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Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.
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Goodnight, Beautiful Paperback – September 28, 2010

4 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Nova Kumalisi and Mal Wacken have been best friends since childhood (and secretly half in love with each other). Nova would lay down her life for Mal, but then Mal comes to her with a proposition that makes her nervous. Mal’s wife, Stephanie, is unable to have children, and they want Nova to be the surrogate mother. Nova agrees, but Stephanie, already somewhat suspicious, finds a text message from Mal to Nova that suggests they were more than friends and forces him to cut all ties to his best friend and his son. Eight years later, Nova and Mal are still not speaking to each other, and Nova is raising their son, Leo, by herself. But when Leo becomes critically ill, Nova realizes that despite their estrangement, Mal needs to know his son before it’s too late. Is there too much bitterness, anger, and deceit between Mal, Nova, and Stephanie, or can it be bridged in time? Koomson’s fifth novel is a dramatic, intense story about love and forgiveness. --Hilary Hatton

Review

“Beautifully written, with characters you’ll really care about—this is not to be missed.”
She (U.K.)
 
“A heartbreaking story . . . You’ll need tissues. 5 stars.”
Heat (U.K.)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Original edition (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385344260
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385344265
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,378,436 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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. These two characters knew each other from birth, grew up like family, were soulmates and best friends, but their destiny was to always be each other's support, each other's everything, yet never lovers or spouses.
This book frustrated me! The back cover provided a certain amount of information about the story: Mal and his wife, Stephanie, asked Nova to have a baby for them, but then changed their minds when Mal's wife found a text from Mal to Nova saying "goodnight beautiful". Nova was then forced to raise the baby she had meant them to have. I found Ms Koomson took an inordinate amount of time to unravel the story to that point of the action. There was something about the underlying tone of the tale that made me impatient to just know how the story resolved.
Ultimately, "Goodnight Beautiful" was painful and sad. A story of mental illness, the depths of human strength, the bonds that hold marriages together, and the deepest purest love that can exist between a man and a woman, though they may not be able to fuly realise it in their present lifetimes.
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Format: Paperback
This is the second Koomson book I have read. And I loved it. The only disapointing thing to me is the ending. Why? Why couldnt they run off into the sunset at the end after all of that. My favorite part of the book was when Nova accused Mal of never wanting her. His speech after that, the missed opportunites. I agree with the previous review that it was a bit frustrating that they couldnt get hooked up. But overall it is still a great read in my opinion. Stehanie,....hated her!
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If you can stick with it, this book becomes very emotional at the end. But to get to that point, you have to tolerate the style of the book - first person narrative with no visible clues as to who is talking. You also have to buy into people making very unusual decisions.

Of the four main characters of the book, Nova is the most interesting. She is smart, strong, and gifted. She loves the unfortunately named Mal (my old high school French taught me that mal meant sick or pain as in mal a la tete for headache). Mal marries the troubled Stephanie, bipolar, who eventually wants a baby. They ask Nova to carry a child for them, and bring Leo into the world. Stephanie's decision, and Mal's capitulation, were the turning points of the story, and lie at the heart of why I don't love this book. Mal, almost crippled with wanting to do the right thing, would never have made this decision. Everything following this becomes forced. While the author, Dorothy Koomson, pulls it together at the last minute for the ending, it is a sad ending.

There are no feel-good moments in this book at all. Koomson aimed for stark reality, and in some ways she totally missed the mark, and in others she hit it out of the ballpark. I give this book three stars because I am totally torn about liking and disliking it, and 2 ½ stars isn't an option.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have to say I found this book to be very slow at times, but the entire concept was interesting enough to keep me reading. There were a few things that I didn't understand. I didn't get why as a trained psychologist and as someone who sensed that there was something wrong with Stephanie, why Nova let herself be dragged into the deal she made with Stephanie and Mal. I didn't understand why Mal would entertain the idea of Stephanie taking care of a child after her "incidents" and being raised by a mother who wasn't quite up to the job. I didn't understand why no one put two and two together when it came to the identity of Leo's Dad. I didn't understand why Mal and Nova never had a real converstaion with each other regarding their feelings. I didn't understand what kind of person does what Mal did to Nova and why she let him get away with it and most of all I didn't understand Mal's attraction to Stephanie. I know she probably reminded him of his mother, but she was just an awful person. There was no real comeuppance for the gigantic lie she told which set all of this in motion and I did not understand why she did tell that lie instead of just telling the truth. Why the character of Keith, he didn't seem to add anything to the story with the exception of being a convenient block to a relationship between Mal and Nova? Too many things made no sense, so I give the book 3 stars.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am just coming down, after two hours, sitting with the end of this book, zoned out, staring into space. An empty box of tissue for my nose, a bottle of tylenol for my squeezing head and an ice pack for my eyes. I kid you not. The author flipped me over her shoulder and body slammed me.

This is a love story of the worst kind. A not so tender heart breaking love story of lifelong friends who share an undying and unconditional love for one another - but life happens. They did not just love each other, they were in love. The story defines what being "that someone" to another human looks like and feels like. How it appears on the outside to be the foundation and spark of another person's existence. Knowing without a shadow of a doubt that someone hears you, that someone sees you. That someone feels your blood as it courses through your veins, a true witness to your life. Just one touch of forever, and ever after all alone. And...she could not have him but was able to bear fruit from the tree of his life. And --- I'm back. Okay, I told you I was still in London and Portugal.

Many have reviewed this book, taken it apart because of the two female narrators going back and forth and the confusion as to who was speaking. In my opinion, these women were two different spirits and personalities, very easy to tell who was speaking. What no one covered, sadly, was little 7 year old Leo lying in a coma narrating his life as it flashes before his eyes (he is the small voice in italics) and how his mum guided him through without him ever being afraid or scared of the unknown. This wore me out - Nova wore me out! The book took some getting adjusted to, but it is clearly not an escape book, or a light and easy read, you have to be all-in.
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