining, sometimes delicate story.”
“Chenoweth avoids sentimentality, handling emotions with grace and consummate skill.”
-New York Journal of Books
“Tender....Chenoweth’s affectionate style works marvelously, capturing the decadence of youth.”
-New York Times on Hello Goodbye
“Chenoweth writes with a restraint that allows minor gestures to become elegantly weighted with meaning.”
-New Yorker on Hello Goodbye
-Boston Globe on Hello Goodbye
-Vanity Fair on Hello Goodbye
“A tender ode to empathy.... Every page of this book serves as an affirmation of the terrible, wrenching beauty of life.”
-Elle Magazine on Hello Goodbye
“Moving and assured.... Chenoweth’s smart, unsentimental and poignant takes on living and dying ring true, and her exploration of coming-of-age and coming to terms with mortality is divine.”
-Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Hello Goodbye
“An understated debut novel of great beauty and power.”
-Kirkus Reviews on Hello Goodbye
“[Chenoweth] writes gracefully and eloquently of loss and love, portraying both generations at their most self-absorbed and most vulnerable.”
-Library Journal on Hello Goodbye
“A beautiful novel ...Chenoweth’s eye for telling detail is as sure as her language is playful.”
-Alice Sebold, author of The Almost Moon and The Lovely Bones, on Hello Goodbye