Hot Best Seller

Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter's Memoir of Love after Loss

Availability: Ready to download

Starting with Goodbye begins with loss and ends with love, as a midlife daughter rediscovers her enigmatic father after his death. Lisa has little time for grief, but when her dead dad drops in for “conversations,” his absent presence invites Lisa to examine why the parent she had turned away from in life now holds her spellbound. Lisa reconsiders the affluent upbringing h Starting with Goodbye begins with loss and ends with love, as a midlife daughter rediscovers her enigmatic father after his death. Lisa has little time for grief, but when her dead dad drops in for “conversations,” his absent presence invites Lisa to examine why the parent she had turned away from in life now holds her spellbound. Lisa reconsiders the affluent upbringing he financed (filled with horses, lavish vacations, bulging closets), and the emotional distance that grew when he retired to Las Vegas and she remained in New Jersey where she and her husband earn moderate incomes. She also confronts death rituals, navigates new family dynamics, while living both in memory and the unfolding moment. In this brutally honest yet compelling portrayal and tribute, Lisa searches for meaning, reconciling the Italian-American father—self-made textile manufacturer who liked newspapers, smoking, Las Vegas craps tables, and solitude—with the complex man she discovers influenced everything, from career choice to spouse. By forging a new father-daughter “relationship,” grief is transformed to hopeful life-affirming redemption. In poignant, often lyrical prose, this powerful, honest book proves that when we dare to love the parent who challenged us most, it’s never too late.


Compare

Starting with Goodbye begins with loss and ends with love, as a midlife daughter rediscovers her enigmatic father after his death. Lisa has little time for grief, but when her dead dad drops in for “conversations,” his absent presence invites Lisa to examine why the parent she had turned away from in life now holds her spellbound. Lisa reconsiders the affluent upbringing h Starting with Goodbye begins with loss and ends with love, as a midlife daughter rediscovers her enigmatic father after his death. Lisa has little time for grief, but when her dead dad drops in for “conversations,” his absent presence invites Lisa to examine why the parent she had turned away from in life now holds her spellbound. Lisa reconsiders the affluent upbringing he financed (filled with horses, lavish vacations, bulging closets), and the emotional distance that grew when he retired to Las Vegas and she remained in New Jersey where she and her husband earn moderate incomes. She also confronts death rituals, navigates new family dynamics, while living both in memory and the unfolding moment. In this brutally honest yet compelling portrayal and tribute, Lisa searches for meaning, reconciling the Italian-American father—self-made textile manufacturer who liked newspapers, smoking, Las Vegas craps tables, and solitude—with the complex man she discovers influenced everything, from career choice to spouse. By forging a new father-daughter “relationship,” grief is transformed to hopeful life-affirming redemption. In poignant, often lyrical prose, this powerful, honest book proves that when we dare to love the parent who challenged us most, it’s never too late.

30 review for Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter's Memoir of Love after Loss

