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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Book Review: The Goodbye Year by Toni Piccinini
By Crystal J. Casavant-Otto

Toni Piccinini knows exactly what that’s like to send a child off and have another empty bedroom and in The Goodbye Year, she offers the loving support every soon-to-be Empty Nester needs. Toni asks that readers think of her as their own bossy-but-loving Italian auntie, with modern sensibilities and a packed pantry. She's definitely loving and with the wisdom she’s acquired from saying goodbye three times to her own children, she reassuringly holds the readers hand and is encouraging while providing love and laughter along the journey!

The Goodbye Year is an inspirational, honest, and hilarious tale of Toni Piccinini's approach to the end of an era in her Italian household. The full title of this, Piccinini's first book is: The Goodbye Year: Wisdom and Culinary Therapy to Survive Your Child's Senior Year of High School (and Reclaim the YOU of You) and I can certainly say the book lives up to this fabulous title!

The Goodbye Year is a great book for parents and non-parents alike. Even though the book focuses on a child’s senior year and those specific challenges, even a parent of young children or a non-parent can relate to loving, letting go, and the last time for something special. Piccinini offers love and support as well as some fabulous recipes. She is an encouraging friend who went from dreading those “lasts” to enjoying her own new-found freedom and flexibility. The optimism, support, and humor throughout The Goodbye Year drew me in and kept me interested through and through.

We’ve all been in a situation where we knew it was the end of something special. I remember that feeling the last day of first grade. While the other children were laughing and enjoying the celebratory picnic I was thinking how we would all have different teachers next year and things would never be the same again. I was not able to express the sorrow that came with that ending but as a child I just knew I was sad. Similar feelings came over me the last day of summer camp, the last day before my best friend moved away, and the last day of school each and every year. After reading The Goodbye Year I feel better equipped to lead my children through those ‘lasts’. I have to admit before I started reading I assumed this particular book wouldn’t apply to me since my children are just starting school, but I really have a lot of take-aways and would certainly recommend The Goodbye Year to anyone who has experienced love or loss of any kind.

Piccinini considers herself a bossy-but-loving Italian Auntie and that love shines through on each page. I felt her wrapping her arms around me with love and encouragement. She empowered me to try new recipes, enjoy little moments I would otherwise have missed, and somehow though we have never met, we have shared laughter. I hope Piccinini has a new project or two lined up because I look forward to reading more from her.

Paperback:  264 Pages

Publisher:  Seal Press (September 10, 2013)

ISBN-10:  1580054862

Twitter hashtag: #TGYPiccinini

The Goodbye Year is available as a print and e- book at 

Meet the lovely and humorous Toni Piccinini!

Toni’s writing career started when she  stapled her first "book" together and launched it at a reading attended by her brother, Scotty, and her Boxer, Lonesome. The title-less story was a mash-up of Hansel and Gretel, The Six Swans, and a Box Car Children adventure, with the protagonists (sister, brother, and dog) risking everything in their quest for a magical lump of coal that would save the town. It was an immediate success. During the fifty years between her first and second book, The Goodbye Year: Wisdom and Culinary Therapy to Survive Your Child's Senior Year of High School (and Reclaim the YOU of You) she has, in no order of importance or chronology

·        opened a "Top 100" San Francisco restaurant
·        published scientific articles on the efficacies of antibiotics
·        sang the National Anthem at high school football games
·        published essays, recipes, and cookbook reviews
·        sent three children off to college

Toni lives in Marin County California, which is a long way from her Western Pennsylvania hometown, Heilwood. She is busy on her next book, which may revisit the power found in a magical lump of coal.

The Goodbye Year’s Website:

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