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Never Say Goodbye: A Novel by Susan Lewis
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Never Say Goodbye: A Novel

by Susan Lewis

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First and foremost, when I search for a new book to read (especially by an author I have not read previously), there are a few key critical factors (1) Does the front cover draw me in and is it a high resolution image? (2) The synopsis of the book – does it appeal to me? (3) Praise by another author I read or follow? (4) Other reviews (which is sometimes hard if a pre-release).

Yes, Yes, and YES . . . to all of the above, as “Never Say Goodbye” was brilliantly written and bittersweet. Having read all of Diane Chamberlain’s books (one of my favorite authors), to see her quote on the front cover – sealed the deal, even before I began reading. And oh, the stunning cover…

I loved everything about this poignant story, as did not disappoint. Was so impressed with Susan Lewis, the author – I will most definitely be reading more from this talented storyteller.

The characters were real and each of them experienced such growth from the time the story began, until it ended--excited to share in their journey. The ending was perfect, and you come away with a sense of peace and reflection. Readers will fall in love with each of the characters, and a thought provoking takeaway long after the book ends.

The altruistic Josie, loving wife and mother who puts her family first; Jeff the hard nose husband and father which turned out to be a loveable humble puppy; Ryan and Lilly – her children which she always protects; and Bella, which I loved from the beginning to the end – an angel and a best friend we all want to have in our back pocket. Her past, present and future were also an integral part of the book.

This book is more than differences between poor and rich, and cancer - is about friendship, love, family bonds, even romance -how circumstances and obstacles make us stronger, and how people or angels are sent to us at just the right time when we need them the most (sometimes a family member will just not do).

On a personal note, this book has special meaning to me, as my mom had just received the news she has colon cancer, has spread to 5 lymph nodes, and secondary liver cancer. She worked out six days a week (age 81) and very healthy and fit, with no history of cancer in the family. My dad had just received the diagnosis of leukemia (stage one) a few months prior. Everyone was shocked. (she starts chemo in April).

During this last week in the hospital, I started this book as perfect timing. Never Say Goodbye really demonstrated to me how a cancer victim worries about family members more than themselves and how faith, determination, and the support of close friends can heal their souls and bodies.

I so enjoyed this quote, “The cancer and treatment are only the staples holding things together; the pages are for the story of my life and I intend to keep filling them.” Resilience and courage are the key points of this powerful yet compelling story, told with sensitivity and compassion. I highly recommend the book and this new found author!

Thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
( )
  JudithDCollins | Nov 26, 2014 |
Title: Never Say Goodbye
Author: Susan Lewis
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Age Recommended: New Adult-Adult
Rating: 5
Review:

"Never Say Goodbye" by Susan Lewis was quite a read and the first thing I will say is that this read was of a terminal illness. I believe that needs to be said up front, now this doesn't take anything away from this excellent read. "Never Say Goodbye" was beautiful well written by this author that was 'sensitively and humorously told' with some well portrayed, colorful, depicted, believable and defined characters with each one having their own story and problems that were to be dealt with.

Even though this was not for the most part a happy heartwarming read for it was sad at times, but still it was a good read that did have some amusing moments. I found this a gripping story that once

I got into this read I found it hard to put down because in the read I found out so much more than just about 'the cancer' but more about 'friendship, love, family bonds, even romance and how people are sent to you just at the right time when you need them the most.' ( )
  arlenadean | Apr 26, 2014 |
I had not realised that this story was about a terminal illness. I do not usually knowingly read books on this subject as I find them disturbing. However, this one is sensitively and humorously told. It's beautifully written with some great, well defined and believable characters. They each have their own story to tell and their own problems to deal with.

I like Susan Lewis as an author and have read quite a few of her books over the years. I have always enjoyed them and Never Say Goodbye is no exception. Even though there is a serious thread at its heart and it is sad at times, it is by no means a miserable tale. There are some amusing moments and I liked that the story was left on a positive note.

A moving and heartwarming, but at the same time heart wrenching, story which I would have no hesitation in recommending as a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Many thanks to Netgalley and Random House publishers for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book. ( )
  VanessaCW | Mar 19, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 034554949X, Paperback)

For readers of Jodi Picoult, Heather Gudenkauf, and Elizabeth Flock comes a deeply moving novel of  finding friendship and love in the most unexpected of places.
 
Josie Clark, a loving wife and mother, struggles to make ends meet by cleaning homes and working at a diner while her husband drives a taxi. Josie’s joy is her two children, just entering adulthood. But with her son recently imprisoned for a crime she is certain he didn’t commit, and her daughter marrying too young, Josie now worries about the future—and wonders if she’ll ever be able to ensure their safety and happiness.
 
Across town, in a gorgeous house by the sea, successful property developer Bel Monkton lives in comparative luxury. But she has struggles of her own. Since the death of her twin sister more than a year ago, Bel has been unable to rebuild her shattered world, and the troubled past she thought was behind her haunts her ever more.
 
Faced with uncertainty and heartbreak, Josie and Bel find each other and a surprising friendship that will change their lives.

Praise for Susan Lewis
 
“A master storyteller.”—Diana Chamberlain
 
Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more.

(retrieved from Amazon Sun, 02 Mar 2014 00:47:26 -0500)

"For readers of Jodi Picoult, Heather Gudenkauf, and Elizabeth Flock comes a deeply moving novel of finding friendship and love in the most unexpected of places. Josie Clark, a loving wife and mother, struggles to make ends meet by cleaning homes and working at a diner while her husband drives a taxi. Josie's joy is her two children, just entering adulthood. But with her son recently imprisoned for a crime she is certain he didn't commit, and her daughter marrying too young, Josie now worries about thefuture--and wonders if she'll ever be able to ensure their safety and happiness. Across town, in a gorgeous house by the sea, successful property developer Bel Monkton lives in comparative luxury. But she has struggles of her own. Since the death of hertwin sister more than a year ago, Bel has been unable to rebuild her shattered world, and the troubled past she thought was behind her haunts her ever more. Faced with uncertainty and heartbreak, Josie and Bel find each other and a surprising friendshipthat will change their lives. Praise for Susan Lewis "A master storyteller."--Diana Chamberlain Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader's Circle for author chats and more"-- "Josie, a housecleaner and part-time waitress who struggles to make ends meet, is worried sick about her husband, who can't seem to get enough taxi fares to pay the bills, her son, in prison for a crime she's sure he didn't commit, and her daughter, who is getting married (too young, Josie thinks) to her college sweetheart. All she wants is to protect her family from her devastating news; they can't handle one more thing going wrong. Money is no object to Bel, who received a tidy inheritance from her mother and renovates houses in her spare time. But Bel has just lost the person who matters most - her twin sister Tanya - to breast cancer, and she's incredibly lonely. Her only comfort is Tanya's two small children, who see Bel as a surrogate mother. But Tanya's widower has gotten married again, frighteningly fast, and is threatening to take the children half-way around the world for his new job. An unlikely friendship blossoms between Josie and Bel who band together to help each other through difficult times and get to the heart of what matters most"--… (more)

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