Good Riddance

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 05 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

A gentle read, I wasn’t gripped by it. I didn’t feel that the central character really did much during the course of the book, and I didn’t quite warm to her. The ending was a bit of a damp squib.
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This was my first time reading a book by Lipman. I had high hopes this would be a cute rom-com, but it missed the mark for me. There seemed to be a lot of unnecessary filler in the plot, and this might just be me but it wasn’t funny. I don’t think the categorization of rom-com is accurate at all. I didn’t feel connected to the characters at all, Daphne really frustrated me at times.
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An old yearbook brings up a past no one expected.in ther hands of a would-be documentarian. Now with old secrets in the open, Daphne Maritch must face the truth.  Does it really change the present?  Should it?
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I don't like that my last two reviews have been on the negative side, but once again , I had a difficult time with this book. I started to read it several times, and never once could it hold my attention. The times I was able to read more than a few pages at once- which were few and far between - I was annoyed with the emphasis on an old, discarded yearbook.  Initially, I found the premise very promising, but I don't think the plot quit lived up to the expectations I had. I didn't finish, to be honest, so to be fair I will not be reviewing this elsewhere or hand-selling  it at my store.
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Elinor Lipman can always be counted on for a good solid romp of a read that usually includes a few romps in the bedroom, as well! Good Riddance doesn't disappoint. Daphne, a divorcee living in a NYC apartment building, goes on a cleaning binge and throws away the high school yearbook that her mother willed to her. Seemingly a benign act, yet this being her mother's prized possession, of course there was deeper meaning to this marked up old yearbook. Geneva, a filmmaker and fellow resident of the building, digs the book out of the trash and decides to investigate because she thinks the Pinkerton High School students within are fodder for her next documentary. This was the school where Daphne’s mother was yearbook advisor, not a student, but she had affinity for her students, documented their achievements and progression in life within its pages, and attended their high school reunions.  Geneva convinces Daphne to attend the reunion where secrets are indeed revealed, the sort that one doesn’t want made into a documentary film. Other characters include Daphne’s father, who relocates to NYC after his wife’s death to start a new life alongside his daughter, as well as love interests for both of them (did I mention romps in bed?), and an alumnus from Pinkerton High School that is the reason behind why the yearbook was willed to Daphne. Not the best book you’ll ever read, but it was thoroughly entertaining and definitely had an unusual premise – a solid 3.5 stars. 

#GoodRiddance #NetGalley
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i found it really difficult to read - it had an interesting storyline but it had poor execution. Most of the characters were great - my favorite being Tom but this book didn't captivate me at all. There were so many unnecessary parts to the story and I just feel like it could've had a quarter of it removed. The ending was lovely and my favorite part of the entire book was definitely the last line. As I mentioned, it was a great plot - I just feel like it needed another revision or two to make it a great book.
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This is my first Elinor Lipman book, and I found the writing to be high quality, but the main character and plot to be lacking.

The book centers on Daphne, a divorcee and internet chocolate candy making student, who throws away her mother's annotated yearbook after inheriting it. The book is found by her "documentary filmmaker" neighbor, who decides it's time to make Daphne's mother the focus of her latest project.

This leads to many secrets being unearthed as Daphne struggles to reconcile her mom with the woman she was, and keep her family intact. 

In addition, the book deals with the relocation and love interest of Daphne's dad, her budding interest in a neighbor and actor, and upheavals with her ex-husband.

There is a lot going on, yet for much of the book, I was disinterested in the plot. I would like to try another book by this author, as I did enjoy her writing style.

Thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley.com for my advanced reader copy.
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Good Riddance is a fun, light-hearted, quick read. It is a little outdated but altogether funny with laughter, secrets, and a lot of fun.
Daphne is a great character, actually all the characters are great. I loved her interactions with all of them, including the yearbook thief Geneva. 
It really is a delightfully fun read. I was laughing throughout.
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Good Riddance is how I can sum up this book - I started, then put it down several times before I finally read it just to get rid of it.
The narrative is just not that funny to make reading it seem anything but pointless.  I couldn't  figure out what it was really about for the longest time  - there was no reason to care either way about what happened  to the high school yearbook she threw out, so why try to force a story out of it?
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Good Riddance is one of those books that I can see being turned into a movie. Mae Whitman would play the part of Daphne, the MC. Rebel Wilson, the part of crazy-neighbor, Geneva. And Lucas Till would play the role of Jeremy? I don’t know, I’m still questioning the male lead role, but the ladies I could see playing these roles as plain as day, as if the parts were written for them. And seeing how (it seems) that author Elinor Lipman is such a big fan of the TV show Riverdale, I can see why she would want to write something that would maybe, eventually make it to the screen. 

