Goodbye, Vitamin

Goodbye, Vitamin

A Novel

Book - 2017
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8
Baker & Taylor
Struggling with disillusionment in the aftermath of a broken engagement, Ruth moves back home with her parents to discover that her professor father's erratic memory loss and her mother's eccentricity are manifesting in near-comical ways that help Ruth transform her grief. A first novel.

McMillan Palgrave

Named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, O, The Oprah Magazine, Vogue, San Francisco Chronicle, Esquire, Huffington Post, Nylon, Entertainment Weekly, Buzzfeed, Booklist, and The Independent

Winner of the California Book Award for First Fiction
Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist for First Fiction

"A quietly brilliant disquisition . . . told in prose that is so startling in its spare beauty that I found myself thinking about Khong's turns of phrase for days after I finished reading."—Doree Shafrir, The New York Times Book Review

"One of those rare books that is both devastating and light-hearted, heartful and joyful. . . . Don't miss it."—Buzzfeed

"Hello, Rachel Khong. Kudos for this delectable take on familial devotion and dementia."—NPR

Her life at a crossroads, a young woman goes home again in this funny and inescapably moving debut from a wonderfully original new literary voice.

Freshly disengaged from her fiancé and feeling that life has not turned out quite the way she planned, thirty-year-old Ruth quits her job, leaves town and arrives at her parents’ home to find that situation more complicated than she'd realized. Her father, a prominent history professor, is losing his memory and is only erratically lucid. Ruth’s mother, meanwhile, is lucidly erratic. But as Ruth's father’s condition intensifies, the comedy in her situation takes hold, gently transforming her all her grief.

Told in captivating glimpses and drawn from a deep well of insight, humor, and unexpected tenderness, Goodbye, Vitamin pilots through the loss, love, and absurdity of finding one’s footing in this life.



Baker
& Taylor

Struggling with disillusionment after a broken engagement, Ruth moves back home with her parents to discover that her father's erratic memory loss and her mother's eccentricity are manifesting in near-comical ways that help Ruth transform her grief.
""Incredibly poignant . . . Rachel Khong's first novel sneaks up on you -- just like life . . . and heartbreak. And love."--Miranda July A few days after Christmas in a small suburb outside of L.A., pairs of a man's pants hang from the trees. The pants belong to Howard Young, a prominent history professor, recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Howard's wife, Annie, summons their daughter, Ruth. Freshly disengaged from her fiance and still broken up about it, feeling that life has not turned out quite the way she planned, thirty-year- old Ruth quits her job, and arrives home to find her parents' situation worse than she'd realized. Her father is erratically lucid and her mother, a devoted and creative cook, sees the sources of memory loss in every pot and pan. But as Howard's condition intensifies, the comedy in Ruth's situation takes hold, gently transforming her grief. She throws herself into caretaking: cooking dementia-fighting meals (a feast of jellyfish!), researching supplements, anything toreignite her father's once-notable memory. And when the university finally lets Howard go, Ruth and one of her father's handsome former students take their efforts to help Howard one step too far. Told in captivating glimpses and drawn from a deep well of insight, humor, and unexpected tenderness, Goodbye, Vitamin pilots through the loss, love, and absurdity of finding a one's footing in this life"--

Publisher: New York : Henry Holt and Company, c2017
ISBN: 9781250109163
Branch Call Number: FIC KHO
Characteristics: 196 p. ;,22 cm.

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h
hrogness
Jul 15, 2018

very creative, too creative, thinking. Became a vehicle for thinking outside the box rather than telling a story

c
catherineband
May 29, 2018

This book really stayed with me after I finished it. Khong's prose gives life to every day activities. It's not just a book about Alzheimer's--it's a book about life. It's about how we think of ourselves, our parents, our friends. The book is funny, vibrant, and I think it really stuck with me since the style reflects how I think. It's a quick read, and I'd definitely recommend this book.

k
KatG1983
Jan 11, 2018

Goodbye Vitamin explores a very particular stage in life - when children become caretakers for their parents. It is written with heart and insight; and doesn't shy away from the difficult realities of a disease such as Alzheimer's. A quick read, coming in under 200 pages, but packs an emotional punch.

LPL_KateG Dec 11, 2017

This book packs quite a bit of feels into fewer than 200pgs. The protagonist, Ruth, leaves her job and apartment to move in with her parents temporarily after her dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She’s there to help her mom cope, to keep an eye on her dad, and to recover from a devastating breakup. All of that sounds like a big bummer -- which it is -- BUT Ruth is also funny and sweet and awkward, and all of these factors combine to create a very charming, touching book.

m
maybaby
Oct 14, 2017

I was worried this was going to be a "One True Thing" knock off. It wasn't. It was an engaging, quick read. There was one error...the author need to fact check coral...ugh, simple two click internet search would have corrected the glaring error in the book regarding the coral.

Cynthia_N Oct 12, 2017

Ruth moves home for a year to help her mother care for her father who has Alzheimer's. A very touching story.

e
elizali
Oct 02, 2017

Khong's style is beautiful and approachable. Heartily recommend. This is a book about crisis in general, with no subdivision on age. Remembrance is such a fickle topic and Khong approaches with grace and ease.

b
bookycakes
Aug 07, 2017

I am not yet to the point in my life where a 30 year old's midlife crisis is entertaining. Instead, it's only a little bit sad and a little bit disconcerting because it seems so easy to slip into. While the novel was funny at times, the diary format was not really my taste- very little dialogue and lots of narrative about daily activities of life. Simply not my taste. The writing wasn't bad, and I imagine that if you are past 30 and feel secure in your life's position, this would be hilarious and a great story.

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