Goodbye Vitamin: Book Review

How do you deal with a loved one who is losing their mind?

Goodbye, Vitamin

Rachel Khong's novel Goodbye, Vitamin explores this through Ruth, a 30 year old Asian American who returns home to take care of her father, whose Alzheimer's/dementia gets increasingly severe. Ruth returns from San Francisco to Southern California after a break up with her ex-fiance, and writes diary entries for the year she spends with her family.

In short, read Goodbye Vitamin if:

  • you're looking for a good read and short read with both lighthearted and heavy insights about love, loss, and family 
  • you are a young Californian or Asian American dealing with struggles of adulthood- relationship, family, etc. 
  • you want a different perspective on how to love someone who is losing their memory 
The book takes a fresh perspective on the familiar genres of family battling disease/overcoming a breakup: more specifically, an Asian American Californian (and her family) confronting Alzheimer's and their prior unresolved issues. Reading this around the same time I saw Lulu Wang's The Farewell, there are many parallels- mostly the juxtaposition of hilarious moments coming from otherwise heavy topics. The diary entries of Ruth are so simple and sometimes made me chuckle out loud: from clickbait about the most dangerous chocolate cake in the world, to details about listening to Alanis Morisette's on KOST 103.5, and wishing she didn't know all of the lyrics to "We Didn't Start the fire," there are so many brilliant gems in Ruth's collection of life moments.

Ultimately- this book is a collection of memories- many relatable, many laughable, and some shocking and heart-wrenching. 

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