Cover Image: Three Words for Goodbye

Three Words for Goodbye

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Member Reviews

I enjoy both of these authors work so I was excited to read Three Words For Goodbye. I went between an e copy and audio and I have to say I loved the audio book because the grandmothers voice was like melted butter on my soul. I want t o look her up and see what else she has read so I can listen to her more.
Three Words for Goodbye is about two sisters who must put aside their differences and come together to fulfill their grandmothers last wish. They are to deliver three letters to specific people who had some sort of impact on their grandmother when she was growing up. The girls have busy lives and much better things to do then to seek out people who may not want to be sought after, but as they start on their mission they learn things about their grandmother they never knew. Time is not on their side as their grandmother is very ill, can the girls come together and help their grandmother get the answers and closer she needs/ They will do their best!
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Three Words for Goodbye tells a story of sisterhood, redemption, and love. The message of the story is to forgive. I found the characters to be very relatable. They each have their passions, dreams, and ambitions. However, I found the story to be very slow moving and predictable. Still, it is a moving novel of friendship.
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I loved this collab with Gaynor and Webb. Three Words for Goodbye is a beautiful story of sisterhood, family, and making things right.
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I am a huge fan of these two ladies. I am shocked that somehow I had not written my review up to now. Total oversight on my part. This book was so perfect in every way, I am a travel advisor and the travel parts appealed so much, but the relationship of the sisters Clare and Madeleine was just so authentic. The hook was the grandmother Violet making them travel together to deliver the goodbyes that she could not deliver. I am always a sucker for old mysteries that are begging to be uncovered. I was thrilled to travel along through the pages of this story and I was happy that the sisters experienced satisfying romance. It was another massive hit by two uber talented authors in their own right. #NetGalley #ThreeWordsForGoodbye
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Great book. Highly recommend and will most defiantly read more by this author and suggest to others!
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Sisterhood is at the centre of this road trip historical fiction. I was completely drawn in by the story of two sisters needing to repair their relationship while also fulfilling one of their grandmother’s final wishes, and it was fascinating seeing the book set against a changing Interwar Europe.
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Wonderful story by one of my favorite writing duos. Two sisters find that they will have to put aside their differences as they journey Europe to fulfill their grandmother's dying wish. Set against the stunning backdrop of 1937 Europe, and might I add, some exquisite modes of transportation, I enjoyed every bit of this fictional holiday. As the sisters traveled each leg of their journey, I was enthralled by their adventures and how these were the catalyst for their individual journeys of self-discovery. 

Gaynor and Webb have created a heartwarming story filled with romance and adventure. But most of all, a beautiful story of family and the special bond between sisters. 

I received a complimentary copy from the author/publisher and Netgalley. I was not required to write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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I first fell in love with Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb when I read their first co-written novel Last Christmas in Paris, and then when I got to meet Webb at a book event, I loved them even more! So, I got really excited when I saw Three Words for Goodbye was coming out. This writing duo has serious talent, and their writing is so seamless that you would never know there are 2 authors. I love that this novel focused on Nellie Bly, aka Elizabeth Cochran, especially since I didn't know much about her going into it. I love the idea of her trip around the world in 72 days, but the author's note and the novel made me even more curious about her exposé on Blackwell's Island asylum. Thanks to this writing duo I will be looking into that now and I love when historical fiction makes me even more curious about history. I also loved getting to be on the Queen Mary, Orient Express, and the Hindenburg as part of Clara and Madeleine's travels.

The audiobook for Three Words for Goodbye was magnificent and I highly recommend it. The narrators are Suzanne Toren, Ann Marie Gideon & Megan Tusing, and they were perfect for the roles of Clara, Madeleine, and their grandmother Violet. I love that each viewpoint is voiced by a different narrator, and they brought these ladies to life for me in the best way. I loved all 3 viewpoints individually for different reasons, and I really liked the touch of foreshadowing we would get from Violet. You know something is coming you just don't know what, and that hint of mystery was a fun addition to the story. This was a very captivating and touching story, and there is so much history packed into these pages which I loved. The setting of 1937 made for a tense read at some points, especially when the sisters would come across Nazis, and this is a part of history I haven't read too much about. Overall, Three Words for Goodbye was as fascinating as it was mesmerizing, and if you are a fan of historical fiction, I recommend reading it!

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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"The most interesting path always likes ahead." 

