Goodbye, Vitamin

by Rachel Khong
A quirky and poignant story that beautifully deals with the difficult subject of Alzheimer. Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong- #fiction, #reading, #books to read, #books

Discussion Questions

1. Goodbye, Vitamin is essentially a story about a father and daughter. Discuss the many layers of Ruth and Howard's relationship.

2. As Ruth fnds a new love interest she reaects on her heartbreak with Joel and the failed relationships in between. How is the cycle of breaking, hurting, and healing portrayed?

3. "A few weeks after the engagement someone asked what I was looking forward to, about marrying Joel, and I thought: the clarity. But that was kind of pulled out from under me" (page 10). Can there be clarity when things fall apart? Does Ruth find clarity?

4. Howard keeps a notebook of letters to Ruth that he's collected since her childhood. Which notebook entry did you find most resonant?

5. Ruth says, "I think what it is, is that when I was young, my mother was her best version of herself. And here I am, now, a shitty grown-up, and messing it all up, and a disappointment" (page 131). Ruth is slowly coming to terms with how she envisioned her thirties. Discuss this dichotomy between our expectations and reality.

6. What roles do patience and forgiveness play in Annie and Howard's marriage?

7. Annie clears the house of all food she deems harmful that might exacerbate Alzheimer's. Ruth and Howard become mesmerized by a Ronco rotisserie. Howard develops a routine of taking a handful of pills every night, "Hello, water...Goodbye, vitamin" (page 172). One could look at their preoccupation with food as a means of maintaining a sense of normalcy. Talk about the theme of food in Goodbye, Vitamin.

8. Theo and Ruth convince Howard that he is still teaching despite being placed on administrative leave. All is going well until they are found out, causing Howard to feel humiliated and betrayed. Do you feel their dishonesty was justified?

9. Goodbye, Vitamin explores the nature of human connection: husbands, wives, daughters, sons, friends, coworkers, lost loves, new loves, and passing strangers. Of all the relationships, which ones stood out the most for you?

10. "It's a terminal disease, all the literature keeps saying. But isn't everything terminal? is what I say to nobody, out loud" (page 138). How do you think Goodbye, Vitamin handles mortality?

11. Before reading Goodbye, Vitamin, what did you know about Alzheimer's disease? Did this book change your preconceptions about those living with the disease and the effects on their loved ones?

12. The stigma associated with Alzheimer's disease has a signi cant negative impact on the lives of both Alzheimer's sufferers and their caregivers. Do you think Goodbye, Vitamin dispels some of the stigma associated with Alzheimer's, other diseases, and even mental illness?

13. Would you describe Goodbye, Vitamin as a humorous book? How did you respond to Khong's voice?

14. What did you like or dislike about Goodbye, Vitamin that has not already been discussed?
Discussion questions by the publisher

PBRHome- for bookish gifts

Recent Book Reviews

Book Review -  Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl by Renee Rosen

Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl

By Renee Rosen
This book is a must-read for anyone who's interested in the fashion world or enjoys reading stories about female friendships. It follows the journey of Gloria and Estee Lauder, two women who share their dreams of working in ...More

 Book Review - The Spectacular by Fiona Davis

The Spectacular

By Fiona Davis
It's 1956, and Marion, a passionate dancer and dance teacher, is thrilled when she has the opportunity to be a Radio City Rockette. But there is a cost; she must sacrifice her family to follow her dream ... More
Book Review -  The Violin Conspiracy by Brian Slocumb

The Violin Conspiracy

By Brendan Slocumb
This book grabbed my attention from the very beginning, with the opening playing beautiful classical music. A few times throughout the book, there are additional snippets of music. It's one of the bonuses of listening to a book on audio ...More

 Book Review - Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica

Local Woman Missing

By Mary Kubica
Local Woman Missing is a gripping psychological thriller by Mary Kubica, filled with suspense, mystery, and secrets. I loved how this book grabbed from the first chapter and had me on the edge of my seat... More

Visit Our Blog

You May Also Like

PBR book reviews and Reading guides for book clubs
Visit out Etsy Shop
10 Books I Can't Stop Recommending