SIDE RANT: On the Riverdale note, I, too, am a fan of the show. I both liked and disliked the constant mention of the show and it’s characters, but for the life of me, I couldn’t place “Timmy” at all. So, I’ll admit, I did totally IMDB the show, looking for a “Timmy” which does not exist, but please, if you can figure out who “Timmy” is referring to, because it’s totally going to annoy me until I re-watch every single episode until I find him. Then, maybe, I’ll have  Jeremy’s actor nailed down! END SIDE RANT.

However, that being said, I don’t think this novel should be made into a movie in the slightest. While I did find myself LOL-ing several times while reading, I often found myself either bored or annoyed. Daphne was too whiny (not a reflection of Mae Whitman, FYI), and I found the dynamic between Daphne and Geneva, and Daphne and Jeremy to be very out there (both of which usually make a good movie.)

On top of that, the story of “the yearbook” in question never really comes completely to fruition, and I felt that someone like Geneva never would have given up as easily (whether if that is to finish what she started or to just badger Daphne about it.)

Last note to make about this book is that while it is classified as a “romance,” I have a very hard time classifying it as such myself. “Humorous Literature?” Yes. But “Romance?” Definitely not. Yes, there is a love interest/relationship, several actually, but not in the “Literature Romance” sense. So if you’re looking for that, this is not your book. If you’re looking for something to LOL to, then this one will give your your chuckles.

 

Dani's Score out of 5: 📚📚📚🔖 (3.5/5)


*** A copy of this review will post to my blog (www.danithebookaholic.com) on Tuesday, March 19, 2019. ***
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This was light and sweet, but ultimately not for me. I couldn't relate or get into the main protagonist (Daphne) or why she was doing what she was doing (bumbling through life?). The plot never really progressed but the writing has some great wry humor and some actual laugh out loud moments. The best parts of the book are Daphne's interactions with her newly widowed father.
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This was a fun story about how children don't know their mothers at all. Very easy to read and engagng with good characters you can't help but like.
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I almost didn’t read this at all but was captivated by the NYT Book review last weekend.  Family secrets, good writing, interesting adult chapter book like format, witty easy breezy heroine who stays with you after the book ends
and her fun supporting cast made this play like novel really a great break from the all pervasive psych thrillers...Thanks to the author and the
publicist for reminding me how much I love literary fiction..four plus stars especially since I’ll go back and check out other titles by Lipman
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This was a quick read and kind of fun if you could overlook the absolute implausibility of it, which is difficult. Daphne is just ridiculously... well, I'll say naive, but stupid seems to be more appropriate. She makes stupid life choices in love, and then she throws away a 50-year-old yearbook of her mother's after her mother's death, which comes back to bite her when crazy, unrealistic neighbor Geneva steals it out of the trash. Meanwhile she starts a friends-with-benefits relationship with the conveniently perfect guy across the hall and her wonderful dad decides to move to New York and they hang out together like BFFs of the same generation. I feel like Lipman could have dug a lot deeper into the meaning of her mom's yearbook notes and the repercussions of them being exposed rather than making it a mini-drama all about Daphne. It just all felt so silly. Despite that, I enjoyed it to an extent, and you know I just love giving 3 stars to everyone!
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Good Riddance is a light literary romance about Daphne, recently divorced almost thirty year old woman living in Manhattan who attempts to spark joy by cleaning out her apartment and finds that throwing out her mother's copy of a 1968 high school yearbook changes her life.

This book has a light hearted tone but it's improbability regarding biology and extremely dated everything else makes it a bust. 

In 1968, Daphne's mother was a first year teacher who won over the students to the extent they dedicated the yearbook to her. She may have written snarky comments in it, but Daphne's mother faithfully kept up with the class of 1968 and when Daphne's pushy neighbor, Geneva, picks up the discarded yearbook, she pushes Daphne into attending the upcoming reunion.

At the reunion, Daphne finds out that her father isn't her father--bio dad was one of her mother's students. (They got involved right after he graduated, as if this makes it better)

Anyway. Despite it being 2019, which means Daphne was born in 1989. Which means her mother got pregnant with her in her mid40s, which means she had Daphne's sister Holly when she was closer to 50 than 40, which makes the biological odds of both pregnancies pretty small. So, biological stuff? Nope. Because how does a rising politician keep a decades long affair, not to mention a child, secret these days? 