  1. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Kehoe

    Starting with Goodbye is a lovely, quiet, heartfelt memoir by a daughter about the father she didn’t understand or appreciate until after his death. Unlike many family memoirs, there is no sensationalism here; no horror stories of abuse or addiction or abandonment, only of growing awareness and understanding and even the kind of maturing most of us are still doing in our middle years. It’s often the case that we don’t feel truly like adults until one or both of our parents have died. Lisa has ha Starting with Goodbye is a lovely, quiet, heartfelt memoir by a daughter about the father she didn’t understand or appreciate until after his death. Unlike many family memoirs, there is no sensationalism here; no horror stories of abuse or addiction or abandonment, only of growing awareness and understanding and even the kind of maturing most of us are still doing in our middle years. It’s often the case that we don’t feel truly like adults until one or both of our parents have died. Lisa has had a full and rich life, beginning with a childhood that many would call privileged. Her father’s success in business gave the family a prosperous life of European vacations, new cars, and, for Lisa, the chance to indulge her passion for horses and for competing in horse shows. Later she settles into a more ordinary kind of life in a New Jersey suburb, with a husband and two sons, the middle-class struggle to balance finances, desires, and responsibilities, a family bound by love and care for one another. In middle age, she decides to go to graduate school to earn her MFA. By this time her parents have retired to a custom-built house in Las Vegas, and, though she keeps in touch with her mother, her father has become a somewhat forgotten, ignored figure in her life. When her father develops Alzheimer’s and various physical ailments as well, Lisa almost reluctantly leaves her busy life and family to fly to Las Vegas to do her family duty in supporting her mother. At her father’s sickbed she begins to recover her love for him, sitting by his bed, holding his hand, talking to him. Yet it isn’t until after his death that she really begins to know him—when he starts to appear to her for “conversations” that reveal more of him to her, including the love and pride he had in her. These moments break into the thickness of a grief that she feels but doesn’t truly understand and that threatens to damage her relationship with her husband and sons. Her father, Tony Chipolone, was a man whose complexity Lisa only began to understand once she set out on the journey of grief and recovery she chronicles here. She discovers, among other things, that he had an artistic side and realizes she’s more like him than she thought. As we read, we recognize ourselves in her story: how many of us ever really know our parents, though so much of our lives is spent with them? Is it selfish or just the way things are supposed to be that we focus on our own lives first, depending on their support and love without thinking much about it or about who they are? The genius of this book is just in that. We experience Lisa’s guilt and grief and know that those burdens also belong to us. Yet many of us are not as lucky, as insightful, as Lisa was. We carry these feelings around for more or less time until grief wears itself out, yet we never do make the effort to understand who our lost loved one was and what he or she meant to us. If they try to break through to us, we turn away instead of really listening to them, as Lisa finally listened to her father. As a daughter who had a problematic relationship with my own father, I haven’t been as lucky as Lisa to have been able to come to a reconciliation with his memory yet. I envy her this, and thank her for sharing her redemptive story with us.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kate Vocke (bookapotamus)

    An intimate portrayal of Lisa Romeos larger-than-life father, Starting With Goodbye is so raw and emotional it gave me all the feels. All of them. This narrative hits particularly close to home, realizing how hard it is to come to terms with aging parents, and our aging selves. This is a hard book to rate. You watch Lisa go through these feelings, ups and downs, and roller-coasters of emotions, yet I see the privilege and the money and just can't connect, and in some instances - I can't feel for An intimate portrayal of Lisa Romeos larger-than-life father, Starting With Goodbye is so raw and emotional it gave me all the feels. All of them. This narrative hits particularly close to home, realizing how hard it is to come to terms with aging parents, and our aging selves. This is a hard book to rate. You watch Lisa go through these feelings, ups and downs, and roller-coasters of emotions, yet I see the privilege and the money and just can't connect, and in some instances - I can't feel for her. But this is her story - I can't fault her for having what I did not. Having this intimate look inside of her grief feels almost like spying, like we don't belong here, this isn't our story to read. But it's all part of it. But loss is loss, and it's sad all around and it's so very interesting to see inside someones head at their most painful moments. I marvel in how she processes the loss of her father. It's brave. It's commendable. The things she does, and admits - I don't know if I could. I feel like I learned a lot, yet I'll still be unprepared as the same moments in life come for myself. I believe if every person wrote the memoir of a beloved parents passing - they'd all be so different. Different stories and heartfelt memories of the past and completely unalike ways of grieving and how one handles it. But they'd all be the same: raw, sad, and beautiful. I read this because I was curious... who would write something so personal, and so private? But I didn't find myself all that sad reading this. I was sad FOR her, but mostly I admired Lisa (and her eloquent prose), I adored her "mobster" dad, Tony, and I smiled at her story - because she wrote an ode to her hero and was courageous in doing so. It was like the ultimate love story between a daughter and her father.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Donna Baier-Stein

    Lisa Romeo's memoir about her father touched me very deeply. Her family members come vividly to life, in all their quirks and glories. Romeo writes beautifully, and I found myself picturing both her parents’ home in Las Vegas and her own home in NJ as intimately as if I had set foot in these two places myself. What most struck me was the heady combination of grief and candor. The author doesn’t shy away from the dark places. She doesn’t avoid pointing out the ways our most loved family members c Lisa Romeo's memoir about her father touched me very deeply. Her family members come vividly to life, in all their quirks and glories. Romeo writes beautifully, and I found myself picturing both her parents’ home in Las Vegas and her own home in NJ as intimately as if I had set foot in these two places myself. What most struck me was the heady combination of grief and candor. The author doesn’t shy away from the dark places. She doesn’t avoid pointing out the ways our most loved family members can annoy us nor does she fail to acknowledge her own role in sometimes difficult moments. The author has so honored her Dad in writing this colorful portrait of him in a remarkable and healing book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia Granata

