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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Characters
Goodbye to All That brilliantly portrays one of my fantasies. Being married isn't easy. Neither is being a mom. And running away to a new life, new apartment and new friends sounds like the perfect escape. If I can't do it in real life--reading about it is the next best thing. And Judith Arnold's humor shows through with her light touch and heart-warming cast of...
Published on May 4, 2012 by Susan Kearney

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32 of 39 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Am I reading the same book????
A lot of 4+ star reviews and I'm wondering if I'm reading the same book they are. I'm not at all impressed.

I'm over half-way through and I'm still waiting for this story to "grab me". I keep waiting for several things to happen:

For the youngest child Melissa - a 30 year old lawyer living in New York to quit acting like a spoiled rotten 14 year...
Published on July 13, 2012 by C. K. Shubin


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Characters, May 4, 2012
This review is from: Goodbye To All That (Paperback)
Goodbye to All That brilliantly portrays one of my fantasies. Being married isn't easy. Neither is being a mom. And running away to a new life, new apartment and new friends sounds like the perfect escape. If I can't do it in real life--reading about it is the next best thing. And Judith Arnold's humor shows through with her light touch and heart-warming cast of characters. I highly recommend this book!
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32 of 39 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Am I reading the same book????, July 13, 2012
By 
C. K. Shubin (Los Angeles, Ca) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Goodbye To All That (Kindle Edition)
A lot of 4+ star reviews and I'm wondering if I'm reading the same book they are. I'm not at all impressed.

I'm over half-way through and I'm still waiting for this story to "grab me". I keep waiting for several things to happen:

For the youngest child Melissa - a 30 year old lawyer living in New York to quit acting like a spoiled rotten 14 year old.

For the oldest son Doug - a lasik surgeon, married with twin girls, to quit being such an clod and grow up. Really? Your wife changed her hair and you flip out? Get real - we women do NOT have to ask permission for stuff like this whether you like it or not.

For the middle child Jill - to get a backbone and quit being a doormat for everyone. If I read about how she is doing something to be a "Good Mom" or a "Good Mom" does this or a "Good Mom" does or says that I'm gonna scream! And for Pete's sake. It's a Diet Coke. The author keeps stressing how this is an addiction for Jill.

And as old as all these "kids" are they really, really, REALLY need to grow up. And while I am over halfway through this book i'm seriously considering not finishing up but I keep reading it hoping that it gets better. I'll probably finish it just to finish it but I am not impressed with the characters or how they are written. The way they are written doesn't really make me care about them but makes me want to yell at them and tell them what they should be saying and doing instead of acting like a: spoiled teenage 14 year old when your 30, a middle child who needs to learn to say no and the oldest child who really causes his own issues. I think the only character I really care about is the mom.

Book contains: Foul language, talking about sex and some sex-related/foreplay descriptions.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tough lessons, June 26, 2012
This review is from: Goodbye To All That (Paperback)
Man, it's tough to be in a family no matter your age, that's one thing I took from this book. Jill is the middle child of her family, and adult herself with a husband and kids when she finds out that her parents are splitting up and her mother has moved into a small apartment and taken a job. Jill's siblings each have a bust life of their own as a eye surgeon and a lawyer. So Jill is often the catch all for family issues!

While this was a cute story in places and my heart goes out to Jill, I often felt a bit disconnected from the real story of the parents split and in all honesty I hate the ending. It just felt like nothing was tied up or completed. I've had to take some time to really think through what the purpose of that may be, so I thought I'd share with you that I feel like it makes the point that life isn't always easily solved!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and delightful read!, June 16, 2012
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This review is from: Goodbye To All That (Kindle Edition)
Novels which depict women leaving home to find independence from their husbands and families have been particularly prevalent since the 1970s, so much so, that one could be forgiven for feeling that this subject has been done to death. So it has by many, but not Ms Arnold!

Ruth Bendel, fed up with forty-two years of catering to her cardiologist husband and raising children without any recognition, calls a family gathering to announce that she and Richard are separating. Her astonished adult children - Doug, Jill and Melissa - discover that their mother is not only setting up house on her own, but she actually as a job in a convenience/general store and a down-market one at that! Needless to say, this puts the cat among the pigeons well and truly and there this plot could become like all the others, however the author's considerable writing skill takes this novel to another standard.

Well-written and beautifully paced, the story follows the ramifications of their parent's separation on the three siblings as well as Ruth and Richard. Doug, complacent and rich, has his world shaken by a small incident within his own marriage, Jill realises that maybe her mother has a point and Melissa takes steps to secure her future in an unexpected way. Ms Arnold engenders such sympathy for her characters and the four couple's lives are intertwined so realistically, that this reader was more than willing to invest care in the outcomes.

There were also some delightful turns of phrase. For example, when Richard's long-time secretary discovers that Ruth has left him - "Gert swept into his office like General Patton storming Europe." Other imagery made me smile, some laugh aloud.

There is no "chocolate-box" ending, but the novel finishes with positive indications for the character's futures and though sorry when the story ended, I can say my reading experience was thoroughly enjoyable.

***
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A universal mom/wife fantasy -- running away!, May 25, 2012
By 
This review is from: Goodbye To All That (Paperback)
Seriously, can I go with Ruth, too? Does anyone ever see all the things a woman does to hold her home and family together? Or understand how much effort it all takes?

Judith Arnold knows. And you can always count on her for a book that's funny, touching and real.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, touching, and painfully delightful, June 1, 2012
This review is from: Goodbye To All That (Paperback)
Judith Arnold has such a delicious way of portraying real life, and Goodbye to All That is another perfect example. Every wife and mother will be nodding her head, wincing, and smiling at Ruth's story and wishing she could be as bold. Loved it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars More emotional than expected., August 27, 2012
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This review is from: Goodbye To All That (Paperback)
This is not my typical type of read, but once I picked it up I just couldn't stop. There was just something there that always drug me back into the characters lives, wanting to know how they fixed this, how they coped, and whether any of them grew from this. I will admit that it took me a while to finish, I didn't enjoy the despair or anger that this family went through especially since it felt so very real.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderfully Realistic Read, June 14, 2012
This review is from: Goodbye To All That (Paperback)
This is my first novel by Judith Arnold and it won't be my last.

Her realistic portrayal of each member of a family and how they handle crisis and change was very touching and at times funny. Ms. Arnold took an all too common issue we experience today and turned it into a delightful novel.

I highly recommend Goodbye To All That.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Story!, May 21, 2012
This review is from: Goodbye To All That (Kindle Edition)
I really enjoyed this story of a mom who runs away from home. Haven't we all wanted to do that on occasion? Great characters!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mom on the run ..., April 17, 2012
By 
Patricia (East Coast, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Goodbye To All That (Kindle Edition)
... not from the law, but from the life that's this close to driving her permanently around the bend.

Characters make or break a book for me -- and this was a definite MAKE. Not only each individual character, but the family as another character, as a living organism. When mom Ruth opts for a new life, that living organism has some major adapting to do.

Loved the combo of humorous touches and genuine issues.

Delightful.
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Goodbye To All That
Goodbye To All That by Judith Arnold
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