Then we get to the rest of the book. People still email. Like, to send non work messages! No. Sorry. And the Thanksgiving get together that mentions Bernie Madoff? The 1988 Olympics? Martha Stewart in her pre-Snoop days? Yikes. And then the one person at this Thanksgiving who mentions having taught Woody and Soon-Yi's children in preschool? Given that said kids haven't been in preschool for almost two decades, I felt like I was reading a draft of a novel set in the 1990s, with the Madoff aside thrown in to make it current for today. Which still misses today by over a decade.

Then we get to the one modern reference. Riverdale. 

Jeremy, Daphne's across the hall neighbor and love interest is an extra on the show Riverdale. Except the show films in Canada. And not in Toronto, whuch would be really pushing Jeremy's location. Riverdale is filmed in Vancouver so Jeremy's decision (aided, in funding, by his wealthy parents who live in California) to live in Manhattan? Not even probable for an extra on a tv show that films on another coast. In another country.

I'm all for suspension of disbelief but setting aside the popular culture reference that's poorly researched (does Lipman not have a relative or assistant who could do that?), the rest of the extremely dated references (there's no Uber in this universe? people still use Craigslist? Bernie Madoff? the no longer small children of Woody Allen and Soon'Yi? Eeesh), the biological improbability of Daphne existing in the first place makes Good Riddance something that should have sparked joy about two decades ago. Now it reads like an old draft of a novel found lying around on a zip drive (there's a dated reference to fit this mess of a book) that was spellchecked and had Riverdale tossed in for...reasons? (To be trendy? That was two seasons of Riverdale ago.)

As I said before, Eeesh.
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Elnor Lipman has been a favorite author of mine for many years, but this book didn't hit the mark for me. Perhaps because it's being billed as a romantic comedy. There is a romance in the book-and there is a situation that could be considered comedic but the dialogue is so stilted that it was hard for me to enjoy any aspects of the story. I found the main character unlikeable and wished she could develop just a modicum of restraint. I also dislike how Lipman treats the subject of paternity and infidelity. Her way of writing these topics is so breezy it just doesn't ring true for me.
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Daphne’s mom leaves her an old high school yearbook when she passes. It isn’t just any old yearbook, it is from the first year that her mom started teaching at the local high school. Her mom went back to the class of 69’s every single year and every year, she would add little connotations to the names of the students. Daphne, never understanding her mom’s need to do this, tosses the book into the recycling in her building. A neighbor picks it up and this begins a story filled with laughter, secrets, and a lot of fun.

This is really a delightfully fun read. I was laughing throughout the whole thing. It wasn’t heavy, even as the secrets were revealed, and I really enjoyed that. Daphne is a great character. For what she has gone through, even in her fanatical way of thinking, she really comes out on top. All the characters are great. I loved her interactions with all of them, including the yearbook thief Geneva. With all the heaviness in this crazy world right now, this was the perfect remedy.

Thanks to Netgalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for a copy of this book.
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This was my first Elinor Lipman book and i can say it won't be the last. I really like her writing. Good Riddance was a self journey book.. I really liked the main character - Daphne - which is important for if i am reading this genre. I enjoyed reading this cute story. Thank you for this early copy.
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After reading a few books in a row that were on the heavier/more serious side I was so excited to dive into Lipman's latest book. Good Riddance was the perfect mix of light and fun with great characters. I really enjoyed Daphne's relationship with her dad and it was fun to watch their relationship expand as he moved to NYC. Geneva and Jeremy were also great characters and I loved their apartment as a setting. I never quite bought into the romantic relationship between Daphne and Jeremy and I felt like Geneva's character/storyline seemed to suddenly drop before the end of the novel, making her feel a bit forgotten after being such a big part of the beginning of the book. Overall it wasn't my favorite book I've read by Elinor Lipman, but it was still enjoyable and I can't wait to keep remind through her backlist.
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This was such a fun read! I've enjoyed Elinor Lipman's past books, and this was very much in her wheelhouse. Also enjoyed the understated romance between Daphne and Jeremy. One thing I will note, though, is that Daphne read a little older than her age (which I think was supposed to be around 30 or early 30s). She just didn't feel believably 30ish to me. Aging her up a few years would have made some of her speech and cultural references more believable.
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