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Review: The Goodbye Quilt

April 23, 2011

Molly Davis is about to embark on a new phase of her life – she’ll be attending college halfway across the country.  Her dad’s not good at good-byes, so she and her mother, Linda, are going to make the week long road trip together.  Since Molly will drive most of the way, Linda is finishing up a quilt for Molly’s dorm room.  The quilt is made of scraps of cloth and mementos from special moments in Molly’s life.

The Goodbye Quilt by Susan Wiggs is a sweet book that made me laugh and cry.  Told from Linda’s point of view, it’s an emotional book that will appeal to most mothers.  I love the fact that it addresses what a child leaving home means to the mother as well as to the child.  I could really relate to this passage:

. . .the journey to college is a rite of passage we mark as a joyous occasion, one we celebrate by buying luggage and books on how to find a fulfilling life.  But really, if you ask any mother, she’ll tell you that deep down, we want to mark it as a loss, a funeral of sorts.  We never show our sorrow, though.  Our sadness stays in the shadows like something slightly shameful.

I discovered that Wiggs wrote this book after her own daughter left home and the emotions she felt are evident in her writing.  The relationship between Molly and Lisa is perfect too – Molly is spirited and independent while Lisa isn’t ready to give up her role as mother and advisor – and they struggle to find their role in the new relationship they’re forging.  I love that the author chose to include an epilogue to let readers know how things worked out for Molly and Lisa.

At 250 pages, The Goodbye Quilt is a quick read; it’s a sweet, emotional way to spend a few hours – just be sure to have a box of tissues handy.  Why not start a new tradition and buy one as a gift for the mother of a graduating high school student?

Review copy provided by Planned Television Arts.   I am an Indiebound Affliate.
33 Comments leave one →
  1. April 23, 2011 6:16 am

    This one sounds like a nice sweet read!

  2. April 23, 2011 6:21 am

    Oh I love the sound of this one. I made a quilt for my dorm room the summer before college. I used left over fabric from 6 years worth of home-ec projects! And since my niece is going to be a junior (yikes!) next fall, we’re getting close to that time.

  3. April 23, 2011 6:46 am

    Oh that quote! How sweet, tender, and sad. I must read this. Thanks for the beautiful review.

  4. April 23, 2011 6:48 am

    I have heard that this is a very touching book, and I am sure it’s one that you can really relate to personally. My kids haven’t reached this stage yet, but it sounds as if this book would be perfect when they do. Great post, Kathy!

  5. April 23, 2011 8:00 am

    Nice gift idea. Mine are all out of college now but my niece will be a senior in hs next year so I’ll give my sister a copy after she graduates.

  6. April 23, 2011 8:07 am

    This is particularly appropriate for me having just sent my daughter off to college this year,sniff sniff…
    It sounds like a touching book, and I love your suggestion for gifting it to those in similar circumstances 🙂

  7. April 23, 2011 8:42 am

    Newly pregnant for the second time and watching my three year old grow on TOP of our second class of pre-K kids graduate in less than a month, I have to say this might NOT be the book for my silly hormonal self, right now! MY goodness, I’ll have to save such a weepy thing for another day, though it looks lovely. ;O)

  8. April 23, 2011 8:54 am

    This would make a wonderful gift. I have had one child leave the nest and it is very heart breaking to see them leave but also heartwarming to see them flourish. I may have to read this.

  9. April 23, 2011 9:03 am

    This definitely sounds like a kleenex book!

  10. April 23, 2011 9:19 am

    It sounds like a great book. I’m not a fan of books that make me cry, though. But crying is cathartic, so that’s a good thing.

  11. April 23, 2011 9:58 am

    Hmm, I wonder if this is something my mother would like. Susan Wiggs and her daughter seem to have SUCH good relationship. I follow her daughter’s blog and it really seems like the two of them are best friends. I’ll be keeping this book in mind!

  12. April 23, 2011 11:10 am

    That does sound both sweet and sad. I remember my mom being sad when I went off to college… and all those years I thought she couldn’t wait to get rid of me!

  13. April 23, 2011 11:23 am

    ooh, this looks good!

    Our eldest (15-ish) has been away this past week, and I missed her like crazy. I can’t imagine what it’ll be like when these kids start going off to college (must purchase stock in Kleenex!)

  14. April 23, 2011 11:35 am

    This seems like emotionally moving book! I will definitely be reading it. Thanks!

  15. April 23, 2011 12:18 pm

    I have this book on my Kindle and I need to read it soon. I think it might be a perfect one to give my sister-in-law as we have a nephew graduating this year. I so well remember that time (10 years ago now) with my daughter. I truly didn’t know who I was going to be once she was gone – if I wasn’t Mom, who was I? Happily and unhappily, life let me know. 🙂

  16. April 23, 2011 12:21 pm

    This does sound like a really sweet read. I can’t wait to read my copy.

  17. April 23, 2011 1:02 pm

    I guess I’ll have to go through this too one day in the not so distant future…

    Adding this one down and will buy kleenex box for the tears to come.

    Great review Kathy.

  18. April 23, 2011 5:36 pm

    This book sounds so sweet! I’m looking forward to reading it myself soon.

  19. April 23, 2011 5:54 pm

    Laugh and cry, not many books has managed that task, so perhaps it’s time to find a book that can. This one 🙂

  20. April 23, 2011 6:29 pm

    I’ve not read any of Susan Wiggs books and it sounds like I need to change that and read this one. It sounds like a wonderful story.

  21. April 23, 2011 6:35 pm

    This sounds so wonderful! I read something of hers a while back… if only I could remember what it was…. 🙂

  22. Kathleen permalink
    April 23, 2011 7:25 pm

    My son graduates next year and I am already anticipating the joy, mixed with sadness, that I will feel. This book will be perfect for me to read in the coming year!

  23. April 23, 2011 8:30 pm

    This sounds like a good one! I love a book that can affect me like this one.

  24. April 23, 2011 11:01 pm

    This one sounds like it will make me cry for sure!! I don’t even want to think about the day my youngest leaves the nest!

  25. April 24, 2011 8:24 am

    I have not read any of Wiggs work, yet. I love the idea of a quilt as an off to college gift.

  26. April 24, 2011 11:19 am

    Oh my. I don’t know if I should read this before I take my daughter 11 hours away at the end of August or not. I’m already too emotional about it. And Wiggs is such a good writer.

  27. stacybuckeye permalink
    April 24, 2011 4:54 pm

    What a great gift idea! I’ve always loved the idea of a quilt made of treasured material 🙂

  28. April 25, 2011 9:19 am

    That book sounds really good. I would cry if I read it, though, and my son has been living away for ten years. 🙂 🙂

    Great idea and review.

    Elizabeth

  29. April 25, 2011 11:33 am

    Sounds like a good one, but I’m not ready to read it and envision my own girl leaving home. LOL

  30. April 28, 2011 12:58 pm

    It sounds like a good one, even if I haven’t had to let go of any kids yet. 🙂

  31. April 28, 2011 6:08 pm

    I have this one and wasn’t sure how I was going to fit it in. If it is a quick read then maybe I can squeeze it in this weekend!

  32. April 29, 2011 2:18 pm

    I think the concept sounds so sweet. I wish I had a quilt like that!

  33. Karen permalink
    June 17, 2011 2:14 am

    If you would look at a map once in a while you would make less obvious mistakes. Once you are east of Omaha, Nebraska, you are no longer in Nebraska.

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