Time To Say Goodbye * S.D. Robertson Book review

Since Father’s day is coming..

I’ve known it was going to be a book about death and dying but I expected something better from Mr. Robertson. This was so much like Black Dog Summer * Miranda Sherry – in the sense that you have a lingering ghost looking over their daughter unable to move on until they are happy with their fate – that I nearly put the book down after the first few pages.

This is not The Lovely Bones. This is not Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson . This is not A Monster Calls.

This is a generic drama and loss story about a father who leaves his girl an orphan after being hit by a car. Not even a hit-and-run that would bring some mystery into the plot. I think the only mystery is how I did not yawn when reading this. This novel is marketed as a “heart-achingly good with laugh-out-loud moments”. My heart did not ache and not even a trace of a smile could be found when reading this mediocre depiction of life after death where some of the haunting rules are changed.

Ghosts can no longer walk through walls (they have to patiently wait for a door to be opened for them or have space in a car to ride with), spirits can ask for a deadline extension while they try to get to terms with their status of non-living-entity and their senses are lost. No longer can they feel a touch or let their touch be felt.

“My precious girl,’ I said, kneeling before her. ‘I wish you didn’t have to go through this.’ I placed my right hand above hers, just far enough away to avoid being repelled, and told her how much I loved her. ‘You won’t know it, darling, but I’ll be right by your side all day. We’ll get through this together.”

The story

‘Time to Say Goodbye’ tells the story of single father Will who would do anything to keep his six-year-old daughter Ella safe. After the death of his wife shortly after she gave birth to Ella, Will has tried to do everything on his own, promising Ella he will always be there for her, no matter what. But this soon turns out to be a promise Will can’t possibly keep as he is hit by a car while on his way to pick up Ella from school; an accident Will doesn’t survive. Will soon discovers he is now a spirit; he can’t be seen by Ella or any other family members and the spirit realm expects him to pass over as soon as possible. But Will can’t break his promise to be there for Ella that easily, so he’s not quite ready yet to end his time on earth.

The target audience I did not fit in

Parents, single parents, grandparents, people who have suffered the loss of a close one. Wait. I fit into the last category so theoretically the book should have appealed to me. It didn’t. If you want to read about the love between a father and a daughter, read Firestarter (Stephen King). It made me appreciate my father more and tell him I loved him (even though we are not the emotional type). I think it was trying to milk sympathy and even though the book should have ended after the first three chapters, it dragged on and on, introducing new characters, going into the bland lives of others and even bringing in an extra-marital affair for his dad. Hum, maybe that could have been used to spice things up if the extra was the one that hit him with the car for revenge… No plot whatsoever, wishy-washy description and atmosphere.

This will go into the donation pile.



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