Every Time We Say Goodbye

Every Time We Say Goodbye

Book - 2011
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1942: Her mother's death left Grace Turner detached from the world until she became pregnant. Now, she's fallen in love with her baby boy but is locked in combat with her sister-in-law over his care. Wanting an independent life for herself and her son, Grace leaves Sault Ste. Marie to find work, and a place of her own, in southern Ontario. But she worries: when she returns for her baby, will her brother and sister-in-law give him up?

1957: Teenaged Dean Turner breaks open a locked box and finds adoption papers with a birth certificate for Daniel Turner, son of Grace Turner and an unknown father. His parents deny that he is adopted, but four years later, Dean leaves home to find the mysterious Grace.

1961: Laura falls in love with Dean Turner soon after he sits down at her table in the Queen Street Eaton's cafeteria, but he disappears as suddenly and as devastatingly as he appeared. When she encounters him in Sault Ste. Marie three years later, she is determined not to let him slip away again.

1973: Eight-year-old Dawn Turner waits for her father one morning at the front door of her grandparents' house. Dawn and her little brother are finally starting a life with their father, Dean, and his new wife. But when the new beginning doesn't work out, she and Jimmy end up back with their grandparents. As Dawn grows up, she must work to understand her family's mysteries and disappearing acts before she loses track of herself completely. Jamie Zeppa paints a tender and perceptive portrait of the unconventional, though not entirely dysfunctional, Turner family. Rich with mystery, broken promises and in the end, some mending of hearts, Every Time We Say Goodbye explores what it means to leave, to be left, to be absent; what connects parents and children, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives - and what drives them apart.
Publisher: Toronto : Knopf Canada, 2011.
ISBN: 9780307399472
9780307399489
Characteristics: 342 pages ; 22 cm

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ownedbydoxies
Jan 08, 2014

This was an unexpectedly excellent story. It's simple, unpretentious and interesting right up until the last page. Basically, it asks the question 'when is someone really gone from your life?' Is it when they move away, is it when they choose to ignore you, or is it when they die. Or is it that they never truly leave? Like all great stories, the author doesn't pretend to have the answers, she just follows her characters as they deal with the questions and the effects on their lives.

Cdnbookworm Jan 13, 2012

This is a novel about the Turner family, based in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario. The novel is told in several voices.
We have Grace, who was disconnected from life after her mother died. Grace who had a baby without a husband. While her brother Frank and his wife Vera supported her and the baby, there was a struggle for control. Grace left to make a new life for herself, and worried that when she went back for the baby, Frank and Vera wouldn't let him go.
We have Dean, raised as Frank and Vera's son, finding a birth certificate for Daniel, son of Grace Turner, and adoption papers. He is interrupted and next time he looks the papers are gone. Dean struggles with who he is and who his birth parents are. He runs wild and isn't an involved father himself.
We have Laura, who encountered Dean once on one of his sprees and can't forget him. When she finds him again, she won't let him go. Or will she?
We have Dawn, Dean's daughter, raised by Frank and Vera, having her own struggles for her place in the world. She wants to understand her family and why her parents weren't there for her, why she and her brother Jimmy live with Frank and Vera. As Dawn's actions finally bring the family together, there is hope for truth and a more positive future.
This book has sadness and happiness, death and birth. It is the story of a family with its ups and downs. Engaging and flowing, this book will capture you with its characters.

h
halgeon
Jan 03, 2012

Confession time: I enjoy books set in Ontario, having spent a good portion of my life there.

For that reason, and the fact that this was a well-told story (with the bonus of an unexpected twist at the end), I enjoyed this book. The characters were well formed and there was just the right amount of heartache among them.

Although the ending was perhaps a bit too tidy given the events that came before it, the story spoke volumes about family, love and forgiveness.

ksoles Jun 22, 2011

Family mysteries and family misunderstandings: certainly not the same thing but, as Jamie Zeppa proves in "Every Time We Say Goodbye," not entirely disparate either.

Zeppa's debut novel draws the reader into the turbulent story of the Turner family. As the book opens in the mid-1960s, eight-year-old Dawn and her brother, Jimmy, optimistically wait at their grandparent's house for their unreliable father, who they believe is coming to bring them to live with him and his wife in a new house. From this point, Zeppa takes us back two generations, through the Depression and the post-War era, and reveals the sources of the family's instability.

Despite one weak and unnecessary section in which Dawn joins a religious cult, "Every Time We Say Goodbye" perceptively questions the value of family connections and explores the meanings of abandonment, absence and isolation. It combines mystery, plot twists, broken promises and ultimately appropriate reconciliation to produce a satisfying read.

debwalker Mar 13, 2011

In writing Every Time We Say Goodbye, Toronto-based Jamie Zeppa turned to her hometown of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., with a story of a dysfunctional family that somehow beats the odds.

The novel, her first, was published this spring under the prestigious New Face of Fiction imprint from Knopf Canada, a program that annually highlights a handful of first-time Canadian novelists. The 15-year-old program has turned up writers such as Ann-Marie MacDonald, Yann Martel, Mary Lawson and Timothy Taylor.

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