Starting with Goodbye: A Daughter’s Memoir of Love After Loss

Lisa Romeo. Univ. of Nevada, $19.95 (240p) ISBN 978-1-943859-68-9
In this earnest memoir, Romeo reckons with her strained relationship with her father, who died at age 80 in 2006. Romeo was the baby of the family whose next oldest sibling was eight years her senior, and therefore she had her parents largely to herself. Her father, Tony, who’d had to abandon his dream of becoming a doctor to support his parents, instead became a wealthy textile manufacturer and dabbled in art. Romeo grew up in New Jersey and traveled in first class with her parents, and her father catered to her expensive passion for horses, which grew into riding competitively. However, she never cultivated a close relationship with him, choosing instead to bond with her mother who never challenged her. As an adult they grew apart. It is only after her father died, when he appeared to her in dreams and in moments of contemplation, that they began to talk again. She asked him why he stopped painting (then realized it was because her mother didn’t like the mess it created), and he asked her, “What are you going to do about your lack of retirement savings?” Through these conversations, talking with friends and family, and her own soul-searching, Romeo came to understand that it was her quiet, curious, observant father who truly shaped the person she had become. Romeo’s honest, hopeful story will strike a meaningful chord with those who’ve been prompted to reconsider their relationships or themselves after a death. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/07/2018
Release date: 05/01/2018
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