    I had the privilege of reading an advance copy of Lisa's first, full length book, and could not put it down. She is a gifted writer, whose sensitive, unsparing self examination and portrait of her relationship to her late father, was a welcome balm. Lisa addresses the dichotomy of coping with a loss that is both a source of pain and of inspiration, giving voice to an inner dialogue that respects the complexity of a relationship between parent and child as it evolves over a lifetime. I had the privilege of reading an advance copy of Lisa's first, full length book, and could not put it down. She is a gifted writer, whose sensitive, unsparing self examination and portrait of her relationship to her late father, was a welcome balm. Lisa addresses the dichotomy of coping with a loss that is both a source of pain and of inspiration, giving voice to an inner dialogue that respects the complexity of a relationship between parent and child as it evolves over a lifetime.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Story Circle Book Reviews

    There's no going back. Not after death. The loss of a parent hurts and haunts the children, yet it is as inevitable as the joy of birth. A part of the circle of life. Lisa Romeo explores pain, unrequited guilt, obsession, and her continuing, improving relationship with her deceased father in Starting with Goodbye. Author Lisa Romeo was a busy writer, wife, and mother living in New Jersey when her dad, living in Las Vegas, became ill. A strong, opinionated man who liked to smoke and read the Wall There's no going back. Not after death. The loss of a parent hurts and haunts the children, yet it is as inevitable as the joy of birth. A part of the circle of life. Lisa Romeo explores pain, unrequited guilt, obsession, and her continuing, improving relationship with her deceased father in Starting with Goodbye. Author Lisa Romeo was a busy writer, wife, and mother living in New Jersey when her dad, living in Las Vegas, became ill. A strong, opinionated man who liked to smoke and read the Wall Street Journal, he funded her horse show obsession, took the family on first-class vacations, and made them feel privileged but under-appreciated. He never gave the emotional attention she craved. So it's no surprise that she wouldn't rush to Las Vegas when she got a call about her dad's heart trouble or the uncertainties of Alzheimer's. She was not close to her dad, and that makes this book special: She chronicles their increasing closeness after his death. She goes so far as to talk with him when she sees him at her kitchen counter or in the mirror. As the years pass, as she continues to explore her story, as she develops more insight into family, heredity, and the father-daughter bond, he appears less often. Both her parents will always be with her. I understand, because mine are with me. In precise prose and beautifully rendered detail, Romeo explores her life in the sandwich generation. With increasing depth and insight she develops the relationship she wished she had when he was alive. "Grief is how we work out what was wrong in the pre-death relationship," she says toward the end of the book. We've been with her on the journey that took her to each discovery. Our connections with those we love don't always end with death. Any woman who has ever lost a father, any child who has ever lost a parent, anyone with a hole in her life that she keeps grieving should read this book. Romeo's narrative and analysis illuminate some tough issues and her ideas will spark insights into your own relationships. by B. Lynn Goodwin for Story Circle Book Reviews reviewing books by, for, and about women

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jill Smith

    I loved it. Who knew a loaf of Italian bread could mean so much?

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ryder

    Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter's Memoir of Love After Loss, is a stand-out among the many memoirs of parental loss on the shelves. One, because there are so few about the complexity of emotions for daughter's losing their father's through death, and two, because it is crafted so uniquely and written so beautifully. Each sentence more exquisite than the last. After her father's death, Lisa begins to "see" her father and have conversations with him in a way they didn't, or couldn't, when he was Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter's Memoir of Love After Loss, is a stand-out among the many memoirs of parental loss on the shelves. One, because there are so few about the complexity of emotions for daughter's losing their father's through death, and two, because it is crafted so uniquely and written so beautifully. Each sentence more exquisite than the last. After her father's death, Lisa begins to "see" her father and have conversations with him in a way they didn't, or couldn't, when he was alive. This generous, self-made man whom she psychologically distanced herself from as a precocious and privileged teenager and dismissive adult( don't we all revert to know-it-all kids again when we visit in our childhood homes?) gave her everything she could ever want or need --horses to fed her equestrian habit, money, cars, clothes, first-class travel -yet his lack of understanding for her quest for higher education and a career outside of the Italian homemaker role kept her distain for him fueled. Through a series of well-crafted scenes and flashbacks Lisa remembers and comes to better know her father, understanding the man he truly was, and not just the father figure she thought she knew. Though-out her memories he "shows up"--around corners, in cafes--and does so without his pockets loaded with material gifts, but instead with the ultimate gift of forgiveness that Lisa so desperately seeks. I cried while reading this book, having lost my own dad not long ago. Lisa's words are as universal as they are unique to her . While it has been shown that mothers tend to fret and worry more about their daughters, father's have the ability to give them quiet strength and push them higher, further. In the end, we learn to climb-- carefully, but we climb. I do think Lisa came to realize it was through her father's quiet admiration of her she has become the tremendously successful writer that she is today.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Julie VanDeKreke

