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Every Time We Say Goodbye    by Jamie Zeppa order for
Every Time We Say Goodbye
by Jamie Zeppa
Order:  USA  Can
Knopf, 2011 (2011)
* *   Reviewed by Joan Burton

The Turners live in a rambling three storey Victorian house in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The story follows three generations of the family, beginning during the Great Depression with the death of Grace Turner's mother. Grace was close to her mother, and when she died Grace lost something of herself. In her early teens Grace finds herself pregnant and then the mother of a baby boy. She lives with her older brother Frank and his domineering wife Vera. Grace and Vera are in a constant battle over the care and raising of Grace's son. Vera does not have children of her own but feels she has more knowledge than Grace. Grace eventually leaves Sault Ste. Marie, leaving her son with Vera and Frank until she finds a job and a place of her own.

Years later, troubled teenager Dean Turner discovers a hidden box containing adoption papers for Daniel Turner, son of Grace and father unknown. Dean's life begins to unravel as he is constantly in trouble with the law. He decides to head out and search for this woman known as Grace. Dean lands in the big city of Toronto where he falls in love with Laura, a naive young woman he meets in a restaurant. They spend weeks together falling madly in love and then Dean pulls a disappearing act. Laura eventually tracks him down back in Sault Ste. Marie. They end up getting married and having two children, but the marriage is doomed from the start as Dean leads a life of lies and crime.

Dean's two children eventually find themselves in the old rambling Victorian, being raised by Vera and Frank. Eight year old Dawn and her younger brother Jimmy have seen and heard things to which no young child should be subjected. With their mother long gone and their father too busy to committ to his children, they are raised under Vera's strict rule. As Dawn becomes a teenager, she desperately searches for answers that will unlock the secret to the Turner family curse. How will she find her true self with the mystery that surrounds them all?

Every Time We Say Goodbye tells the story of two mothers who abandoned their children, each for different reasons. The Turner family is dysfunctional but there is hope down through the generations. You will laugh and cry while reading their story, for these all are people who want to be loved and accepted.

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