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Publisher's Summary

When 36-year-old Sophie Stanton's husband dies of cancer, she desperately wants to be a graceful, composed Jackie Kennedy kind of widow. Alas, Sophie is more of a Jack Daniels kind. Adding her job and her waistline to her list of things lost, she moves from L.A. to Ashland, Oregon, prepared to defy the dismal weather and be rescued by Sam Shepard's twin. Instead, she finds an embittered 13-year-old girl with a fascination for fire, a job as Salad Girl at the local French restaurant, and an alarmingly cute actor who Sophie wished she didn't quite trust so much. Listeners will laugh and cry along with Sophie as she proves to the world and herself that she can recover from something devastating with darkly comic humor and her own type of class. Good Grief is the perfect audiobook for anyone who has ever been heartbroken, lost someone they've loved, or eaten too many Oreos.
©2004 Lolly Winston; (P)2004 Time Warner Audiobooks, a divison of the Time Warner Book Group

Critic Reviews

"Throughout this heartbreaking, gorgeous look at loss, Winston imbues her heroine and her narrative with the kind of grace, bitter humor, and rapier-sharp realness that will dig deep into a reader's heart and refuse to let go." (Publishers Weekly)
"Capably rendered and extremely reader-friendly..." (The New York Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Karan
  • Gahanna, OH, USA
  • 04-23-04

Sophie is real

I didn't expect to fall in love with 36 year-old Sophie, but I did in the first 15 minutes. Her behavior and weirdness after the death of her husband helped me get my arms around her struggle. The odd mix of others in her new life is so sweetly mixed with her grief that I feel encouraged that I might be able to grow beyond such a loss. I'm not sure if I would recommend this book to a newly grieving person, but certainly to one to will be faced with this. I guess that's all of us, actually.

The interview at the end with the author is amazing. Her book and author recommentations are worth your time.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Barbara
  • Pullman, WA, United States
  • 01-03-05

Don't miss a word!

This is a fabulous book, but since Audible only has the abridged version, read the book--you won't want to miss a word. It is witty, genuine and well-written. One of my favorite books of the last few years. It's been a long time since I cared this much about a central character. Great book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Marie
  • Arlington, TN, United States
  • 11-27-16

Heartwarming story

Would you listen to Good Grief again? Why?

I bought this book based on the many positive reviews. Although I did not really laughed out loud, the book had his humorous and light moments. I felt that the story gave you a better understanding of how people deal with grief and how other people perceive the people that are grieving. The writing is simple, to the point and the books keeps moving. You will like the heroine. Ending is a bit abrupt. Would not listen to it again, but that does not mean it wasn't good.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I liked Sophie and felt sometimes really sorry for her. The reader can't help but emphasize with her.

What about Amanda Foreman’s performance did you like?

The performance was good

If you could take any character from Good Grief out to dinner, who would it be and why?

I would Ethan and Sophie, just would love to see them together.

Any additional comments?

Book is worth a credit - but it's not a deep read. It's a good read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Read the book

This book would have been much more enjoyable in full-lenght format. The abridged version has too much of the story missing. I could tell when the current storyline was cut short and it was soooo annoying. Find the unabridged or go for the book. It will be a good read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Christine
  • Ramsey, NJ, United States
  • 01-07-07

An Enjoyable Listen

I ran across this book after I purchased and loved the author's other book called "Happiness Sold Seperately".
Although this book is about a mid 30's gal who is trying to overcome the grief of her husbands death to cancer it was still a very warm-hearted and at times funny book.
Although I have yet to have to deal with grief like this charcter has, it really made me think about it and to understand that all wounds will heal with time.
The main character is very warm, funny and likable.
I recommend this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

I was laughing out loud!

This ranks as one of my favorite audio books. It was a joy from start to finish. Sophie seemed very real and easy to relate to. The "open house" scene had me laughing the whole time, as did several of the chapters. This is not a depressing book. I enjoyed the relationships she made and how she found herself along the way.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Good Grief

I took this book with me on a flight back from Toronto and laughed so hard that it was embarrassing. The pacing is fast, the heroine authentic and believable, and I haven't enjoyed a book this much in a long time. Although it's about death (and grieving), it's far from heavy. It's actually closer to a madcap romance or screwball comedy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Liz
  • Ashland, VA, USA
  • 04-29-17

Not what I was expecting

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I was looking for a light book with a little romance and a few other interesting elements in the story. I thought it would be interesting to empathize with a widow. I found the book to be more about the grief aspect than the other storylines. To me, it feel a little flat. I either wanted more romance or more of the cool storyline about the character's "little sister," than oreos and her dead husband's ski sweater.

  • Overall


I bought this book by mistake, as I see no reason to read anything abridged.

But I was pleasantly surprised. Winston is engaging, funny, and a sophisticated writer. There were many scenes with which I could identify and Winston had me laughing out loud several times.

The abridgement and narration were both superb.

I am only giving 4 stars because the book was only available as an abridged version.

  • Overall


I lost my father in June 2008, this book accurately described what both my mother and I have been going through emotionally but in a manner that made me both laugh and cry. I would have given it 5 stars if had been unabridged. Her description of grief counseling is exactly the way I saw the group experience also. Nice to see someone else with the same "out there" crazy feelings, really lifted my down spirits. The interview with the author at the end is very good. Just really wish audible had the unabridged version, this is a book where you want to hear all of the author's descriptions.