    In Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter's Memoir of Love after Loss by Lisa Romeo, the author explores how even in death, we never let go of the ones we love; Romeo's memoir is no exception to this heartfelt relationship, and one cannot help but feel the author's emotional journey throughout. From the first page, you are instantly drawn into the narrator's personal walk with her father's relationship, as well as the strength and turmoil which leads her character's journey. There are many memoirs wh In Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter's Memoir of Love after Loss by Lisa Romeo, the author explores how even in death, we never let go of the ones we love; Romeo's memoir is no exception to this heartfelt relationship, and one cannot help but feel the author's emotional journey throughout. From the first page, you are instantly drawn into the narrator's personal walk with her father's relationship, as well as the strength and turmoil which leads her character's journey. There are many memoirs which touch on these subjects, but not one I have read which crafts it so eloquently. As a debut author, this is an astounding book and a must-read for anyone who has been through grief or loss of a loved one, or even those who have experienced some kind of personal loss or disconnection in a parental relationship. This memoir brings the love and understanding of a daughter and her father to a full circle, along with the hardships and triumph of love between both. Romeo's heart sits on the page for those to read alongside with one's own. There is a triumph of personal healing throughout the book, as for the reader as well. And, as for your heart...well, it will certainly thank you for giving it the gift of this memoir.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Amy Morgan

    I was privileged to receive a proof copy of Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter's Memoir of Love after Loss, by Lisa Romeo. Although centered around her relationship with her father during her life and continuing after his death, their story is supported by the other relationships in her life. Her mom, brother and sister, husband, sons, friends and family on the fringes. It takes a brave writing soul to expose their life and relationships along with all the raw emotions and thoughts carried with i I was privileged to receive a proof copy of Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter's Memoir of Love after Loss, by Lisa Romeo. Although centered around her relationship with her father during her life and continuing after his death, their story is supported by the other relationships in her life. Her mom, brother and sister, husband, sons, friends and family on the fringes. It takes a brave writing soul to expose their life and relationships along with all the raw emotions and thoughts carried with it. Lisa does exactly that with beautiful prose that resonates with sometimes crushing self-candor. Can a relationship grow after death? This journey doesn’t set out to prove that. But it does reinforce that a life and relationship examined can become fuller. More comforting. And even if not fully resolved, better understood. It’s family. It’s messy, and joyful. A mixture of give and take and how our roles of parent and child, meld, change and reverse over the course of our lives. This is a journey that you do not want to miss.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    I don't often read memoir, but am very glad I read this one. The author's honesty, her ambivalence, and her struggles with the complexity of her emotions won me over. I feel like I know Lisa Romeo, like I've made a friend. I don't often read memoir, but am very glad I read this one. The author's honesty, her ambivalence, and her struggles with the complexity of her emotions won me over. I feel like I know Lisa Romeo, like I've made a friend.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Heidi Fettig Parton

