Good-bye and Amen

Good bye and Amen In a summer cottage on the coast of Maine an unlikely love was nurtured a marriage endured and a family survived Now it is time for the children of that marriage to make peace with the wounds and t

In a summer cottage on the coast of Maine, an unlikely love was nurtured, a marriage endured, and a family survived Now it is time for the children of that marriage to make peace with the wounds and the treasures left to them And to sort out which is which.Beth Gutcheon s critically acclaimed family saga, Leeway Cottage, was a major achievement a vivid and moving tale oIn a summer cottage on the coast of Maine, an unlikely love was nurtured, a marriage endured, and a family survived Now it is time for the children of that marriage to make peace with the wounds and the treasures left to them And to sort out which is which.Beth Gutcheon s critically acclaimed family saga, Leeway Cottage, was a major achievement a vivid and moving tale of war and marriage and their consequences that enchanted readers Good bye and Amen is the next chapter for the family of Leeway Cottage, the story of what happens when those most powerful people in any family drama, the parents, have left the stage.The complicated marriage of the gifted Danish pianist Laurus Moss to the provincial American child of privilege Sydney Brant was a mystery to many who knew them, including their three children Now, Eleanor, Monica, and Jimmy Moss have to decide how to divide or share what Laurus and Sydney have left them without losing one another.Secure and cheerful Eleanor, the oldest, wants little for herself but much for her children Monica, the least loved middle child, brings her youthful scars to the table, as well as the baggage of a difficult marriage to the charismatic Norman, who left a brilliant legal career, though not his ambition, to become an Episcopal priest Youngest and best loved Jimmy, who made a train wreck of his young adulthood, has returned after a long period of alienation from the family

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    460 Beth Gutcheon
Good-bye and Amen

  1. Beth Gutcheon grew up in western Pennsylvania She was educated at Harvard where she took an honors BA in English literature She has spent most of her adult life in New York City, except for sojourns in San Francisco and on the coast of Maine In 1978, she wrote the narration for a feature length documentary on the Kirov ballet school, The Children of Theatre Street, which was nominated for an Academy Award, and she has made her living fulltime as a storyteller novelist and sometime screenwriter since then Her novels have been translated into fourteen languages, if you count the pirate Chinese edition of Still Missing, plus large print and audio format Still Missing was made into a feature film called Without a Trace, and also published in a Reader s Digest Condensed version which particularly pleased her mother Several of her novels have been national bestsellers, including the most recent, Leeway Cottage All of the novels are available in new uniform paperback editions from HarperPerennial.

570 Reply to “Good-bye and Amen”

  1. It is obvious from the outset that it would have proven useful to the readers of Good Bye and Amen to have also read Beth Gutcheon s previous offering Leeway Cottage Perhaps then we would have had some inkling of who the characters in this saga were and how they related to the other characters This reader was about 60 pages into the book, and continuously flipping back and forth in the story in an attempt to ascertain who each person speaking was and what their connection was to the other charac [...]


  2. I would have devoured this book in one setting if I didn t have to do pesky things like sleep and go to work This is a story, told in wonderfully chaotic 12 or so voices, of a family It begins with 3 grown children dealing with cleaning out their parents houses after their surprise dual death gas leak and it blossoms into this complex view of their lives and those of their children, friends, coworkers, etc both past and present What is truly amazing is that the author has even included photos of [...]


  3. My Review of Good Bye and Amen by Beth GutcheonAs the sequel to Leeway Cottage, Good Bye and Amen is the continuing drama about the Moss family The story is still a fascinating stand alone novel even if you haven t read Beth Gutcheon s first tale about this captivating New England family.Good Bye and Amen is written in a unique format and recounts how three siblings reunite at their family summer home in Maine to decide how to divide up their parents estate The story begins with the Moss childre [...]


