Grief, Loss, Death & Dying

 email page    print page

All Topic Reviews
A Brief History of DeathA Commonsense Book of DeathA Message from JakieAfter SuicideAfter You'd GoneAfterwardsAliveAll Alone in the UniverseAll Rivers Flow to the SeaAll Seasons PassAnd a Time to DieAt the End of WordsBefore and After LossBeing with DyingBequest and BetrayalBereftBeyond GoodbyeBeyond the Good DeathBodies in Motion and at RestCatalystComfortConfessions of a Grieving ChristianContemplative AgingCoping With TraumaCrispinDarwin's WormsDeathDeath and CompassionDeath BenefitsDeath in the ClassroomDeath Is That Man Taking NamesDeath of a ParentDeath's DoorDefining the Beginning and End of LifeDon't Go Where I Can't FollowDriving My FatherDying in the Twenty-First CenturyElegy for IrisErasing DeathEthical WillsEthics at the End of LifeEvenings at FiveExtreme MeasuresFacing Death: Elisabeth Kubler-RossFatal AttachmentsFortress of My YouthGhost at the WindowGoing Through Hell Without Help From AboveGood GriefGoodbye RuneGraceful ExitsGrave MattersGrieving for ChildrenHealing ConversationsHello from Heaven!History of SuicideHonoring GriefHonoring the Dead and Facing DeathHow We GrieveHuman Dignity and Assisted DeathI Remain in DarknessI Wasn't Ready to Say GoodbyeIn the Wake of SuicideIt Takes a Worried ManLayoverLearning to FallLiberating LossesLife after LossLiving and Dying WellLosing Mum and PupLossLost in the ForestLove Is a Mix TapeLove That DogMaking Sense of SuicideMars and Venus - Starting Over.Michael Rosen's Sad BookMortal DilemmasNight Falls FastNobody's Child AnymoreOlive's OceanOn Life After DeathOne Last Hug Before I GoOne More WednesdayParting CompanyPeaceful Death, Joyful RebirthR.I.P.Reason's GriefRemembering GeorgySaying It Out LoudSeeing the CrabShooterSome Thing BlackSpeak to MeStandbyStayStill HereSuicidal ThoughtsSurviving HitlerThe Art of LosingThe AwakeningThe Boy on the Green BicycleThe Bright HourThe Cambridge Companion to Life and DeathThe Case of Terri SchiavoThe Color of AbsenceThe Dead Fathers ClubThe Death of a ChildThe DisappearanceThe End-of-Life HandbookThe Forgotten MournersThe Healing Journey Through GriefThe Loss of Self: A Family Resource for the Care of Alzheimer's Disease and Related DisordersThe Lovely BonesThe Measure of Our DaysThe Mercy PapersThe MiracleThe Modern Art of DyingThe Other Side of SadnessThe Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of DeathThe ScarThe TravelersThe Trick Is to Keep BreathingThe Truth About GriefThe UndertakingThe Way of TransitionThe Work of MourningTo Die WellTuesdays with MorrieUnderstanding GriefWakeWhat Dying People WantWhen Breath Becomes AirWitWrinklesYoung@Heart

Related Pages

Click Here To Visit The Health And Wellness Topic Centers

Related Topics
Good GriefReview - Good Grief
by Lolly Winston
Warner Books, 2004
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D.
Dec 26th 2006 (Volume 10, Issue 52)


Good Grief is a "feel good" novel about a widow in her thirties putting her life together after her husband of a couple of years dies of cancer. At the start of the novel, Sophie Stanton lives in San Jose, she is going to a grief group, she sees a therapist, she keeps going to work, and yet she just feels worse every day. Eventually she has a crisis, and this leads her to move to Oregon and stay with a friend. She gets a job as a waitress, starts dating, joins a new grief group, and eventually opens her own business. So this is a hopeful tale of recovery and rebuilding.

Winston's writing is energetic and breezy. Even when Sophie is having a breakdown, the event seems just a little odd and quite funny. Early on in the novel, she goes to a plant nursery to shop for houseplants. She knocks over some plants and falls over. She tries to get up. "But it is better down here on the floor with the brown-speckled tiles and thin layer of dirt." She starts crawling away, when a salesman notices her. "If I hurry, I'll be out of here in no time. I scuttle faster, passing a dirty noodle of a rubber band, my coat hiking around my waist." So no matter how bad it gets for Sophie, the reader is allowed to see the lighter side.

Nevertheless, Winston's writing is still powerful. She makes Sophie's pain and confusion from losing her husband quite vivid, and readers may with spouses may find themselves snuggling up a bit closer while reading Good Grief. Her chapter titles play on the different stages of grief, and include not only denial, anger, depression, bargaining, and acceptance, but also Oreos and lust. We see Sophie start to take on more responsibilities as she starts to come to terms with her new situation, and she decides to mentor a local teenager, Crystal, who lives with her neglectful and self-centered mother. Crystal has more problems than Sophie -- she cuts herself, is socially isolated, and pushes people away from her. So Sophie has real difficulty being able to help the troubled girl. Yet she perseveres and eventually builds a relationship with Crystal, and this helps Sophie.

One might worry that in taking a light tone in a novel that Winston does not treat mourning and dysfunction with appropriate seriousness. However, that would be unfair, because Winston is actually very compassionate towards her characters. Good Grief addresses the issue of coming through terrible losses in a positive way, and it could be helpful to people who are in mourning. Even for those of us who are not, Winston gives us a touching story.



2006 Christian Perring. All rights reserved.

Christian Perring, Ph.D., is Academic Chair of the Arts & Humanities Division and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island. He is also editor of Metapsychology Online Reviews.  His main research is on philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.


Welcome to Metapsychology. We feature over 8200 in-depth reviews of a wide range of books and DVDs written by our reviewers from many backgrounds and perspectives. We update our front page weekly and add more than twenty new reviews each month. Our editor is Christian Perring, PhD. To contact him, use one of the forms available here.

Metapsychology Online reviewers normally receive gratis review copies of the items they review.
Metapsychology Online receives a commission from for purchases through this site, which helps us send review copies to reviewers. Please support us by making your purchases through our Amazon links. We thank you for your support!

Join our e-mail list!: Metapsychology New Review Announcements: Sent out monthly, these announcements list our recent reviews. To subscribe, click here.

Interested in becoming a book reviewer for Metapsychology? To apply, write to our editor.

Metapsychology Online Reviews

Promote your Page too

Metapsychology Online Reviews
ISSN 1931-5716