Melanie, a perfectionist mom who views the approaching end of parenting as a type of death, can’t believe she has only one more year to live vicariously through her slacker senior son, Dane. Gorgeous mom Sarah has just begun to realize that her only daughter, Ashley, has been serving as a stand-in for her traveling husband, and the thought of her daughter leaving for college is cracking the carefully cultivated façade of her life. Will and his wife are fine—as long as he follows the instructions on the family calendar and is sure to keep secret his whole other life with Lauren, the woman he turns to for fun (and who also happens to have a daughter in the senior class).
Told from the points of view of both the parents and the kids, The Goodbye Year explores high school peer pressure, what it’s like for young people to face the unknown of life after high school, and how a transition that should be the beginning of a couple’s second act together—empty nesting—might possibly be the end.
“Rouda deftly examines the difficult transition parents and their children face as they prepare for the end of one life and the beginning of another. Her latest is a compelling story and a thoughtful examination of the nature of change and the importance of working to accept it.” ―Booklist
“The Goodbye Year is an often hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking, always engaging look at the last year before high school seniors leave their families for good. I devoured it!” -Meg Mitchell Moore, author of The Admissions, So Far Away, and The Arrivals
“The family dramas and dynamics are things that we can all relate to…”
-Redbook magazine, “20 Best Books to Read Come Spring”
“Kaira Rouda channels Peyton Place meets The Real Housewives of Orange County with her newest book, The Goodbye Year.” ―Working Mother magazine
Rachel’s Guest Review:
The storyline in The Goodbye Year was simple enough, follow the lives of families living in a wealthy suburb in Southern California as they deal with the ups and downs of their child’s senior year in highschool. What made it more intriguing was of course the soap opera drama that unraveled in each of the separate lives of these rich, white women, men and tennagers that have everything they could ever dream of. The lifestyle of each character seemed so cliche, yet you could not put the book down as you delved into their dark ugly secrets that would inevitably blow up in their faces.
Kaira Rouda put into perspective the fact that exterior facades that people extol to societies in which they mingle are never as they appear. Lies, deceit, manic behaviors and even psychotic behaviors are what these people truly micro manage so they appear perfect to their peers. The sad thing is that the teenage characters seemed to be able to cope with life in a much more reasonable manner than their eccentric parents. Although some of the story was a bit embellished, like the cheating husband turning into an insane psychopathic killer, for the most part Rouda did a great job in bringing to light the behind the scenes issues that all families may deal with in a fun easy read.
Her women’s fiction titles include THE GOODBYE YEAR, HERE, HOME, HOPE, ALL THE DIFFERENCE and IN THE MIRROR. Her bestselling short story is titled, A MOTHER’S DAY. Her sexy contemporary romance series include the LAGUNA BEACH Series, the INDIGO ISLAND Series with a new MALIBU Series launching in 2016.
Her nonfiction titles, REAL YOU INCORPORATED: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs, and REAL YOU FOR AUTHORS: 8 Essentials for Women Writers (available for free download on her website) continue to inspire.
Kaira’s work has won numerous awards including the Indie Excellence Award, USA Book Awards, the Reader’s Choice Awards and honorable mention in the Writer’s Digest International Book Awards. She lives in Southern California with her husband and four almost-grown kids, and is at work on her next novel.