The Goodbye Cousins

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The Goodbye Cousins

Di had lived in Europe with her mother for several years, mostly in England but several other places too. While in the Netherlands, she became pregnant with Max who is now 2 years old. After her mother dies, Di decides that she’s going to return to Pittsburgh staying with her cousin, Alecia and her finance, Ben while trying to decide what to do next. However, after a month Alecia was ready for Di to go!
Di has no real skills nor does she have a solid education. When her parents divorced her mom got the house and her dad got Di. This was no acceptable to her mother so she kidnapped Di. Moving from place to place doesn’t lend itself to school. 
Alecia sets Di up with a job for one of her co-workers. There she meets two very different men who seem to be interested in her. Di isn’t sure what she’s doing but does realize that she has lots of other issues that she needs to deal with before she starts a relationship with anyone.
In the meantime, Alecia and Ben are having problems that neither want to face or discuss. Can they work them out or are they too big for them to deal with? They need to figure it out soon, the wedding is only weeks away!
The characters in this novel grew on me. When this book started I wasn’t too sure I even liked Di but about half way through I realized that I not only like Di but I wanted to know what next. Di started off letting the reader know that she lied about stuff, a lot of stuff. She also didn’t seem to have the maturity to stand on her own or have the skills she desires or the knowledge of how to get them. Her growth into a strong woman came gradually and with some hits and misses. Alecia struck me as a spoiled brat that wanted everything her way without giving anything of herself. She, also, learns and grows as her life is shook up and she has to make some hard decisions. The other main characters are equally likeable as they grow into the situations they find themselves in.
Besides reading about Di’s growth, this novel addresses so serious issues in today’s society. Di is a victim of parental kidnapping. She has to deal with the parent that was left behind and died while she was gone as well as his new family, which she wasn’t a part of. Alecia has an overbearing father that wants to run her life and a mother that is just getting out of rehab. Ben doesn’t know what he wants to do or be. He tries different paths only to find himself dissatisfied and unfulfilled. As the characters try to figure out what is important in their lives, we can see bits of our own lives and our own struggles or those of friends and family.
I found I really enjoyed this novel. I found the story to be heart warming. I loved how the characters and the situations came to life. The not knowing if there would be a happily ever after ending for not only Di but Alecia kept me quickly reading so I could find out. This is an excellent book for a lazy summer day to curl up with.

Book Blurb for The Goodbye Cousins

A tender, funny, effervescent novel about reconnecting cousins, family secrets, and a season of change

“Your family will find you.” It was the last thing Diotima Linzer’s mother, Roxanne, ever told her. But this was the same mother who kidnapped Di when she was eleven and fled to Europe where her broken-hearted father—and the FBI—would never find them. Now a single mom herself, Di is making a belated return to the States with her two-year-old son, Max, searching for the father she lost. That means moving in temporarily with her cousin Alecia and Alecia’s fiancé, Ben, in a Pittsburgh apartment crowded with wedding gifts.

If that’s not already a recipe for disaster, Di soon finds herself falling for the wealthy, handsome, “nearly divorced” father who hires her as a nanny for his troubled teenage son, while her cousin Alecia, preoccupied by her promotion to television news anchor and a prenup she hasn’t mentioned to her fiancé, has to cope with the sudden reappearance of her estranged mother—who may hold the secret to Di’s parents’ past. Suddenly these two very different cousins—one searching for direction in the universe, the other desperate to stop her well-ordered life from unraveling—are about to discover that the family they thought they’d lost may have found them instead.
Maggie Leffler is a family practice physician in Pittsburgh, where she lives with her husband and sons.
From the Paperback edition.

Night Owl Reviews May, 2009 4.50