Goodbye Days Book Summary - Goodbye Days Book explained in key points

Goodbye Days summary

Jeff Zentner

Brief summary

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner is a powerful novel that delves into the themes of grief and guilt. It follows Carver Briggs as he navigates the aftermath of a tragic car accident that took the lives of his three best friends.

Give Feedback
Topics
Table of Contents

    Goodbye Days
    Summary of key ideas

    Exploring Grief and Guilt

    In Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner, we are introduced to Carver Briggs, a high school student who is grappling with immense guilt and grief after a tragic car accident that claimed the lives of his three best friends. The accident was caused by a text message Carver sent to his friend, Mars, who was driving at the time. This event sets the stage for a powerful exploration of guilt, grief, and the process of healing.

    Carver is consumed by guilt, believing that he is responsible for the accident. His feelings are further exacerbated by the fact that the families of his deceased friends hold him accountable for their loss. The story delves into the legal and emotional aftermath of the accident, as Carver faces the possibility of criminal charges and struggles to cope with the overwhelming sense of responsibility for his friends' deaths.

    Embracing the Goodbye Days

    Amidst this turmoil, Carver finds solace in the form of Dr. Mendez, his therapist, and Blake's grandmother, Nana Betsy. Nana Betsy suggests the concept of a 'Goodbye Day' – a day dedicated to reminiscing about the deceased and saying a proper goodbye. Carver, along with Nana Betsy, Mars' father, and Eli's girlfriend, embarks on these goodbye days, each one a poignant and emotional journey.

    During these goodbye days, Carver learns more about his friends, their lives, and their families. He discovers that his friends were not perfect, and they too had their own struggles and secrets. These revelations help Carver to see his friends in a new light, and he begins to understand that the accident was not solely his fault.

    Seeking Forgiveness and Closure

    As the story progresses, Carver's journey of self-forgiveness and healing becomes more pronounced. He starts to write a series of letters to his deceased friends, expressing his guilt, grief, and the things he wishes he could have said to them. Through this process, Carver begins to find a sense of closure and acceptance.

    Simultaneously, the families of Carver's friends also undergo their own healing process. They come to realize that blaming Carver for the accident will not bring their loved ones back. Instead, they choose to forgive him, understanding that the accident was a tragic mistake and not a deliberate act of harm.

    Acceptance and Moving Forward

    By the end of Goodbye Days, Carver has made significant progress in coming to terms with the accident. He understands that while he played a role in the events leading up to the tragedy, he is not solely responsible for it. He learns to forgive himself and begins to look towards the future with hope and acceptance.

    In conclusion, Goodbye Days is a poignant and emotionally charged exploration of grief, guilt, and the process of healing. Through Carver's journey, we are reminded of the complexities of human emotions and the importance of forgiveness, both towards others and ourselves. The novel ends on a note of hope, emphasizing the resilience of the human spirit in the face of tragedy.

    Give Feedback
    How do we create content on this page?
    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Goodbye Days about?

    Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner is a poignant and heartfelt novel that explores the complexities of grief, guilt, and friendship. When a teenage boy, Carver Briggs, is faced with the aftermath of a tragic accident that took the lives of his three best friends, he embarks on a series of 'goodbye days' to honor their memory and find closure. The story delves into the power of forgiveness and the importance of cherishing the time we have with those we love.

    Goodbye Days Review

    Goodbye Days (2017) by Jeff Zentner is a thought-provoking novel that explores the complexities of grief and guilt in the face of tragedy. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With its emotional depth and raw portrayal of loss, it offers a powerful and empathetic look at the impact of death on friendship and family.
    • Through its realistic and relatable characters, the book delves into themes of self-forgiveness and finding hope in the midst of pain.
    • The exquisite writing creates an emotionally charged reading experience, ensuring that the story lingers in the reader's thoughts long after the final page.

    Who should read Goodbye Days?

    • Readers who enjoy thought-provoking and emotionally impactful contemporary fiction
    • People looking for a story that explores themes of friendship, guilt, and redemption
    • Those who appreciate realistic and relatable characters facing difficult challenges

    About the Author

    Jeff Zentner is an American author known for his captivating young adult novels. With a background in music and law, Zentner brings a unique perspective to his writing. His debut novel, The Serpent King, received critical acclaim and won the William C. Morris Award. Zentner's other notable works include Goodbye Days and In the Wild Light. Through his powerful storytelling, Zentner explores themes of friendship, loss, and the complexities of growing up.

    Categories with Goodbye Days

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    31 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    Goodbye Days FAQs 

    What is the main message of Goodbye Days?

    The main message of Goodbye Days is the power of forgiveness, healing, and the importance of cherishing the time spent with loved ones.

    How long does it take to read Goodbye Days?

    The reading time for Goodbye Days varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Goodbye Days a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Goodbye Days is a poignant and thought-provoking book that explores grief, guilt, and the complexities of friendship. It's definitely worth reading.

    Who is the author of Goodbye Days?

    The author of Goodbye Days is Jeff Zentner.

    What to read after Goodbye Days?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Goodbye Days, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
    • Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
    • Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes
    • The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
    • Savor by Thich Nhat Hanh and Lilian Cheung
    • Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman
    • Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price
    • Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss
    • Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink
    • The Twenty-four Hour Mind by Rosalind D. Cartwright