Violet is dying of lung cancer and is sending granddaughters Clara and Maddie to Europe "to put things in order". Violet wants the girls to deliver three letters to three very important people, but this trip isn't just about Violet; she wants the girls to find answers to their own questions...who they are, what they care about and where and with whom they will be most happy. 

I really enjoyed this book as with the other two books I've read by this author duo (Last Christmas in Paris 4 stars and Meet Me in Monaco 5 stars). I also very much enjoyed Heather Webb's The Phantom's Apprentice 4 stars).
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The dynamic duo strike again...
Three Words For Goodbye is the third outing from authors Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb.
It is such a wonderful read as we have come to expect from these two very talented authors.
They are meticulous in their writing, their research and their love for the story.
Two main characters, each author writing one and even after three books, I still can't figure out who is writing which character...
We meet Clara and her sister Madeline in this story. Polar opposites in how they live their lives...
A falling out has kept them apart and it takes a planned trip by their dying grandmother Violet for them to come together.
Violet sends them on a trip to Europe to deliver some very important letters before she leaves this world. 
Taking in the sights of Paris, Venice & Vienna, Clara & Madeline must put their differences aside to carry out Violet's final wishes.
Both ladies are unhappy in their own lives but confiding in each other seems such a long way off.
I loved how both of their passions shone through in this story.
Clara and her love for her art came into its own.
Stopping at a moments notice to sketch something or someone as the light fell correctly on them gave me goosebumps and made me envious for a talent like it.
Madeline and her journalistic ambitions were put to the test in all that was happening in Europe ahead of the war. She had her ambition but just needed the courage to believe in herself and her talent.
I simply adored this read and as a flicked each page, I hoped these two ladies could put their differences aside to become friends as well as sisters on their journey. I really felt they were going to need each other...
Wonderful, breathtaking and fabulous, this story will captivate you...
The sights of Paris, Venice & Vienna will enthral you...
And you will leave down this read with a sadness for all that happened...
So well worth your time 💕
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Veteran authors, Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb, really are a winning team if you ask me! I have loved many of their novels and when I saw this one was coming out I just knew I had to get my hands on it! Each author has their own unique voice and style but at the end of the day, they blend together so well that their books never feel disjointed or confusing.

Sometimes with multiple authors, it can be hard to marry the two different voices to create a well written story, but I have never felt like that with Gaynor and Webb. I have read their own independent novels as well as their collaborative works and I always finish their books feeling like I read a well written book with interesting characters and voices!

The other things that drew me into this book was that it featured the RMS Queen Mary. The Queen Mary is like the more modern version of the Titanic…a luxurious boat tailored to the upper crust of society. I didn’t know too much about the Queen Mary prior to reading this book but I did know that it was a fancy-schmancy ship for it’s time so I was eager to learn more!

From Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb, the bestselling authors of Meet Me in Monaco, comes a coming-of-age novel set in pre-WWII Europe, perfect for fans of Jennifer Robson, Beatriz Williams, and Kate Quinn.  

Three cities, two sisters, one chance to correct the past . . .

New York, 1937: When estranged sisters Clara and Madeleine Sommers learn their grandmother is dying, they agree to fulfill her last wish: to travel across Europe—together. They are to deliver three letters, in which Violet will say goodbye to those she hasn’t seen since traveling to Europe forty years earlier; a journey inspired by famed reporter, Nellie Bly.

Clara, ever-dutiful, sees the trip as an inconvenient detour before her wedding to millionaire Charles Hancock, but it’s also a chance to embrace her love of art. Budding journalist Madeleine relishes the opportunity to develop her ambitions to report on the growing threat of Hitler’s Nazi party and Mussolini’s control in Italy.

Constantly at odds with each other as they explore the luxurious Queen Mary, the Orient Express, and the sights of Paris and  Venice,, Clara and Madeleine wonder if they can fulfill Violet’s wish, until a shocking truth about their family brings them closer together. But as they reach Vienna to deliver the final letter, old grudges threaten their reconciliation again. As political tensions rise, and Europe feels increasingly volatile, the pair are glad to head home on the Hindenburg, where fate will play its hand in the final stage of their journey (summary from Goodreads)

This was just the book for my summer! Since I couldn’t go on any big trips this year (thanks COVID), I got to venture all over Europe on an elegant cruise ship thanks to this book! It was a wonderful read for adventure and escapism. If you are stuck home this summer (or fall!) then this is the book you want to get loaded on your device or pick up in the store! It was super fun to ‘visit’ all the locations with Clara and Madeleine. I also loved that it was a sister-sister journey. My sister and I are not that close so it was fun to explore this sibling relationship. I always dreamed of traveling the world with my sister but we have a big age gap and different lives so reading a book like this was a nice way to live that dream vicariously!

