Recommended Reading: ‘Goodbye, Vitamin’ is a Hilarious, Heartbreaking Debut

by | Feb 2020

Goodbye Vitamin by Rachel Khong
Rachel Khong’s debut novel was one of NPR’s best books of 2017.

“Today you asked why we say there’s a cloudless sky but never a cloudFUL sky.” When 31-year-old Ruth Young’s romantic relationship ends, she returns home and finds numerous scraps of paper in her father’s office that chronicle her childhood curiosity. The scribbled memories hold more meaning for Ruth when she reads them in the light of her father’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

Ruth didn’t plan to move back in with her parents, nor did she plan for her fiancé to cheat on her. She attempts to make the most of the situation by throwing herself into caregiving and researching dementia-fighting diets featuring jellyfish and cruciferous vegetables.

Debut novelist Rachel Khong manages to portray in Goodbye, Vitamin a family struggle in a light that is both humorous and heartbreaking. Named a Best Book of the Year by NPR in 2017, Goodbye, Vitamin is told through diary entries that are hilarious and poignant. I recommend this book to anyone in search of a captivating debut novel.

Margaret Gardner is the senior library manager at R.H. Stafford Library in Woodbury. Margaret lives in the Twin Cities with her husband and dog.


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