    When I come to the last word of the last page of a well-written memoir, I feel the same kind of satisfaction I experience upon crawling into my bed after a long trip: I've completed a journey with the author, I've delved into new emotional or physical territory (in the best memoirs, it's both) alongside the author. I come away from a good memoir, with newly gathered knowledge--the kind of deep-seated knowledge that typically comes through first-hand experience--incorporated into my being. I will When I come to the last word of the last page of a well-written memoir, I feel the same kind of satisfaction I experience upon crawling into my bed after a long trip: I've completed a journey with the author, I've delved into new emotional or physical territory (in the best memoirs, it's both) alongside the author. I come away from a good memoir, with newly gathered knowledge--the kind of deep-seated knowledge that typically comes through first-hand experience--incorporated into my being. I will now, and going forward, look at the world differently. This morning, I finished reading the last word of the last page of Lisa Romeo's forthcoming memoir, Starting with Goodbye. I am still resting in the glow of that "crawling into bed after a long trip" feeling. Near the end of the book, Romeo writes, "If an unexamined life isn't worth living, I come to believe an unexamined grief is a bigger loss." In this memoir, Romeo examines the grief she experiences over her father's death, as if through the lens of an anthropologist. With honesty and clarity, she unpacks the details of her father's death and final illness, before bringing her readers into the intimacy of the relationship she finds with her father only after he's gone. Romeo weaves in the details of her father's life (a son of immigrants who becomes successful in the polyester business) and shows how Romeo and other family members spooled out from this core life of her father, who sustained so many. I believe that, for me, the lasting imprint of this book (this journey) will be the model Romeo set forth for examining one's grief, not in some cloistered retreat of solitude, but in the midst of raising a family, while working to build a new career at mid-life. Romeo lifts up the veil on how it feels to be in the so-called "sandwich generation," caring for parents (far-away parents in this case) while still in the throes of raising children. Romeo shows that even without that hoped for "good death" of a parent or other loved one, we might still find our way to a good, or satisfying, sort of grief. Romeo’s memoir is definitely a journey worth taking.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Melody

    Last night I finished reading Starting With Good-Bye. This is one of those memoirs you want to keep reading, yet when you're done, you feel a little sad because you're not quite ready to leave the world of Lisa Romeo, her father her family. While reading the book, not only did I feel as if I was right there with the author as she gave us intimate details about her father and family and of what transpired after her father's passing, but I also found myself relating to my experiences of losing bot Last night I finished reading Starting With Good-Bye. This is one of those memoirs you want to keep reading, yet when you're done, you feel a little sad because you're not quite ready to leave the world of Lisa Romeo, her father her family. While reading the book, not only did I feel as if I was right there with the author as she gave us intimate details about her father and family and of what transpired after her father's passing, but I also found myself relating to my experiences of losing both parents as an adult as well and the urgency to keep them alive in spirit in one way or another, to not forget them and all the little details about them. The details in Starting With Good-Bye paints pictures of Lisa's Dad in such a way that we can actually see him and know him, the way he gestures, the way he looks, all of it and how she sees him even in her own children. Also, we get to go along on some of their amazing adventures and learn about the entire family as well. I highly recommend this memoir to everyone, whether you've lost a parent or not. Inevitably, almost all of us has lost someone we love. The quest to keep their spirits alive is real, and this is the first book I've read that delves into it in detail and assists in my own curiousity and fascination with what happens to our loved ones after they pass. Starting With Good-bye reminds me of all that and then some.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lorri

    Lisa Romeo’s “Starting with Goodbye” is written through the lens of a daughter grieving for her father in an unconventional way: through “talks” with him after he dies. Lisa weaves a vivid depiction of the father of her childhood and the insights she gains after his death into a compelling memoir that would make great company to anyone navigating their own loss. There were two insights that especially resonated with me. Lisa describes certain habits of her father’s that in the past she had taken Lisa Romeo’s “Starting with Goodbye” is written through the lens of a daughter grieving for her father in an unconventional way: through “talks” with him after he dies. Lisa weaves a vivid depiction of the father of her childhood and the insights she gains after his death into a compelling memoir that would make great company to anyone navigating their own loss. There were two insights that especially resonated with me. Lisa describes certain habits of her father’s that in the past she had taken as reproaches: that he didn’t care enough to pay attention when she spoke, that he didn’t trust her to take care of her responsibilities. Through their reimagined relationship she wonders whether she “assigned motives where there was only love.” And the “visits” from her dead father, she decides, are a way of telling her to pay attention, a piece of advice she immediately acts upon. Likely, her relationship with her sons, her husband, and everyone else in her circle will be the stronger for the new ties she’s built, unaccountably, with her dead father.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ann Evans

