The Truth About Goodbye by Russell Ricard

"Does goodbye really mean forever?"

Sebastian Hart is no stranger to heartbreak. When he was just a boy, he lost his mother to cancer caused by secondhand smoke from his father. The rest of his father's short life was spent with guilt and grief, leaving Sebastian without the support that he desperately needed. Now, on the eve of his fortieth birthday, Sebastian is still reeling from his latest misfortune. Exactly one year ago, Sebastian's husband Frank was killed in a tragic accident. The usually loving couple had an argument immediately preceding the incident, and Sebastian can't forgive himself for allowing this negative moment be his final memory of the love of his life.

To make matters worse, Sebastian's dream of being a choreographer for a Broadway show seem more out of reach than ever before. As a soon to be forty-year-old man, he's seen the coveted spots as members of the chorus become nearly unattainable. Directors seem to only cast young boys. Instead of managing a large production, Sebastian struggles to coordinate a simple number for his community tap class. Without Frank as a second source of income, he turns to temp jobs as a dog walker and office clerk to make ends meet.

On the night of his birthday, Sebastian's best friend Chloe, a retired Rockette who partakes in plenty of men and alcohol, believes she has the cure to his perpetually sour state. She tries to set him up with Reid, a hunky landscaper who has also joined Sebastian's tap class. Deep down, Sebastian's heart will always belong to Frank, but could it be time to move on? Will his heart ever be capable of loving again?

 In his debut novel The Truth About Goodbye, Russell Ricard writes about love, loss, and the insecurity that can come with aging. I immediately began to make comparisons with another story about loss that features a gay couple, A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood. I appreciated the way Ricard brought the topics explored in that groundbreaking work into the 21st century. It is amazing to reflect upon both the shared troubles and remarkable progress of the LGBT community between the two time periods.

Despite all of the positive intent of this novel, I felt myself wanting more from it. Large sections of dialogue, especially those dealing with the more internalized conflicts of guilt and grief, came off as disingenuous. This made it difficult to relate to Sebastian's situation. This wouldn't be frustrating if there weren't glimmers of brilliance throughout the work. Ricard's description of the behind the scenes drama in a Broadway show and any section featuring his fierce character Chloe were vividly written.The clarity of these moments caused the rest of the story to pale in comparison. Overall, The Truth About Goodbye, is a mixed bag that merely scratches the surface of the intriguing ideas that it teases.

For more information, visit the author's website, Amazon, and Goodreads.

If this sounds like a book that you would like to read, enter to win a copy courtesy of the author and publisher. US entries only. No P.O. boxes please. Winner will have 48 hours from contact to respond. 

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 and is filed under ,,,,,,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

7 Responses to “The Truth About Goodbye by Russell Ricard”

  1. Looks like a great read. Thank you for the opportunity to enter.

  2. Hmm. It sounds like this one had a lot of potential, but seeing as it didn't grasp all of its potential it fell flat in that aspect. It's such a shame about that :/ I would have been interested in this one otherwise.

    1. It had so much potential, but didn't really deliver.

  3. This looks like a good story. Can't wait to read it.

  4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.

  5. It's interesting that the characters are so diverse. I'd like to see how it all plays out.


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