Goodbye, Sweet Girl by Kelly Sundberg

Goodbye, Sweet Girl

In this brave and beautiful memoir, written with the raw honesty and devastating openness of The Glass Castle and The Liar’s Club, a woman chronicles how her marriage devolved from a love story into a shocking tale of abuse—examining the tenderness and violence entwined in the relationship, why she endured years of physical and emotional pain, and how she eventually broke free."You made me hit you in the face," he said mournfully. "Now everyo...

Details Goodbye, Sweet Girl

TitleGoodbye, Sweet Girl
Release DateJun 5th, 2018
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Feminism, Biography

Reviews Goodbye, Sweet Girl

  • Roxane
    It is a hell of a thing to write about brutality and suffering with strength, grace, generosity and beauty. That’s precisely what Kelly Sundberg has done in her gripping memoir about marriage and domestic violence. Sundberg’s honesty is astonishing, how she laid so much of herself bare, how she did not demonize a man who deserves to be demonized. Instead, she offers a portrait of a broken man and a broken marriage and an abiding love, what it...
  • Rebecca Thomas
    I have taught Sundberg's "It Will Look Like a Sunset" in my composition classes ever since the essay came out. Every semester, the essay enables important discussions about abuse, agency, and craft. Every semester, I have students who feel empowered enough to share their story. Every semester, I have students who say that this essay changed their way of thinking. This is the power of Sundberg's work: it is both beautifully written while simultane...
  • Jane Eaton Hamilton
    Sometimes I want to let a book sit with me. I have to let it sink in deeply and observe how it feels in my tissues and bones before I write about it. First off, let me say that Kelly Sundberg is a courageous, talented, skilled and generous writer--it's why I've so admired her blog through the years. You are in good hands here, readers. Kelly Sundberg was married to a mercurial, abusive writer who was, at the beginning, ahead of her on the success...
  • Jen
    As most memoirs go, Goodbye Sweet Girl can be tough to read at times. Kelly Sundberg details her life, the beginning of her relationship, and their eventual descent into domestic abuse. The insight into why people choose to stay with their abusers and how they gather the courage to leave was raw and unfiltered. This was a real, honest take on domestic abuse. It was excellently written, yet I felt like the author was holding back a bit. It was met...
  • Barbara Senteney
    I am not giving this book 5 stars because of the writing. The writing style is simple but surprisingly open and candid. I gave this book 5 stars because of the courage it takes to open ones whole life up to be viewed, criticized and picked part by the hungry for blood masses. To bare ones soul and admit to the shame of abuse and lay it out there before the world to step on like a rug after being walked on in life takes a special soul.It takes a s...
  • Kelly Long
    This is a very honest and open account of being in an abusive marriage. It's also a story of hope, strength, and survival.
  • Dawn
    I'm sorry, but I just didn't enjoy this book. I really wanted to. I thought I would. But I didn't. The opening is compelling and pulled me right in. However, as I read, the details really got blurry. I found it very difficult to follow Sundberg as she detailed the various relationships that led her into a violent marriage. There was too much jumping around–– while discussing one boyfriend and the relationship, there would be a sudden jump to ...
  • Lou
    AbuseBrutalityIgnoranceAngerViolenceScaredCryingPainHurtFocusTruthNo quittingNever give upSurvivalStrengthCourageBraveryBreaking freeFreedomBe prepared to be sucked into the vortex that incorporate all these words letters, ultimately feelings and emotions.Necessary truth work layered out in a very real everyday human stain upon earth. A writer with courage and bravery to lay down her life for the reader, a writer yet again seeking truth, realisat...
  • Neelam Babul
    It is commendable to write about brutality and suffering that one has endured in life at the hands of a loved one with such strength,honesty, generosity and admiration. In this gripping memoir, Kelly Sundberg talks of her about marriage and domestic violence that she experienced. I was appalled and horrified to read of her struggles, the fear she felt and the endless times she fought to save her failing marriage. Kelly Sundberg was married to an ...
  • Donna Hines
