Good Grief: Life in a Tiny Vermont Village (Hardcover)
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October 2014 Indie Next List
“After reading Stimson's earlier book, Mud Season, I knew I wanted to at least be Facebook friends with her. Now that I've read Good Grief, I wish she were my next door neighbor because everyone needs fun, witty people like her in their lives. Stimson's new memoir hits all the high points for readers - it is witty, philosophical, laugh-out-loud funny, and totally relatable. Laugh along with her at the mundane and not so mundane situations that can flare up unexpectedly in life.”
— Sue Roegge, Chapter2Books, Hudson, WI
An Endless Vacation Becomes a Way of Life!
One vacation changed everything.
Ellen Stimson and her husband had such a wonderful time in Vermont that they wondered what living there would really be like. “What if we stayed here . . . forever?” So began the series of adventures and misadventures of Ellen Stimson’s hilarious first book, Mud Season.
Now, having settled the family in Vermont’s rich muddy soil, they are faced with new challenges of raising kids in the paradise of this very small, very rural town. Good Grief tells the tales of the hopes and dreams of parents just trying to do their best—and not always succeeding. Imagine being the mom of the kid who peed on his teacher’s chair . . . On. Purpose. Now imagine the governor asking you about it! Good Grief is all about the inevitable moment right after somebody says, “What next?”
Ellen Stimson’s irrepressible optimism and good humor prevail as she, her two husbands, their three kids, and various much-loved pets face down real life, and even death and grieving, with good humor intact. This is life in a state where everyone knows everything, and everything is everybody’s else's business.
About the Author
Ellen Stimson is blessed with a wild pack of children; not-so-wild but completely adorable husband; and a very civilized group of chickens, dogs, and cats. Lately she's decided that she really wants a pig. She writes about the whole catastrophe from an old farmhouse in Vermont.
Stimson makes great, entertaining reading out of kids’ unusual dating selections, shark attacks, sudden illness, and even an untimely death. Entertaining? Yes. She has that articular way with words and storytelling that makes the most out of learning to deal with grief.
This is my favorite kind of book—a messy, loving, bubbling over at the edges family, replete with exes, dogs, culinary disasters, and the tender heart of love and loss. A must-read,
— Jo-Ann Mapson, author of Solomon's Oak, Finding Casey, and Owen's Daughter
Maybe the author's clan doesn't have more mishaps and amusing anecdotes than the average family, and it's simply her engaging writing style that shapes their experiences into these well-balanced stories. Either way, it's an enjoyable journey for readers.
— Kirkus Reviews
I laughed and cried the whole way through this marvelous, moving, and, above all, joyful book. A chronicle of the further adventures of Ellen Stimson’s eminently lovable family, Good Grief is a lesson in love and loss, as well as a reminder that life keeps happening, rituals matter, and dogs really are man’s best friend. Ellen Stimson’s voice is humane, human, and hilarious—but always wise. And her family is the one you want to borrow. It’s impossible not to cheer this gang on.
— Julia Reed, author of But Mama Always Put Vodka in Her Sangria!: Adventures in Eating, Drinking, and Making Merry
Imagine Jerry Seinfeld and Annie Dillard on the dance floor, gliding gracefully from keenly observed humor to contemplative insight. As they glide by, you join them in a few pirouettes, and the challenges of your own life transform: you laugh at them; you understand them better. When the music ends, you feel grateful, lighter, and more compassionate. That dance is Ellen Stimson’s Good Grief. In the midst of the ups and downs of daily life, Stimson and her nontraditional family choose to respond, as she says ‘with love and humor.’ What shines through these pages is Stimson’s deep and genuine gratitude for this whole messy thing we call Living. Good Grief taught me to laugh harder and love better—and to always, always choose compassion.
— BK Loren, author of Theft and Animal, Mineral, Radical
Both hilarious and poignant, Stimson spins the tales of her ever-eventful small-town Vermont life with a self-effacing, smart, and heart-touching honesty that will make you feel as if you are sitting across from her at her (burned) dining room table—and wishing so much that you really were!
— Suzanne McMinn, author of Chickens in the Road: An Adventure in Ordinary Splendor