  4. Oh yeah, I m a sucker for this kind of thing This is a novel but there s a family tree, and family photos And mini biographies of each character, in the back of the book I loved the way Gutcheon uses oral biography to tell the story having each character speak for him herself, telling the same story from different perspectives Since this is a family story with characters of different generations, also a story of siblings, that really worked Of course it means there s no descriptive narrative but [...]


  5. I have read several Beth Gutcheon books in a row, and though I enjoyed this one, it wasn t her strongest I do like the way she wrote it, as a follow up to Leeway Cottage, with interviews from the various family members from that book It filled in some blanks from the previous novel and offered a look at what happened with the family after the parents died It went pretty quickly, though the various characters were hard to keep straight but there is a list of them in the back One thing I love abou [...]


  6. If I could, I would give this book at least a 3.5 rating This novel is a sequel to Leeway Cottage which I read several months ago and really did not enjoy all that much I found this story to be much interesting and involved The author chose a very unusual style of writing and she had me hooked from the beginning I was a tad confused about the character that was always referenced in italics Was this person dead, was it several dead people, or what the heck But I would recommend reading it, altho [...]


  7. This is one of the books I send to friends Well crafted and beautifully written, the author creatively develops her story through the voices of both main characters and peripheral observers She exposes the bruises and wounds of three adult children with gentle humor as they seek to divide their parent s estate and come to terms with choices made by themselves and one another.





  8. This is debatably the most ingenious novel structure I have ever experienced Good bye and Amen is written in continuous stream of consciousness, an interview esque reflection of family events Each family member and the occasional bystander offers a paragraph or two of perspective on their lives together Through these lenses, the reader sees the past and present woven together in a comprehensive way from birthday parties to marital affairs The only drawback I saw to this book, was the sheer volum [...]


  9. 3.5 STARSi enjoyed but i would not suggest anyone rush out to buy it sad to say I read Leeway Cottage awhile back and am glad i did, it s almost a necessity.Fiction based on fact including pictures, this is a generational story about a family and a summer home in Maine Good story But there were so many references to people from the other book, the past, that it made the reading a wee bit confusing.



  10. A complicated story of love, loss and legacies The family dynamics were well developed, and I loved the story told by different POVs Looking forward to reading the prequel, Leeway Cottage.



  11. Interesting read Each character gets many chances to speak Companion story to Leeward Cottage, which was also good Complicated family interactions.


  12. How does one say good bye to the parents who have died and left behind not only their possessions but a host of memories The grown children of Sydney and Laurus Moss must discover the answers as this story takes us from the process of dividing up things in the old summer cottage in Maine to the sorting out of moments that defined each of them.At first I didn t like the writing style of presenting short snippets of the story from each character s point of view, but as I gradually grew accustomed [...]


  13. Just last week I reviewed Leeway Cottage, the prequel to Good Bye and Amen There was much about Leeway that I didn t care for, but I found myself really enjoying Good bye This short novel opens with a chapter called The Lottery, during which Sydney and Laurus Moss three adult children divide up their parents belongings Right from the start I was laughing out loud at the siblings blunt thoughts about their parents and each other Having already spent over 400 pages with the Moss family, I easily g [...]


  14. When both parents die how does a family divide up the family heirlooms without causing irreparable rifts Good Bye and Amen is a book about just that.Laurus Moss was a Danish Concert pianist married to privileged Sydney Brant Sydney loved to cause dissension among her three children Eleanor, Monica and Jimmy Even beyond the grave she attempts to cause fights by holding a lottery for her possessions.Eleanor is the oldest child A traditionalist who has a nice stable and secure life married to Bobbi [...]


  15. This book really captured my attention because the characters were involved in an activity that I will be facing in the not so distant future Three adult children gather in their parent s house to divide up their possessions after the parent s sudden death The three, Eleanor the golden child, Monica the least loved, middle child who still wants approval from her family, and Jimmy the Prince who spent his youth in the drug culture and asked his parents for his share of the inheritance when he was [...]