    Kelly Sundberg had no idea her husband had two sides. One a sweet, loving supportive father to their son Reed the other a vengeful violent explosive persona.Her childhood was riddled with some interesting characters and power plays in Salmon Idaho. Salmon was well known for mormon's , hippies, but not as well known was the darker side of beauty and brutality.Break out of the cage. Spread your wings and fly. Never settle. Stay safe. Her mother wou...
  • Renee
    GOODBYE, SWEET GIRL is a vivid, beautifully composed memoir about Kelly Sundberg’s tumultuous marriage to an abusive man. The narrative evokes feelings of remorse, uncertainty, and later, empowerment. It’s a compelling read, and although the disjointed timeline proves difficult to follow at times, I finished this book with a full heart.
  • Brooke (Brooke's Books and Brews)
    I find it very difficult to review memoirs. These are stories of peoples’ lives, their experiences and memories laid bare. That’s why I have thought for a while what to write about this book. Kelly Sundberg lays bare the story of her life, all of the ups and downs, the positives and the many negatives. The honesty actually really surprised me. And I absolutely applaud her for being brave enough to do this. Sundberg’s memoir has very difficu...
  • Marika
    Author Sundberg writes chillingly about being married to a violent, yet brilliant man and how she came to be with him. What is unusual is that she did not come from a dysfunctional and/or abusive family, which is the backdrop to so many of these stories of abuse. She writes clearly about how she was able to love her husband, and even protect him, as he abused her. Beautifully, yet compactly written by a woman who had had enough.I read an advance ...
  • Cheryl
    I really appreciate Kelly Sundberg for having the courage to share her story. Maybe others who find themselves in this type of situation or in the beginning or one will find the strength to get out. I am fortunate that I am in a loving marriage. Although, my sister has not been as luckily. She has been in several abusive relationships. One of the relationships she was warned in the beginning. The other ones, the guys put on a good front before th...
  • Karen
    This book was very disturbing not only because of the abuse but also because of the author’s perception of the relationship. It seems that the author believed that outside of the abuse that there was a beautiful relationship/friendship between her and Caleb. There didn’t seem to be any evidence of that as she described their relationship. Caleb had so many disturbing behaviors and I had the sense that there was even more darkness not revealed...
  • Rebecca
    Thank you to the publisher (via Edelweiss) for an advance e-galley in exchange for an honest review.It's basically impossible to give a book under 5 stars when someone does what Kelly Sundberg does in this book- is able to write eloquently about the most brutal of experiences, is honest and vulnerable about what they experienced. Her abuse was horrific, and she writes openly about her path to realizing that the situation was untenable, about the ...
  • Renée Roehl
    1.5 stars.I *wish* this book had been better. It wasn't emotionally honest, it withheld emotion and didn't let the reader in. As a reader I felt nothing, but was told everything too many times in the superfluous details. I found the story redundant with excessive word fluff to pad the lack of genuine pain the author must have felt. She talks about secrets in her family, Caleb's family but doesn't seem to realize as the writer she kept secrets fro...
  • Taila Williams
    Finished in two days! Absolutely captivating book.
  • Michele Maro
    I don’t like this author at all. I don’t like her writing style. She repeats phrases too much. She’s whiny. She’s annoying. I was in an abusive marriage also which was why I picked up this book. I didn’t need to hear about her breasts or sex life. Her whinging was just too much. She has serious issues that meds and counseling didn’t help. Maybe someone that reads this will recognize they are being abused and get help.
  • Meagan
    I’ve already passed on my copy to be passed on again, and I’ll eventually keep another on my shelf, but it will be difficult. I have seen how many eloquent reviews have been written for this book, and you should read those because they’re true. This book will be oft-recommended alongside Roxane Gay’s Hunger as a book that changed how I see the world every day—Gay’s for how I see chairs, tables, food. Sundberg’s for how I see stories...
  • Gina