    Lisa Romeo’s new memoir, STARTING WITH GOOD-BYE, is an Everywoman’s tale. My father was not like her father, but her story is mine, and will resonate with all women who realize too late that their father would have been, if they had ever been able to talk to each other without bickering, their best advisor, guardian, and friend. My own father died when I was twenty-four. It took fifty years for him to come back and say hello, and that was in my dreams. Lisa’s father comes back as a ghost shortly a Lisa Romeo’s new memoir, STARTING WITH GOOD-BYE, is an Everywoman’s tale. My father was not like her father, but her story is mine, and will resonate with all women who realize too late that their father would have been, if they had ever been able to talk to each other without bickering, their best advisor, guardian, and friend. My own father died when I was twenty-four. It took fifty years for him to come back and say hello, and that was in my dreams. Lisa’s father comes back as a ghost shortly after his death. At times, I found myself wishing this had turned out to be more of a ghost story, but there are no chills running down the back, no strange knocks at the door, just sightings of her father and a recounting of their conversations. Though Lisa was raised a Catholic and retains remnants of that upbringing, she does not make any claims about the provenance of this phantom. He just shows up and has a little chat. The effect is more charming than creepy and provides a layer of humor. She introduces a wonderful quote from Emily Dickinson "Absence is condensed presence." Maybe that is what her father’s ghost is. There’s a lot more to the book than just Lisa and her father. There is a peek into the life of an equestrian, observations about the effects of having been raised wealthy, an introduction to Italian immigrant culture, lots of references to New Jersey, and a picture of the tangles and contradictions that are common to every family, which are always interesting to parse. Lisa’s delicate longing for the past pervades the book. Her transparent writing will remind readers that it pervades our lives too. When I finished it, I heaved a deep sigh, then did what Lisa did; I looked to my loved ones, my ambitions, and my own life, and took the next step forward. By the way, STARTING WITH GOOD-BYE reassures all parents that though your children might think you’re a doofus and don’t want to introduce you to their friends, they will openly love you some day, even if only after you’re dead. I’ll take it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    What makes Lisa Romeo's debut stand apart revolves around the intimacy of the voice. Each page dives without fear into another revelation. Although this memoir encircles the author's relationship with her father after his death, the backstory seamlessly finds its way onto the page. And although grief scatters itself throughout, nothing maudlin or sentimental shows up. "Starting with Goodbye" gives the reader such close-up images that I felt as if I were sitting on a couch with the author herself What makes Lisa Romeo's debut stand apart revolves around the intimacy of the voice. Each page dives without fear into another revelation. Although this memoir encircles the author's relationship with her father after his death, the backstory seamlessly finds its way onto the page. And although grief scatters itself throughout, nothing maudlin or sentimental shows up. "Starting with Goodbye" gives the reader such close-up images that I felt as if I were sitting on a couch with the author herself, sipping a glass of fine wine, listening to her speak with ease and confidence. This debut discusses grief in a new and vigorous way with a point of view that while at first may seem unbelievable, soon relaxes into an understandable and accepting "conversation." There is something beautiful about a memoir that includes the highs and lows of a relationship. Something so special about a story that does not shy from the toughness of parent/child dynamics that do not leave us. Ever. This is that special memoir.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Christine Corrigan

    I don't often write reviews. Lisa Romeo's Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter's Memoir of Love after Loss warranted one. It is a must-read for anyone who has suffered the loss of a parent. After her dad died, Romeo began to see and have conversations with her father that she could not, and did not, have when he was alive. Through those encounters, Romeo comes to understand and love her dad in a way that she could not, and did not, when he was alive. Through her grief and mourning, which is not maud I don't often write reviews. Lisa Romeo's Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter's Memoir of Love after Loss warranted one. It is a must-read for anyone who has suffered the loss of a parent. After her dad died, Romeo began to see and have conversations with her father that she could not, and did not, have when he was alive. Through those encounters, Romeo comes to understand and love her dad in a way that she could not, and did not, when he was alive. Through her grief and mourning, which is not maudlin or over-indulged, she sees that the dead are always with us. They live in our memories, in our families, and in our children. Isn't that what it's all about in the end? Her language and scenes are exquisitely wrought and a pleasure to read. She is honest and unabashed about who she is as a daughter, wife, mom and writer. I lost my own dad 28 years ago, now, and she described scenes that were so similar, so true to my own experience that I dropped the book on the floor. Seriously. Book in hand. Book on floor. Repeatedly. If someone's writing is powerful enough to make one drop the book on the floor, well then, fellow bibliophiles, that book is a keeper.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Carole Duff

