Monday, October 18, 2010

Goodnight, Beautiful by Dorothy Koomson

This is a review of Goodnight, Beautiful that I did for the Amazon Vine program. I thoroughly loved this book although at the beginning I got a bit confused as to who was narrating the story. Prior to reading this book I had just finished two different 'novels'. Both had issues that the author was trying to shove down our throats. One was a mystery book that was really all about feminism. If I wanted to read about these issues, I would go to the non-fiction side of the library. This is partly why this book was such a relief to read. Where she could have pressed certain issues, she just let them be part of the story.

This novel has everything in it that makes for a great reading experience in my opinion. Romance, loving family relationships, friendships and the bricks and rocks and boulders that are at times thrown into our paths. This book could have ended on a very sad note, but the author took it one step further and was able to end the book on a high note.

I loved the way the author was able to weave together two families that were tightly bonded by being neighbors and also bonded by love for each other. In the book you come to learn that one family was white and one was black, but rather than let the book flounder in the race relations issue, it was treated as just another thing, not too terribly important. One mother had bi-polar disease and so the other came along side her to help her raise her children. One father worked hard to support the two families when the other father couldn't cope.

The children grew up and went their ways. One of the girls offered to become a surrogate mother for the boy she grew up with and considered a brother. One boy married a woman with bi-polar disease and walked along side her to help her cope. The girl ended up raising her child alone except with the amazing help of her friends. The child goes in for surgery and instead of getting better, goes into a coma and that is what the whole book is tied around. These family stories are told as the background for this child laying in a hospital bed. When the sad end comes, the families are tied together with the passion that we can get through this too.

A touching lovely story and I hope to see many more from this author. I love how she was able to bring issues up such as race, mental health, single parenting and instead of preaching at us, showed how grace for each other will make everyone's life better. A very touching book.

1 comment:

  1. I finished reading this book last night, but today the story is still haunting me. Dorothy Koomson wrote the story from the perspectives of two women, Nova, and Mal's wife, Stephanie. Despite that, the story is about Mal and Nova. About Nova, a beautiful black woman, and Mal, a gorgeous white man, and their great love for each other that can never be fully realised.


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