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The Goodbye Summer

Narrated by: Jan Maxwell
Length: 4 hrs and 57 mins

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The New York Times best-selling author of the much-beloved The Saving Graces is back with a warm, winning new novel about daring to love, braving a loss, and learning to live a little.

How much change can one summer bring?

If you're Caddie Winger, 32 years old, still living with her grandmother and giving piano lessons to neighborhood children, one summer can make the whole world look different. Caddie's mother died when she was nine, and her grandmother raised her. Now their roles are reversed, and it's Caddie who takes care of Nana. When her grandmother breaks a leg and insists on going into a convalescent home, Caddie finds herself being pulled out of her comfy, self-made nest. Living alone for the first time since college, she uncovers some startling truths from her past.

Jolted, she looks at the world with new eyes and begins to take charge of her future. As she makes a new best friend, takes risks she never dreamed she could, and navigates the depths and shallows of true love and devastating heartbreak, Caddie learns how to trust other people and, ultimately, how to trust herself.

Wise, moving, and reassuringly real, The Goodbye Summer offers us a deeper understanding of the perplexing and invigorating magic that is life itself.

©2004 Patricia Gaffney (P)2004 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Critic reviews

"Caddie is endearing." (Publishers Weekly)
"Jan Maxwell gives a pleasant reading as Gaffney's novel explores intergenerational relationships and life lessons shared by young and old....Maxwell approaches Caddie's highs and lows with vocalizations that ring true." (AudioFile)

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  • peter vecchione
  • 04-05-16


This book was disappointing. It jumped too quickly without giving enough of s story. The ending seemed to be rushed and did not give the reader a true feeling that the story had indeed ended!

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  • Susan West
  • 29-07-14

Such a disappointment

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

The Saving Graces is one of my favorite books so I decided to try another of Patricia Gaffney's books. I find it hard to believe the same woman wrote both books. This one left me empty and it ended without any real solutions to Caddie's struggles. It ended as it began. So disappointing!