    I received an advanced proof of this book as part of a giveaway on behalf of Goodreads and I am so, so grateful that I was able to read this. Roxane Gay's review really nails it- this book is gripping and honest and so, so powerful. Sundberg writes from a place of understanding, for both herself and others, when she could easily write with anger and fury. Her clear, candid prose shows how difficult it is for abused partners to leave relationships...
  • Kelly
    I wanted my compassion to be enough to spare him any more pain. I was a woman full of wants who wanted to love someone in a way that would heal us both.This is a really important book, and I so admire Kelly Sundberg. This isn't some book about a waif-like woman who apologizes for everything, the perfect, blameless victim. Sundberg fights back.Please don't read that and think Sundberg is not a victim. She is. It took her years to even consider tha...
  • Jill
    I was so thrilled to snag an ARC of this book. I've been dying to read this book since I read Sundberg's gorgeous essay "It Will Look Like a Sunset," and this book didn't disappoint. Gorgeous, finely carved prose (each word feels deliberate), and unputdownable. Although this is a book about domestic violence, the abuse itself doesn't actually take up much space on the page. The book is about so much more than that. (But boy do I hope they edit th...
  • Suzanne Ondrus
    This autobiography on domestic violence would be great for a class or training because it allows one to see the cycle of domestic violence where there are beatings, apologies, makeups, forgiveness... More importantly it shows the struggle of leaving.This novel does a great job of showing the cycle of violence. For example, the author recounts leaving after abuse and then crawling into bed to snuggle by her husband, "relax into the forgiveness" ("...
  • Andrienne
    This memoir has so much honesty and raw emotion. It’s a difficult topic but the author doesn’t shy away from laying bare the journey that put her in a position where she went from an eager woman who wanted to love and be loved to someone who had to hide bruises. She parts the cover with finesse to report on how abuse can enter a seemingly loving relationship. She pulls apart the facets of what makes a woman, a strong woman and what makes a ma...
  • Sarah Beth
    I received an uncorrected proof copy of this book from HarperCollins. This memoir details the author's marriage to a man full of contradictions. Caleb was a loving father and very hands' on around the house. Yet he could also fly into rages and grow violent towards his wife Kelly. In this account, in candid prose, she describes the years' long process of working to fix her marriage, laying blame on herself when the cycle continued, and ultimately...
  • Brandi
    This book is about Kelly Sundberg's very specific experience, and it is so much more. Like Kelly, I grew up in a town of around 3,000 people in Idaho, a place where everyone around me displayed that women existed to serve their men, that the highest achievement is (for god's sake!) not rocking the boat, and that the mistakes of men happen only because the women were too [stupid, lazy, ugly, fat, clueless, ignorant, pigheaded - take your pick] to ...
  • Olivia
    It wasn't the story. Kelly is amazing. She lived through, escaped, and has blossomed beyond a trauma that breaks the spirit and bodies of so many. I admire her courage in articulating to us and herself the truth about who she was during the course of her marriage and I'm glad to have read her story. Abusive relationships, as Kelly does a wonderful job of emphasizing, are often characterized by simultaneously victimizing yourself and being told th...
  • Agnes Carpenter
    Let me start by congratulating Kelly for her courage and bravery in leaving her abuser. It’s unfortunate that this story is the happy ending for too many women let alone the many women who never break or make it free. That being said the story was flat for me. I believe if you’re going to write a memoir it should be all or nothing. What was written was a story that wandered into irrelevant details and circled around things that should have be...
  • E
    Kelly Sundberg is an incredibly talented writer. She tells her horrific story in a way that grips you until the very end. This is a cautionary tale that, no matter how much we may love someone, we cannot lose ourselves trying to save him/her. This is a cautionary tale to trust your intuition. This is a cautionary tale that a drowning man/woman will attempt to pull you under with him/her.No woman or man should have to endure the abuse Kelly experi...