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Three Words for Goodbye: A Novel

Three Words for Goodbye: A Novel

by Hazel Gaynor

Narrated by Suzanne Toren, Ann Marie Gideon, Megan Tusing

Unabridged — 9 hours, 40 minutes

Hazel Gaynor

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Overview

From Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb, the bestselling authors of Meet Me in Monaco, comes a coming-of-age novel set in pre-WWII Europe, perfect for fans of Jennifer Robson, Beatriz Williams, and Kate Quinn.  


Three cities, two sisters, one chance to correct the past . . .

New York, 1937: When estranged sisters Clara and Madeleine Sommers learn their grandmother is dying, they agree to fulfill her last wish: to travel across Europe-together. They are to deliver three letters, in which Violet will say goodbye to those she hasn't seen since traveling to Europe forty years earlier; a journey inspired by famed reporter, Nellie Bly.

Clara, ever-dutiful, sees the trip as an inconvenient detour before her wedding to millionaire Charles Hancock, but it's also a chance to embrace her love of art. Budding journalist Madeleine relishes the opportunity to develop her ambitions to report on the growing threat of Hitler's Nazi party and Mussolini's control in Italy.

Constantly at odds with each other as they explore the luxurious Queen Mary, the Orient Express, and the sights of Paris and  Venice,, Clara and Madeleine wonder if they can fulfil Violet's wish, until a shocking truth about their family brings them closer together. But as they reach Vienna to deliver the final letter, old grudges threaten their reconciliation again. As political tensions rise, and Europe feels increasingly volatile, the pair are glad to head home on the Hindenburg, where fate will play its hand in the final stage of their journey.



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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

05/31/2021

Gaynor and Webb (Meet Me in Monaco) return with a slight historical romance. In 1937, worldly East Hampton, N.Y., matriarch Violet Bell is dying. She sends her adult granddaughters, Clara and Maddie, to Europe with letters to convey her final goodbyes to faraway loved ones. Inseparable during childhood, the girls have clashed since artist Clara’s recent engagement to real estate developer Charles Hancock, whose rapaciousness Maddie finds deplorable. Meanwhile, Clara secretly longs for her older, married art tutor, while the brilliant but awkward Maddie wants to break into journalism. The sisters cross the Atlantic on the Queen Mary, share a compartment on the Orient Express, continue by train to Austria, and, before returning via the ill-fated Hindenburg, see the sights of Paris, Venice, and Vienna. While discovering things about themselves and their family, they bond, just as Violet had hoped. Each chooses a worthy man without discarding her identity or ambitions, and the story doesn’t end with everyone tidily married off. Overall, though, the authors prize travelogue over deep feeling, and despite frequent mentions of Hitler and Mussolini, the ominous historical currents receive short shrift, and there is little to distinguish the protagonists as women of the 1930s . It’s diverting, but not particularly impressive. Agent: Michelle Brower, Aevitas Creative Management. (July)

Liz Trenow

"Three glorious locations, two different but equally engaging sisters, family secrets to uncover and hearts to be won and lost, plus one big, shocking finale, Three Words for Goodbye is the very best of immersive, escapist historical fiction. I loved it from the first page. "

Natasha Lester

"Utterly delightful and the perfect escape. I loved being swept away to 1930s Paris, Venice, and Vienna alongside Maddie and Clara who, despite their differences, have come together to fulfill their dying grandmother’s final wish...A heartwarming and wonderful story about the power of forgiveness and the unbreakable bond of sisters.

Kristin Harmel

"Vibrant and laced with fascinating historical references...this tale of the complicated love between sisters and the mending of fractured relationships will move you, entertain you, and maybe even inspire you to seek out a truer path of your own."

Meredith Jaeger

"Illuminating the importance of family and the power of forgiveness, Three Words for Goodbye beautifully renders the romance of France, Italy and Austria with picturesque streets and culinary delights...I couldn’t stop turning the novel's pages until I’d reached the high-octane conclusion." 

Booklist

"Charming historical fiction."

MJ Rose

An enchanting novel...Gaynor & Webb weave a wonderful tale of love and loss, graced with the scents of perfumes, magnificent vistas and characters you will not soon forget. A delight for Francophiles, perfumistas, filmbuffs, and everyone who loves a good cry and happy ending.

