Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong (Review By Sarah Doherty)
In Goodbye, Vitamin we meet a heartbroken 30-year-old Ruth who has moved back home to help her parents in the wake of her father’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Ruth’s father, Howard, who worked as a Professor, is no longer able to teach due to his rapid decline in memory so some of his students band together to try to help him. In the meantime, Howard has given Ruth a book of notes to her he has kept since she was young. Through the notes, we get a peek at their memories and their relationship, while simultaneously getting wrapped up in his present decline and the struggles they share as a family.
This is a very poignant but lovely story of a family trying to cope with Alzheimer’s disease. Khong gives us a glimpse at the hard, funny, sad, and beautiful moments – and everything in between. The novel was structured as a series of journal entries, which made it relatable and easy to get wrapped up in. Towards the end of the novel, Khong did an excellent job accelerating the pace to mimic the quickening pace of real life as you get older, especially when faced with a diagnosis like Howard’s. It’s a grave reminder not to take your life for granted and to cherish the time you have with the people you love, doing the things you love.
I am eagerly awaiting whatever is next from Rachel Khong. I simply adored Goodbye, Vitamin and would definitely recommend it for The Girly Book Club!
Review by Sarah Doherty