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Rules for Saying Goodbye: A Novel by…

Rules for Saying Goodbye: A Novel

by Katherine Taylor

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867140,249 (3.07)3



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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
The Rules were good.
I didn't like this book, a sort of free-ranging memoir of a life of travel and learning without anything learned or travelled. It felt like skating along on the surface of ice, while seeing shapes underneath.
That said, I read the whole thing. In fact, looked forward to reading it.
So I'd skip this one by Katherine Taylor, but look forward to the next one. She can write well. But this surface tale of family events and growing up is not worth the time.
I'd read the rules. They are as deep as it gets. ( )
  Dabble58 | Jan 1, 2014 |
Very Interesting Book, Highly Recommended : To be honest, this book is out of my usual genre, I only read it because I was trying to cozy up to a Woman who I noticed was reading it. My tactic failed, the book did not.

This author has the ability to lull you into what you think will be a stylistic and breezy read, and then without changing style or demeanor, she somehow drops an anvil on your head. I'd say she has a real talent for communicating life's follies, both the one's you laugh about with friends, and the one's you keep buried in shame.

Its the type of book that stays with you for a while.
  lonepalm | Dec 8, 2011 |
This novel/memoir is hard to rate because the story is so uneven, part 1 reads like Gossip Girl, part 2 is Ice Storm, part 3 is like Friends with more drugs and sex, and 4 is a bit like Eat Pray Love without the poignancy. The narrator comes off as rather spoiled even though she's very honest about her own flaws. A doctor's daughter from Fresno, CA, Taylor has so much going for her and a lot of help in life, money-wise and background-wise, yet she has a lot to complain about anyway. Even though her struggles are not trivial, they don't really resonate with anyone who has ever had to deal with grittier problems.

I liked the book, Taylor's style is funny, dark and full of sharply-drawn characters. Even if her outlook on life won't help anyone else, it was a good read. ( )
  emigre | Jan 16, 2009 |
The fictional Katherine Taylor (not to be confused with the living, breathing Katherine Taylor) grows up the daughter of an orthopedic surgeon in Fresno. She learns her first lessons about life by eavesdropping on her mother’s phone conversations, and at the age of twelve is shipped off to Boston to attend a prestigious boarding school. The novel quickly unfolds from there as the reader follows Kate into young adulthood, meeting her whacky family and fascinating friends along the way as she moves to New York seeking herself in the bars (as both a writer who bartends, and a patron), and finding her share of unsuitable men.

The Rules for Saying Goodbye is a coming of age novel of sorts, packaged to appeal to women, but certainly not classic chick-lit (I had my husband laughing until tears ran down his face when I read him Chapter 15 of the novel out loud). Taylor writes brilliant dialogue and her characters are sharply observed if not quite a bit dysfunctional. Perhaps the funniest parts of this novel are those centered around Kate’s family. Taylor is skilled at striking a chord to which most people will relate:

'In families, a lot of time can pass without anyone realizing any time has passed. What seems like last Christmas or the Christmas before may have actually been a Christmas from twelve years ago. Hurt feelings and forgettable spats can go on for decades in families.' -From Rules for Saying Goodbye, page 62-

Or following the protagonist’s grandmother’s funeral:

'Afterwards, at lunch in the church reception hall, my father and two priests had to sit between my mother and her feuding siblings. These were feuds that had taken fifty years to develop, based on the sort of animosity that must begin in childhood. An agglomeration of unresolved arguments and slights: the time Uncle Dick slapped my mother back and forth across the face when she had refused to leave a wedding with him forty years ago, the time he bloodied her lip for dating a Japanese boy, the dozens of times Aunt Lou neglected to send invitations to Auntie Petra and Grandma for birthday or Christmas parties, the time Uncle Dick tred to discipline my brother Richard, his namesake, by pinning him against the garage with the car. Also, my mother was still angry with Auntie Petra for feeding her lard when she was eight.' -From Rules for Saying Goodbye, page 129-130-

Rules for Saying Goodbye is funny, heartwarming, and perceptive. Sometimes there are books you hate to see end - this novel turned out to be one of those for me. This was Katherine Taylor’s first novel. I’m looking forward to more from her.

Highly recommended. ( )
  writestuff | Aug 5, 2008 |
Have you ever wondered what “Sex and the City” would be like if Carrie Bradshaw didn’t have her girlfriends, was excruciatingly bad at romantic relationships, and hadn’t ‘made it’ as a writer? If so, you may be interested in “Rules for Saying Goodbye”.

I honestly found the character fairly obnoxious. She was one of those people with whom I find it very difficult to empathize, primarily because she more or less refused to grow up. Towards the end of the book, I began to have the sneaking suspicion that “Rules for Saying Goodbye” is at least partly autobiographical. The first clue to that possibility was that the protagonist main character had the exact same name as the author. More than that, though, was the fact that I wasn’t at all sure why the book was written. It seemed more ‘here is this life,’ without much focus and there was no real conclusion. The character Katherine Taylor is an aspiring writer and, near the end of the book, is near desperate to write a first novel. It seemed that perhaps she may have just decided to write her life and embellish it a bit to make everything seem more glamorous - writing a ‘memoir’ in the same sense that James Frey did, except having enough sense not to call it a memoir.

For the full review:
http://www.devourerofbooks.com/2008/07/rules-for-saying-goodbye-book-review/ ( )
  DevourerOfBooks | Jul 21, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374252718, Hardcover)

“Kath is curious,” observes her younger brother, Ethan, not without anxiety. She is thirteen; already everyone can see she’s got her eye on bigger things than provincial Fresno can offer. Years in the glamorous chill of an East Coast prep school will introduce her to a razor-sharp sense of social distinction, cocaine “so good it’s pink,” and an indispensable best friend—all that she needs to prepare for life in Manhattan. There will be fourteen-dollar cocktails but no money for groceries; unsuitable men of enormous charm, and unsuitable jobs of no charm at all; and a wistful yearning for a transformation from someone of promise into someone of genius.

In this deliciously witty and affecting debut novel, fiction winks at real life: Katherine Taylor is its muddled heroine, and also its author. Written in the tradition of Curtis Sittenfeld and Melissa Bank, with the gorgeous hues of a pile of Gatsby’s shirts, Rules for Saying Goodbye is a bittersweet yet comic coming-of-age tale that has an unerring feel for the delights and malaises of a generation.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:40 -0400)

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"Kate is having a hard time. Lucas, the journalist she moved to Rome to marry, seems to be breaking up with her; he is certain that when the time comes, she won't want to farm geese for foie gras in the Perigord with him. In actual fact, he doesn't want to feel responsible for making her happy." ""You were never responsible for that," she answers, confused. "Happiness simply happened between us."" "In Kate's world, pleasure and melancholy are close neighbors, like the summer hats and lobster boilers squashed together in the tiny closet of her Manhattan apartment. Rules for Saying Goodbye follows Kate as she makes the unlikely migration from suburban California to the chilly rigor of a New England prep school, and then to Manhattan. Here she will enjoy a dissipated life of bartending and writing novels, falling in love with the wrong boys, and discussing these boys while smoking borrowed cigarettes on the sofa with her best friend, Clarissa. She budgets for fourteen-dollar cocktails, but not for groceries. Her devotedly neurotic mother is desperate for Kate to marry someone, anyone, so she can be sure that someone else will love her daughter after she dies. But Kate has other ideas."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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