Gill Paul

What a treat! Three Words for Goodbye is an absorbing, escapist, uplifting read... Reading this novel is like reclining in a comfortable beach chair with warm sun on your skin and a glass of champagne at your elbow: you won’t want it to end.

New York Post

Everyone from shop owners to paparazzi and movie stars arrive in glamorous Monaco against the backdrop of Grace Kelly’s ‘Wedding of the Century’ to Prince Rainier. A delightful beach read.

Liz Fenwick

"The perfect escapist read, full of heart."

Booklist

"Charming historical fiction."

"Vibrant and laced with fascinating historical references...this tale of the complicated love between sisters and the mending of fractured relationships will move you, entertain you, and maybe even inspire you to seek out a truer path of your own." %COMM_CONTRIB%Kristin Harmel

Michelle Gable

Webb and Gaynor’s latest collaboration is a historical fiction home run. The duo brings to life a vivid, engaging heroine, a glorious Côte d’Azur setting, and the ultimate princess, Grace Kelly. MEET ME IN MONACO is smart, romantic, and heartbreaking, and the tale captivates from the start.

New York Post on Meet Me in Monaco

Everyone from shop owners to paparazzi and movie stars arrive in glamorous Monaco against the backdrop of Grace Kelly’s ‘Wedding of the Century’ to Prince Rainier. A delightful beach read.” 

Kate Quinn

Humor, love, tragedy, and hope make for a moving, uplifting read. A winner!

Karen Harper

Meet Me in Monaco offers a fabulous you-are-there glimpse into the lives of the rich and famous—and real. From Grace Kelly’s royal ‘wedding of the century’ to the luxe lifestyles on the Riviera and in Paris and New York, this novel swept me away.

Booklist on Last Christmas in Paris

Gaynor and Webb’s first collaboration is beautifully told [...] the authors fully capture the characters’ voices as each person is dramatically shaped by the war to end all wars.” 

Jennifer Robson

Last Christmas in Paris is an extraordinary epistolary novel that explores the history and aftermath of the Great War in a sensitive, memorable and profoundly moving fashion. A book to savor, to share and discuss with friends, and above all to cherish.

null Booklist on Last Christmas in Paris

Gaynor and Webb’s first collaboration is beautifully told [...] the authors fully capture the characters’ voices as each person is dramatically shaped by the war to end all wars.” 

null New York Post on Meet Me in Monaco

Everyone from shop owners to paparazzi and movie stars arrive in glamorous Monaco against the backdrop of Grace Kelly’s ‘Wedding of the Century’ to Prince Rainier. A delightful beach read.” 

Library Journal

02/01/2021

USA TODAY best-selling Ackerman's Radar Girls tells the story of young Daisy Wilder, happy with her horses in Hawaii, who joins the real-life Women's Air Raid Defense after the attack on Pearl Harbor (100,000-copy first printing). Leave it to Chiaverini (e.g., Resistance Women) to write a book about The Women's March featuring three brave women who marched for the vote (200,000-copy first printing). In Three Words for Goodbye, New York Times best-selling coauthors Gaynor and Webb (Meet Me in Monaco) send estranged sisters Clara and Madeleine Sommers across 1937 Europe to deliver letters written by their dying grandmother. After the death in 1941 of the kidnapper who raised her in the Eastern European wilderness, a young German woman teaches a group of fleeing Jews how to survive in the forest while learning about the world's horrors in Harmel's The Forest of Vanishing Stars (150,000-copy first printing). A good companion to Natalie Haynes's A Thousand Ships, Pat Barker's The Women of Troy, and poet Anne Carson's graphic novel, The Trojan Women: A Comic, all 2021 titles, Heywood's Daughters of Sparta addresses the relationship between sisters Helen and Klytemnestra. In Tanabe's Woman of Intelligence, a frustrated 1950s Manhattan wife who once worked as a UN translator wrenches open her cage doors by agreeing to work as an FBI informant (60,000-copy first printing).

Product Details

BN ID: 2940176288063
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 12/01/2021
Edition description: Unabridged

Customer Reviews