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Me for You

by Lolly Winston

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667394,626 (3.79)7
"From the New York Times bestselling author of Good Grief comes a richly poignant and stirring story that asks: How soon is too soon to fall in love again? The last thing Rudy expected was to wake up one Saturday morning, a widow at fifty-four years old. Now, ten months after the untimely death of his beloved wife, he's still not sure how to move on from the defining tragedy of his life--but his new job is helping. After being downsized from his finance position, Rudy turned to his first love: the piano. Some people might be embarrassed to work as the piano player at Nordstrom, but for Rudy, there's joy in bringing a little music into the world. And it doesn't hurt that Bella, the Hungarian men's watch clerk who is finally divorcing her no-good husband, finds time to join him at the bench every now and then. Just when Rudy and Bella's relationship begins to deepen, the police come to the store with an update about Rudy's wife's untimely death--a coworker has confessed to her murder--but Rudy's actions are suspicious enough to warrant a second look at him, too. With Bella's husband suddenly reappearing, and Rudy's daughter confronting her own marital problems, suddenly life becomes more complicated than Rudy and Bella could have imagined. With Winston's trademark humor and sweetness that will appeal to readers of Jennifer Weiner and Fredrik Backman but is uniquely her own, Lolly Winston delivers a heartfelt and realistic portrait of loss and grief, hope and forgiveness, and two imperfect people coming together to create a perfect love story"--… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
I was shocked at so many average reviews for this story. I believe in the merit alone that it portrayed mental illness and grief so accurately, and what to do about both, garners at least 4 stars for this story.

Most of the characters are very likable. Even the one who had the drinking problem, you can feel some empathy toward what it must be like to lose a child. Now, the sullen co-worker was not very likable. The story centers around two main characters, Sasha and Rudolph. Both have their own baggage. Rudolph has lost the wife of his dreams. Sasha is undergoing a divorce in a bad situation and has lost her only child in a swimming accident.

I felt like the casserole story was a wild goose chase. I understand that grief can make you do crazy things, like steal a casserole and eat it. However, the detail that went into that story as an aside, and how she buried her evidence, I was anticipating all the way until the very end of the story that Rudolph and Sasha were going to find it outdoors. We are to accept that the crazy coworker who falsely confessed did not do it. I never once thought he did. But somehow, a pharmacist who had a husband who handled the house loved her job, had so much to live for, was "stressed" and had an unexpected heart attack. To me, THAT was the stretch in the story. Now, I will admit that it pulled my heartstrings (no pun intended) when Bethany (Rudolph's first wife) asked about the fluttering heart feeling. My own mom had said something to me like that 1 1/2 years before her massive heart attack. She asked me if I had ever felt like that. I just looked at her and did not know what to say. I was a young married woman then, but I WISH I had gone with her to the heart specialist. She did end up seeing one, was on medication, but unexpectedly died of a massive heart attack.

There are so many teaching tools in this book. For instance, there are the false beliefs and stigma of entering a mental hospital. It is not anything like it used to be, assuming a person is admitted way before the behaviors are out of control. You don't automatically go in and get put in restraints and get electric shock treatment. You will find many people come from many walks of life and many talents. I would love to see high school students read this book and discuss it. They need to know real life as well as academics. They need to be able to recognize when a marriage is in trouble or failing. They need to realize when they need to get help when they can't function in life.

Read this book for the joy of love. I smiled when I read all the details about Rudolph. I am sure guys are going to say he makes them look bad. Well, Rudolph should be the standard for all husbands. Lovingly love your significant other and do whatever you can to make her happy. ( )
  doehlberg63 | Dec 2, 2023 |
Thank you to #NetGalley and the publisher.

I enjoyed her other books, especially Good Grief which I gave 5 stars to on Goodreads. This one was only 3 stars for me though.

I wanted to read a book about a male character for a change.

For some reason, Rudy seems older than 54 He's a part-time pianist at Nordstrom since he was downsized from his job. His late wife Bethany, who was a pharmacist in a hospital, had the good paying job it seemed before she died. He works with Sasha, who he considers a friend, who's from Hungary and wants a divorce from her husband but is having problems getting one since he seemed to disappear.

