Friday, November 23, 2012

Book It - The Goldfish Went On Vacation

This week’s featured book:

The Goldfish Went On Vacation
Author: Patty Dann


The moment when Patty Dann’s husband was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, she felt as though the ground had dropped out beneath her. Her grief, however, was immediately interrupted by the realization that she would have to tell their three-year-old son, Jake, that his father was dying. The prognosis gave her husband just a year to live. In that short time, the three of them—Patty, Willem, and Jake—would have to find a way to live with the illness and prepare for his death.

Written with disarming honesty, courage, and humor, Patty weaves together a series of vignettes that chart her and Jake’s eventual acceptance of their new family—through coping with the daily challenges, the sorrow, and the uncertainty, as well as embracing the surprising moments of beauty and acceptance. As much about exploring memory as it is about appreciating the moment, this captivating narrative will serve as a genuine comfort to anyone surprised by grief.

My Comments:

I don’t pick up memoirs very often, and when I happen to, it’s usually because someone has recommended it, or because it’s immensely popular. Neither was the case with this story. I’d never heard of it. No one had suggested it. I honestly don’t remember how I happened upon it. But – no matter how – it grabbed my attention (the title, at first; then the story) and I decided to give it a try.

This is a bittersweet and painfully honest story about love and loss. The author writes movingly about the loss of her husband, her struggle to help her young son deal with losing his father and her struggle to cope with everything. It’s not a very long memoir, but it leaves you with a lot to think about, and provides the reader with insight on how children and adults grieve.

If you’ve ever lost someone close to your heart, this memoir will really move you.


  1. It seems that this book is worth reading... Thanks for sharing...

    1. It's not the best book I've ever read, but it's a good one.