    Wow! How did Lisa Romeo know what I was thinking when my father was dying then gone? She knows because she welcomes the reader into her reflective thoughts, good and bad. Ms. Romeo was the youngest child in her family, a pampered child of wealth. Then she grew up, married, and had children. Her father became a cross-country voice at the other end of the phone before he passed the receiver to Lisa’s mother. Who was this complex man, really? Like many daughters and sons, we fail to ask these questi Wow! How did Lisa Romeo know what I was thinking when my father was dying then gone? She knows because she welcomes the reader into her reflective thoughts, good and bad. Ms. Romeo was the youngest child in her family, a pampered child of wealth. Then she grew up, married, and had children. Her father became a cross-country voice at the other end of the phone before he passed the receiver to Lisa’s mother. Who was this complex man, really? Like many daughters and sons, we fail to ask these questions while our parents are alive, questions that haunt us after they are dead. But Lisa’s father visits her after his death. Their conversations guide the author and reader through grief to acceptance. We can never really know our fathers, but perhaps we will come to love them better and ourselves when Starting with Goodbye.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rita Ciresi

    Many parent-child memoirs are about caring for mom/dad in their old age. Starting With Goodbye has an interesting and unusual premise: caring about a parent after he has passed away. In this heartfelt story, Lisa Romeo forges a relationship with her Italian-American father after his death, moving back and forth between the flashy, affluent world of her childhood and the more modest life she now lives as a writer/teacher/editor. This memoir is not filled with high drama or trauma, but explores ho Many parent-child memoirs are about caring for mom/dad in their old age. Starting With Goodbye has an interesting and unusual premise: caring about a parent after he has passed away. In this heartfelt story, Lisa Romeo forges a relationship with her Italian-American father after his death, moving back and forth between the flashy, affluent world of her childhood and the more modest life she now lives as a writer/teacher/editor. This memoir is not filled with high drama or trauma, but explores how ordinary people communicate their love for one another in imperfect ways. It presents a unique question-is it possible to get to know people even better after they're gone?--and is a valuable addition to the literature of grief.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Zach

    Towards the end of the book the author talks about how one of her friends who reads some early drafts of her work compares it to magical realism, talks with her departed father months and years after he has passed on. This is a book about grief, but it is also a book about life and about the relationships of children and parents, both alive and gone from this world. However, as this book shows just because one of the people in the relationship is deceased, that doesn't mean the relationship is d Towards the end of the book the author talks about how one of her friends who reads some early drafts of her work compares it to magical realism, talks with her departed father months and years after he has passed on. This is a book about grief, but it is also a book about life and about the relationships of children and parents, both alive and gone from this world. However, as this book shows just because one of the people in the relationship is deceased, that doesn't mean the relationship is done evolving. Thought provoking and heartfelt, Starting with Goodbye will resonate with anyone who has lost a loved one, anyone who wishes that they could talk to that love one maybe just one more time.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Janell Madison

    In the book, Starting With Goodbye, Author Lisa Romeo shares openly and honestly about her family-the emotional times, the hard times and the wonderful times. An honest, courageous and beautiful sharing of the deepest parts of herself. Well written, raw and loving-Green Gables Book Reviews The book Starting With Goodbye is a book that as you read, you realize that this could be me, might be me, will probably be me someday in my future. How long will it be? What do I need to start to watch for? So In the book, Starting With Goodbye, Author Lisa Romeo shares openly and honestly about her family-the emotional times, the hard times and the wonderful times. An honest, courageous and beautiful sharing of the deepest parts of herself. Well written, raw and loving-Green Gables Book Reviews The book Starting With Goodbye is a book that as you read, you realize that this could be me, might be me, will probably be me someday in my future. How long will it be? What do I need to start to watch for? Soon, your thoughts take to you to places like “how do I prepare for if this is my family”…and chances are high that many of our families will be in this situation someday. The way that Romeo is so open and sharing of her family’s wonderful times and hard times could be a glimpse into any of our families. From the difficulty of being a long distance daughter and having to rely on others for information and help, to the phone call no one wants to get, and to the times of working together with siblings to make the best choices for the future, Romeo gives an honest, and at times emotional account. Well written, I would imagine a wonderful healing piece to write for the author, and potentially a guide for others. A side note, as a reader, please be sure to read the Postscript, it contains my favorite part of the whole book. -Green Gables Book Reviews Starting With Goodbye, Lisa Romeo, University of Nevada Press, Publication Date: May 1, 2018