I liked how Clara and Madeleine’s relationship was the central focus of this book, it is very much a story about sisters and forgiveness. While not overly emotional, it was a great portrayal of the challenges and complexities of women and sisters. It struck a good balance between emotion and keeping it light. When I picked this one up I wasn’t really in the mood for something gut-wrenching and heavy but I also didn’t just want to read mindless fluff either. So this book found that delicate balance for me that I was craving! For me personally, I saw myself more in Madeleine but in reality I am probably more like Clara.

I think the only part that I wanted more of was more history of the ship. The book did a great job capturing the pre WWII political climate, but I felt like we only scratched the surface of the Queen Mary and its history. It would have been nice to have a little more history too just because I like history and that as one of the reasons I picked this one up—for more on the ship. But then again I wasn’t looking for a book ON the Queen Mary, but I would have liked to have seen it take a more active role in the story. Overall this was a wonderful option for summer reading and I loved my time with the characters!

Book Info and Rating
Format 400 pages, Paperback

PublishedJuly 27, 2021 by William Morrow Paperbacks

ISBN9780062965240 (ISBN10: 0062965247)

Free review copy provided by publisher, William Morrow in partnership with Tall Poppy Writers/Bloggers, in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5 stars

Genre: historical fiction
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I love everything that this dynamic duo writes and this lovely book is the best yet! Filled with mystery, old love and adult sisters becoming friends! I love how seamless this story comes together with the history in a way that draws me into the time and culture. A beautiful must read!
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Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb cowrote one of my favorite historical fiction novels, Last Christmas in Paris, so whenever they come out with a new book I immediately add it to my list. 

In Three Words for Goodbye, we follow two sisters as different as can be who go on a whirlwind trip at the request of their dying grandmother all across France, Italy, and Austria all at the rise of Hitler just before WWII. 

During their trip they find out hidden parts of their beloved grandmother's past and they also find out a lot about themselves in the process. 

I enjoyed reading about the sister's journey and learning about the Hindenburg Zeppelin disaster. I just wish some of the plot wasn't so predictable and rushed at the end. 

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Three Words for Goodbye is a story set in Europe pre–World War 2.  The look at the world as it seems unaware of the war that is heading for them was interesting but also scary.  While there was talk of Hitler and his army, it was mostly about two estranged sisters who vow to carry out their dying aunts last wishes.  In doing so they get the extraordinary opportunity to visit three historic cities and learn about the aunt’s life before she was their aunt. 

The relationship between Clara and Madeleine was tough.  They did not see eye to eye on anything except that they had to follow Violet’s plan and fulfill her wishes.   In their traveling they meet interesting people, see amazing places but most of all they learn to rely on each other.  They see things that they will never forget while making memories to last a lifetime. 

This is a historical fiction story, but it had many twists.   There were unexpected discoveries, secrets revealed, pasts forgiven but not forgotten, and families reacquainted.  I loved every word in this book.   The descriptions of the people, locations, and surroundings brought the story to life while the emotions and reactions of the characters made them real.   I was unable to put the book down and recommend picking up your own copy and losing yourself in the travels of two sisters, following their aunts last wishes.
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Heather Webb and Hazel Gaynor continue their dazzling collaboration with THREE WORDS FOR GOODBYE which I loved! Two estranged sisters sent on a mission by their dying grandmother to deliver three goodbye letters to people important in her life. The letters were important, but the trip to Europe for the sisters is just as important.  Set in 1937, just before WWII, the sisters cross the ocean on the luxurious Queen Mary to start in Paris, board the Orient Express for to Venice for the next leg, culminating in Vienna and a trip home on the Hindenburg. In between, they follow in their grandmother’s footsteps, enjoying adventures, healing family rifts, and uncovering long-buried family secrets while each sister tries to find their own path to the future.
I really enjoyed both Clara and Madeleine’s stories and seeing the journey from each’s point of view, especially the difference between what the sisters were seeing in the more upscale parts of the cities and the historical rumblings of what was happening under the veneer, especially in Venice and Vienna with rise of Mussolini and Hitler.  Then weaving in the Hindenburg tragedy. It was also fun for me to imagine the voyage on the Queen Mary, which is now about 20 miles south of me and still a lovely place for a history nerd to visit and imagine in its glory.
This was a wonderful historical read that I hated putting down and couldn’t wait to get back to. I hope Gaynor and Webb continue to collaborate and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.
Thanks to the publisher for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of the novel. All opinions are my own and freely given.
#ThreeWordsForGoodbye #HazelGaynor #HeatherWebb #WilliamMorrow #TallPoppyWriters #TallPoppyBlogger #BloomReads
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This pre-WWII novel drew me in from the start. It was fascinating to see how the privileged upper class viewed women during that time. A must read for pre-WWII fans.
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Whenever somebody tells me they love historical fiction, I immediately ask if they’ve read Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb’s Last Christmas in Paris or Meet Me in Monaco. I absolutely treasure these novels, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the duo’s latest collaboration, Three Words for Goodbye. After devouring this gem, I have three words of my own to share: Read this book.

