Melanie, a perfectionist mom who views the approaching end of parenting as a type of death, can’t believe she has only one more year to live vicariously through her slacker senior son, Dane.
Gorgeous mom Sarah has just begun to realize that her only daughter, Ashley, has been serving as a stand-in for her travelling husband, and the thought of her daughter leaving for college is cracking the carefully cultivated façade of her life.
Will and his wife are fine—as long as he follows the instructions on the family calendar and is sure to keep secret his whole other life with Lauren, the woman he turns to for fun (and who also happens to have a daughter in the senior class).
Told from the points of view of both the parents and the kids, The Goodbye Year explores high school peer pressure, what it’s like for young people to face the unknown of life after high school, and how a transition that should be the beginning of a couple’s second act together—empty-nesting—might possibly be the end.
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“Rouda deftly examines the difficult transition parents and their children face as they prepare for the end of one life and the beginning of another. Her latest is a compelling story and a thoughtful examination of the nature of change and the importance of working to accept it.” ―Booklist
“The Goodbye Year is an often hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking, always engaging look at the last year before high school seniors leave their families for good. I devoured it!”
-Meg Mitchell Moore, author of The Admissions, So Far Away, and The Arrivals
“The family dramas and dynamics are things that we can all relate to…”
-Redbook magazine, “20 Best Books to Read Come Spring”
“Kaira Rouda channels Peyton Place meets The Real Housewives of Orange County with her newest book, The Goodbye Year.”
―Working Mother magazine
Many of us Brits don’t really ‘get’ the US school culture – all that focus on sporting prowess and sophomore cliques but Rouda’s tale of families embracing the challenges of the last school year before college is gripping for all that.
The Goodbye Year is a story about 5 families and how the adults and kids deal with the pressures put on all of them to ‘achieve’ and to be a storybook family. Everything, however, is far from picture-perfect for, whilst the mums are falling apart trying to maintain the “real housewife” illusion in an affluent beach community, the fathers are behaving in ways which are far from perfect.
Rouda addresses the very real “empty-nest syndrome” and how it can leave some parents struggling to find an identity beyond someone’s mum or dad. Despite the fact my kids are only 8 and 7, I found myself feeling rather wistful at the thought of them leaving home – although they have both informed me they aren’t going anywhere until they’re at least 30.
As always, secrets and lies are revealed with consequences that catch the reader unawares and shatter the whole ‘happy family’ illusion completely.
It’s cleverly done and I really enjoyed “The Goodbye Year”. Highly recommended.
About the Author
Kaira Rouda is a USA Today bestselling, multiple award-winning author of contemporary women’s fiction and sexy modern romance novels that sparkle with humor and heart.
Her women’s fiction titles include THE GOODBYE YEAR, HERE, HOME, HOPE, ALL THE DIFFERENCE and IN THE MIRROR. Her bestselling short story is titled A MOTHER’S DAY. Her sexy contemporary romance series include the LAGUNA BEACH Series, the INDIGO ISLAND Series with a new MALIBU Series launching in 2016.
Her nonfiction titles, REAL YOU INCORPORATED: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs, and REAL YOU FOR AUTHORS: 8 Essentials for Women Writers (available for free download on her website) continue to inspire.
Kaira’s work has won numerous awards including the Indie Excellence Award, USA Book Awards, the Reader’s Choice Awards and honourable mention in the Writer’s Digest International Book Awards. She lives in Southern California with her husband and four almost-grown kids and is at work on her next novel.
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I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.