“I think you’re making the biggest mistake of your life,” I blurted out.
Lord knows that was not a way to win back a man’s heart, but I had not been attempting that. Grief had become a liquor that suppressed my inhibitions and left me stumbling, acting from nonsensical conclusions: that if he hurt more, I might hurt less; that even though I was sure there was nothing he could say to win me back, I wanted him to try. Maybe, more than anything, I wanted to see him fail the way I thought I had failed at saving our marriage.
The Going and Goodbye is an examination of love and loss and leaving and the search for meaning in the memories that remain. Tracing a path through rural Ohio, the American south and small towns of Mexico, these stories breathe life into a marriage and its dissolution; find a voice that fears mortality then faces it; explore faith in the face of these losses; and ultimately reveal the power of love and letting go.
Selected as a Dayton Daily News 2017 favorite nonfiction book: "There were some lovely memoirs published, and Shuly Cawood penned my favorite one."
"Cawood's writing [is] beautifully spare. . . " and her memoir is focused "on love and its silences, its heartbreaks, its negotiations, its promises and compromises, its costs and tradeoffs, and eventually its lovely, unselfish, unspoken gifts." ~ Main Street Rag
"'The Going and Goodbye' is a gorgeously conceived expedition of a book. . . . If you read a lot of books then you probably know that feeling you can get when you encounter a writer who has written every single word with exquisite care and precision. . . . There are no wasted words here." ~ Yellow Springs News
"Cawood’s memoir is peppered with flashes of profundity wrapped in astute observations." ~ Latino Book Review
"This is a brave writer who moves lyrically and fearlessly toward self-knowledge, a writer who is willing to probe the darkness in the chambers of her own heart, not just the hearts of others. . . . This is a voice you can trust with your life." ~ Joyce Dyer, author of Gum-Dipped and Goosetown
"In this luminous memoir Shuly Cawood dives into the deepest of waters—health and illness, the bonds of family, intimacy and its unraveling—and emerges with a treasure. . . .The Going and Goodbye is a revelation." ~ Matthew Goodman, New York Times bestselling author
"This memoir ranges all over the past while creating a steady sense of forward motion through the narrator’s life. I think of these two streams of energy as lyric and narrative, the circling and moving forward. The two have a great dynamic here, which keeps this memoir surprising and fresh." ~ Kathryn Rhett, author of Souvenir and Immortal Village
“Shuly makes you realise that you're not alone as you travel through life, and invites you to listen.” —Delila Fewstin, author of A Daily Dose of Bad Luck
"In this lovely memoir the narrator, although strongly rooted in a particular place, is always on the move into the unknown. … The lyrical, fluid style immediately invites the reader along for the ride. I read this with great pleasure!" ~ Bobbie Ann Mason, author of In Country
"She takes the reader on a journey into her heart and although she takes her time, the narrative never lags. . . . It’s a prime example of howtalented writers can make the specifics of their life seem universal." ~ Wild Moo Books
"Finding nonfiction that accurately captures the feeling of events both big and small can prove a challenge; however, The Going and Goodbye achieves this feat and much more." ~ New Southern Fugitives