  21. 5 out of 5

    Emily Guziak

    Lisa Romeo's "Starting with Goodbye" will lift your heart and open you to a new way of looking at the loss of a loved family member or friend. In her self-deprecating style, Lisa shows us how nearly impossible it is for us to truly know the people who love us most, our parents, during our self-involved childhoods and young adulthood, Reading "Starting with Goodbye" gives one permission to "revisit" those we have lost, and continue to become intimate with them. It is truly liberating for anyone w Lisa Romeo's "Starting with Goodbye" will lift your heart and open you to a new way of looking at the loss of a loved family member or friend. In her self-deprecating style, Lisa shows us how nearly impossible it is for us to truly know the people who love us most, our parents, during our self-involved childhoods and young adulthood, Reading "Starting with Goodbye" gives one permission to "revisit" those we have lost, and continue to become intimate with them. It is truly liberating for anyone who has lost a loved one too soon, and a joy to read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    This is a book club book and I am not in the right place in my life to be reading this book, but I can appreciate the beautifully crafted sentences that describe Lisa's exploration of her father, their relationship, and her life after him. Memoirs, by their nature, are personal and not always something others can understand and/or relate to. Lisa had an interesting father and a challenging relationship with him. Distance, lifestyle, and age meant they really didn't have a chance to know each oth This is a book club book and I am not in the right place in my life to be reading this book, but I can appreciate the beautifully crafted sentences that describe Lisa's exploration of her father, their relationship, and her life after him. Memoirs, by their nature, are personal and not always something others can understand and/or relate to. Lisa had an interesting father and a challenging relationship with him. Distance, lifestyle, and age meant they really didn't have a chance to know each other as adults which is probably not unusual and sad. Glad I read it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jenna McGuiggan

    Lisa Romeo has written a fabulous book that is engaging, compelling, and beautiful. In this memoir about her relationship with her father (both before and after his death), she creates a page-turner from events that are at once commonplace and extraordinary. The writing is strong and lyrical, while always feeling down-to-earth and relatable. This book will resonate with anyone who has dealt with love or loss, which is all of us.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Kirchner

    Relationships change over the course of a lifetime, and in this gorgeously rendered look back at a complicated one, Lisa Romeo gives us all something to contemplate--what do we choose to do with our memories? Whether you've lost a parent or mourn a less than perfect relationship with one, you'll find gems within. Relationships change over the course of a lifetime, and in this gorgeously rendered look back at a complicated one, Lisa Romeo gives us all something to contemplate--what do we choose to do with our memories? Whether you've lost a parent or mourn a less than perfect relationship with one, you'll find gems within.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Susan Young-Schmidt

    Lisa's Romeo's reflective, honest memoir takes the reader along with her as she grapples with the complex emotions of grief and losing a parent before that bond is fully realized. It's a moving tribute to her father, his life, and their relationship. The beautiful language and compelling story, which involves regular visits from her late father, kept me glued from beginning to end. Must read! Lisa's Romeo's reflective, honest memoir takes the reader along with her as she grapples with the complex emotions of grief and losing a parent before that bond is fully realized. It's a moving tribute to her father, his life, and their relationship. The beautiful language and compelling story, which involves regular visits from her late father, kept me glued from beginning to end. Must read!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Monet

    Beautiful memoir about dad and daughter relationship I appreciated this beautiful story. With candor and honesty Lisa tells us the story of her relationship with her dad and her feelings when he is dying. I was moved by the conflicting emotions. I could relate.thanks Lisa for this moving memoir.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Katy Yocom

    This is a loving memoir of a daughter learning to say goodbye to her dad, and learning all the ways in which he'll never leave her. I'm grateful to have read this beautiful and moving book, which says so many things that I have felt but never been able to put into words. This is a loving memoir of a daughter learning to say goodbye to her dad, and learning all the ways in which he'll never leave her. I'm grateful to have read this beautiful and moving book, which says so many things that I have felt but never been able to put into words.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Reback

    This memoir feels like the author is in the room with us, baring her fears, regrets and telling us an awful lot about her personality. I especially liked her use of tense.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Randy Greenberg

    From Deb's e-mail-Sherrie's list From Deb's e-mail-Sherrie's list

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

    I liked this book. Well written, funny and interesting.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...