This book is sad in a way the way he is grieving for his wife and what happens a year later. After that, his life got better thanks to Sasha. ( )
  sweetbabyjane58 | May 16, 2023 |
Thank you to Touchstone and NetGalley for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review. I loved the premise of this book but this just didn't work for me. I thought that Rudy's grief over the loss of his wife was relatable and accurate and I enjoyed reading about the initial slow build of Rudy's relationship with Sasha. Unfortunately, a lot of new elements were introduced a little later on into the story and it all turned from a charming story about a widow to a lot of absurd ideas that I just couldn't connect with or felt very realistic. ( )
  genthebookworm | Dec 19, 2020 |
Though not a light read, there are some light moments to make you smile. Glad the story used a mature (54) as protagonist. Rudy is dealing with the sudden death of his beloved wife, Bethany. He is trying to navigate as a widower, and finding it difficult as the Bethany’s first anniversary is coming. Your heart will break for Rudy, but will clearly see how realistic his situation can be. Navigating his mental health, his daughter and dating.

It is a story to tug at your heartstrings. Myheart broke for Rudy, Sasha and his daughter. Mental health and care is a big part of the book. Definitely a more melancholy read.

Thanks to Gallery Press and NetGalley for this ARC. Opinion is mine alone. ( )
  LoriKBoyd | Mar 24, 2020 |
Before I read the "conversation with the author" at the end of the book, I just knew that Winston had to have been awfully close to some kind of grief in order to write so eloquently about losing someone. The book presents what turns out to be a delightful but heart wrenching picture of the losses the main characters, Rudy, and Sasha, are experiencing, but also Rudy's daughter, CeCe. As the author explains how she writes, she does exactly those things in this novel---voices for her characters as well as very descriptive pictures of where they are and what they are doing. Just a very, very sweet book. ( )
  nyiper | Jan 1, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Farewell happy fields,
Where joy forever dwells: Hail horrors, hail
Infernal world, and thou profoundest hell
Receive thy new possessor; one who brings
A mind not to be changed by place or time.
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n.
---JOHN MILTON, PARADISE LOST
Life is just one goddamned thing after another.
---MARVIN WINSTON, EXASPERATED FATHER
Pruning clematis sounds complicated, but it need not be; plants are forgiving and will quickly repair mistakes. Do remember that dormant wood can look dead....Spring-blooming clematis bloom only on the previous year's "dead" wood.
---SUNSET WESTERN GARDEN BOOK
Dedication
For Laurie Fox
And in loving memory of
Katherine Donner
And
Laura Geist
First words
Like a fool, Rudy spoke to his wife Bethany for probably ten minutes before he realized she was dead.
Quotations
Sometimes, all you needed was someone else's shoes by the door no to feel alone.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"From the New York Times bestselling author of Good Grief comes a richly poignant and stirring story that asks: How soon is too soon to fall in love again? The last thing Rudy expected was to wake up one Saturday morning, a widow at fifty-four years old. Now, ten months after the untimely death of his beloved wife, he's still not sure how to move on from the defining tragedy of his life--but his new job is helping. After being downsized from his finance position, Rudy turned to his first love: the piano. Some people might be embarrassed to work as the piano player at Nordstrom, but for Rudy, there's joy in bringing a little music into the world. And it doesn't hurt that Bella, the Hungarian men's watch clerk who is finally divorcing her no-good husband, finds time to join him at the bench every now and then. Just when Rudy and Bella's relationship begins to deepen, the police come to the store with an update about Rudy's wife's untimely death--a coworker has confessed to her murder--but Rudy's actions are suspicious enough to warrant a second look at him, too. With Bella's husband suddenly reappearing, and Rudy's daughter confronting her own marital problems, suddenly life becomes more complicated than Rudy and Bella could have imagined. With Winston's trademark humor and sweetness that will appeal to readers of Jennifer Weiner and Fredrik Backman but is uniquely her own, Lolly Winston delivers a heartfelt and realistic portrait of loss and grief, hope and forgiveness, and two imperfect people coming together to create a perfect love story"--

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