Set in 1937 on the cusp of the second world war, Three Words for Goodbye tells the story of estranged sisters Clara and Madeleine Summers, who are tasked with carrying out their ailing grandmother Violet’s unfinished business. Modeling the Nelly Bly-inspired journey she took with her own sister many years ago, Violet sends her granddaughters from their native New York on a months-long adventure to Paris, Venice, and Vienna with one mission: deliver goodbye letters to three of the most important people in her life. For Clara, the trip is in part an obligation and in part one last chance to foster her passion for art before her marriage to the wealthy Charles Hancock. For budding journalist Madeleine, the voyage is a chance to report firsthand on the growing dangers across Europe. Peppered with long-held secrets, intriguing new acquaintances, and the complex bonds of sisterhood, Three Words for Goodbye is a gorgeously rendered novel you can’t afford to miss.

I will never tire of a sibling story, a tale about strong women bucking societal norms, or a beautifully depicted glimpse into history, and Three Words for Goodbye is all of these rolled into one. Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb never cease to create characters you will root for and who inspire you, positioning them in worlds you just want to live in for a while. The Sommers sisters had me at hello, and as the novel went on, I only grew to love them more. The dutiful, reserved Clara and independent spitfire Madeleine are equally compelling narrators, starkly different at first glance, revealing thread by thread the ties that bind them as sisters and as women. I loved following their journey across Europe, through key moments in history, and in and out of each other’s good graces. I was completely invested in their paths, both as individuals and as sisters, and couldn’t wait to find out where their life-altering adventure would lead them.

The best trips are the ones that make us explore new worlds, see things in a different light, discover untapped sides of ourselves, and create memories we’ll remember always. The best novels do the same, and Three Words for Goodbye checks all of those boxes. Pack up your bookmark, travel to your favorite reading nook, and escape into this wonderful story you won’t soon forget.

Three Words for Goodbye is available now at your favorite indie,, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Amazon, or wherever you buy your books! For more on Heather Webb, visit and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. For more on Hazel Gaynor, visit and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
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These two authors have written a beautiful novel that will take you on a very emotional trip. It makes you laugh, cry and even do a few eye rolls at the antics of the two sisters in the story. Told with such realism that you will feel you are with them every step of the way.

Quote from book: 
They can talk of the companionship of men, the
splendor of the sun, the softness of moonlight, the
beauty of music, but give me a willow chair on a quiet
deck, the world with its worries and noise and 
prejudices lost in distance, the glare of the sun, the cold
light of the moon blotted out by the dense blackness of 
night. Let me rest rocked gently by the rolling sea, in a 
nest of velvety darkness, my only light the soft 
twinkling of the myriads of stars in the quiet sky above;
my music, the round of the kissing waters, cooling the 
brain and easing the pulse: my companionship, 
dreaming my own dreams. Give me that and I have
happiness in its perfection.  (I think this is beautiful)

This is the story of two sisters who seem to dislike each other very much. A grandmother who wants them to be close again. A trip of a lifetime to do a favor for their grandmother who is dying. Two sisters who are as different as the stars in the night skies. But they are so alike also. In ways neither of them want to admit. Clara and Maddie are the granddaughters of Violet. Violet has lead a very good life but is at its end and wants to have some closure before she dies. She sends Clara and Maddie on a voyage to deliver three letter for her. Each has a meaning. Each tells a story. Each will make you cry. 

