The Good Goodbye - Book Review
For fans of Jodi Picoult comes an enthralling domestic thriller about the lies we tell, and let ourselves believe, in the name of love.
The first thing you should know is that everyone lies. The second thing is that it matters.
How well do we know our children? Natalie Falcone would say she knows her daughter, Arden, very well. Despite the challenges of running a restaurant and raising six-year-old twin boys, she’s not too worried as she sends her daughter off to college—until she gets the call that Arden’s been in a terrible fire, along with her best friend and cousin, Rory. Both girls are critically injured and another student has died. The police suspect arson.
Arden and Rory have always been close, but they have secrets they’ve never shared, secrets that reel all the way back to their childhoods, and which led them to that tragic night. Who set the fire, and why? As the police dig deep into both the present and the past, Natalie realizes that in order to protect her daughter, she’ll first have to find out who Arden really is, even if it means risking everything—and everyone—she loves most.
The Good Goodbye is a novel that centers around two cousins, Arden and Rory who have been best friends their whole lives. One night, Natalie, who is Arden’s mother, gets a call saying that the girls have been in a fire in their college dorm room. This moment leads to a series of events in the book that allows for secrets to come out – and some to still stay hidden.
I have found that lately I have really enjoyed books with multiple perspectives. The Good Goodbye was told from three perspectives – Arden, Rory and Natalie. The book goes back and forth through time, converging to the end. The author, Carla Buckley, chose the perspectives wisely as it peeled away layers of family complexity in an interesting way. You are able to discern information in pieces and see how it all fits together. However, I did find that there were some plot lines and situations that left themselves unclear. For instance, I wanted to know much more about Rory’s mother Gabrielle who seemed quite unstable but yearning to live vicariously through her daughter whom she pushed towards perfection. I understood her character but I wanted more – which I think would have added additional richness to the story.
As it is deemed a thriller, I don’t want to give away too much! I will say though, it is truly a story of deception and lying for those you love most. It made me wonder why we lie and see that sometimes we lie out of love to protect those around us. This book looks at family dynamics and love – but also has some gut wrenching moments that will leave you thinking.
I would certainly recommend this book!