  16. This is a sequel to Leeway Cottage It jumps among the characters perspectives every 1 5 paragraphs, which I found really annoying at first, but when I started thinking of it as interviewing all of them, I started liking it better It covers a lot of back story, and I love back story It seems like there could have been a little front story in this book, though Still, overall, I liked it Beth Gutcheon is one of my favorite authors her writing is spare and beautiful.Reread 8 1 2010 Definitely makes [...]


  17. I picked up one of Beth Gutcheon s books on a whim my sopho year of college and I ve managed to read every one of her books since Before Good bye and Amen , I read Leeway Cottage back when it first came out in paperback I found the story mildly endearing, but less compelling and interesting than her previous novels So needless to say, I was hesitant to read Good bye and Amen.Told from multiple points of view, I was actually much interested in this book than its predecessor Despite writing from [...]


  18. This novel is the sequel to Leeway Cottage, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading several months ago In Good bye and Amen the adult children of Sydney and Laurus Moss must deal with dividing up their parents belongings, including the beloved summer home, Leeway Cottage You learn about the family dynamic and meet several new characters as well The story is told almost as interview with each character This format is a bit hard to get into at first, but it works.To fully grasp the family dynamics and [...]


  19. This story reminded me of Our Town by Thornton Wilder, narrated by those in the spirit world who were ancestors of the characters There is a prequeal by this author named Leeway Cottage which I haven t read, but plan to read The story is of a very dysfunctional family of 3 grown children whose parents have recently They are left to sort out the family belongings as well as their relationships with each other I think the author was trying to be humorous, but often the relationship issues were not [...]


  20. It was very unique and interesting the way that this author presented the story There were a bunch of characters, a handful of which are the main ones It was therefore hard to initially get into the novel I had a p.s version, so there was a family tree diagram, otherwise, this would make things even confusing I highly suggest getting a version with a family tree.I enjoyed the characters and their unique personalities and tones It was interesting to get through topics from so many perspectives T [...]


  21. This book, a follow up to Leeway Cottage had a very different format It was told by different points of views of over 20 characters The characters switched in and out sometimes after just a few paragraphs Story focused mainly on Eleanor, Monica, and Jimmy and their children and friends after the death of their parents Do not read this book if you haven t read Leeway Cottage first I absolutely loved that book and has been one that has stayed with me even years later Unfortunately Good bye and Ame [...]


  22. This was a light and easy read, but pointless Gutcheon creates a lot of lovely characters and voices, and has a lot of insight into how families work But I think her choice of narrative from several characters at once was challenging, and would ve been far suited to a visual work I also think that her familial insights would have been worthwhile had she included the semblance of a theme Ultimately, all the lovely anecdotes in the world cannot become a lovely story with no thesis or focus.


  23. Gutcheon gives us a story of a close family whose relationships change during and after the division of the family estate What I most enjoyed was the manner in which she decided to tell this story Rather than a cohesive narrative, the plot unfolds in what seems to be pieces of interviews from both primary and secondary characters Insert into this novel are black and white photos of the main players At the end is an update on each character that had a voice in telling this story of a fractured fa [...]


  24. It s hard to remember a book so chock full o characters with so few redeeming qualities Perhaps the only genuinely nice act came at the very end, but that wasn t nearly enough to make up for bad taste left by the myriad naval gazing and petty bickering that went on throughout the book Beth Gutcheon s work is well written and I had no problem with the style she uses, but if wholly self obsessed narcissistic families like that portrayed in Good Bye and Amen really do exist, I hope I never come acr [...]


  25. This novel is the sequel to Leeway Cottage Having not read the previous novel did not prove to be a detriment to the enjoyment of Good bye and Amen Beth Gutcheon manages to put the reader right at the center of three adult siblings problems coping with the deaths of their parents and the division of their estate There are many surprises along the way as each sibling does not always behave in the fashion that we are lead to believe they will behave An altogether great read and I look forward to r [...]


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