As you travel with Clara and Maddie you will learn a lot about each. From the things they love to do to the fears they each have. Clara, who is an aspiring artist, is engaged to be married but is it meant to be? Does she really love him and is he worthy of her love? Charles Hancock is a very wealthy man but he is somewhat of a jerk in my opinion. I didn't like him. Then we have Daniel who I liked and didn't like at the same time. At first I was very suspicious of him and then I got to know him. I kind of like him after all. So does Maddie who is a writer and wants to be a journalist and write for the newspapers. Being a woman at that time in history made it so hard.. 

The trip these two young ladies take will change their lives forever. The people they meet tell them a story about their grandmother that they had no idea about. This book takes you from the US through Europe, Italy and Austria. Then on the Hindenburg to come back home. When tragedy strikes you will find yourself again holding your breath as you await the outcome of these two sisters. 

This book made me do some pretty hard crying but it also made me laugh in several places. Hearing the crazy things these two sisters went through was both amusing in part and sad. Meeting family they never knew about and some they did know about was a very emotional experience. The sights they saw and enjoyed. Getting caught in the pouring rain. Being so stubborn. Loving each other made it all worth it. 

This is a wonderful book. A story that will touch your heart. It's beautifully written and full of so much emotion. It's just one of those that you are happy you read when you turn that last page. It's that good!

Thank you #NetGalley, #HazelGaynorHeatherWebb, #WilliamMorrowPaperbacks for this ARC. This is my own true feelings about this book.

5/5 HUGE stars and a very high recommendation. Grab this one.
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Violet, too ill to travel in 1937, has organized a journey to Europe for granddaughters Clara and Maddy to deliver good-bye letters to the meaningful people in her life of 40 years ago. The sisters, once inseparable as young girls, have barely spoken since their father’s death over a year ago. Co-authors Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb have done a superb job of defining the personalities of Clara and Maddy, using poignant memories and images from their childhood and complexities of their adult desires, inhibitions, and fears. Clara, cautious, pessimistic, rules and schedules dictate her days, is a promising artist. Maddy, ambitious, refuses to conform and insists on going her own way, is a budding journalist. Violet encourages the girls to “enjoy your differences,” which also suggests readers do the same with family and friends. The journey to Paris, Venice, and Vienna is as much for Violet’s last good-byes to be delivered as it is for Clara and Maddy to experience time for self-examination. Maddy, very inquisitive, bold, and brash is directly opposite of Clara who has not found her voice, even with her fiancé, millionaire Charles Hancock. The self-analysis and discoveries made by each sister along the way gives the reader plenty to ponder long after the journey is over. One thing the sisters DO agree on is Violet’s transportation choices which include the opulent Queen Mary, the Orient Express, and the Hindenburg. With the detailed descriptions and perfect analogies readers will travel first class throughout the trip! The suspense of decisions to be made and secrets to be revealed are intensified as the sisters travel to each destination. In Three Words for Goodbye, the anticipation of what lies ahead for Clara and Maddy adds to this enriching, enjoyable journey.
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From my blog: Always With a Book:

This is the latest collaboration by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb and one of my most anticipated reads for the month. I have read everything these two authors have written together and am so happy to say that this latest one might be my favorite one yet!

There is just something so engaging and appealing about the writing when these two come together. I was immediately taken in by this story and that never wavered. Two sisters who do not get along are tasked by their ailing grandmother to deliver three letters in three cities across Europe. Of course, this is in 1937 just as Hitler’s Nazi party is starting to come to power, so tensions in Europe are beginning to mount. And what adds another layer of tension is that right from the beginning we know how the girls are supposed to return home…if you know history, you know what I’m talking about.

I loved the dynamics between the two sisters. Having two myself, I love when authors choose to explore this relationship and the fact that we have here two sisters who don’t get along put in a situation where they will be traveling together, at times in close quarters, was fantastic! I loved the banter between them, the snide comments, but I also loved how they stood up for each other when needed.

As always, historical fiction is rooted in truth and the inspiration for this book is Nellie Bly and her trip around the world. I know a little about Nellie, primarily the investigative work she did on asylums, so this was a different avenue of her life I didn’t know about and I loved that. I loved all the quotes and tidbits about her journey that were peppered throughout the book and definitely want to dive deeper into her life – it certainly seems as if she lived an interesting one!

This book really captured my heart and mind and I loved that…that’s why I read historical fiction. It was engaging and entertaining, filled with secrets and self-growth, forgiveness and love. I highly recommend this book to all historical fiction readers!
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