Don’t expect a tell-all confessional that breaks with every family principle of discretion. Garcia told his father’s biographer that he imagined their tight-knit clan as 'a wheel with four spokes.' Charming and tender but elusive, A Farewell to Gabo and Mercedes proves that wheel remains something of a closed circle ... If his son’s fragmentary portrait of Gabo himself breaks little new ground, Mercedes does emerge at intervals from behind the mask of brisk, steely competence you find in other accounts ... strikes its note of sadness not thanks to any deathbed dramatics—Gabo passes quietly and calmly. Rather, Mr. Garcia’s matter-of-fact scrutiny of the hard work of dying allows the weight of loss to accumulate almost unseen until it drops like a boulder on survivors ... moves and touches when it tiptoes gently from public into private life to show us the familiar closing of this unique partnership. As for the secret life, that resides elsewhere—secure in his father’s incomparable art.
... an intimate and surprisingly relatable chronicle of grief and acceptance, albeit one that also offers a glimpse into one of the most famous literary figures of all time. Though the book is hardly a tell-all, it does offer some intriguing tidbits ... As its title suggests, the book is a tribute not only to Gabo but also to Mercedes, his wife, who died in August 2020. At the loss of his parents, Rodrigo expresses some remorse: 'I didn’t know them well enough, and I certainly regret that I didn’t ask more about the fine print of their lives, their most private thoughts'. And yet Farewell reveals that perhaps he knew them better than he realized — and now we do, too.
When the child of a globally recognized literary giant publishes a memoir, the pressure of inevitable comparison must be immense. And yet Garcia, the son of Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez, has chosen to focus on the waning years of his parents’ lives, when the immediate glare of the spotlights had long passed ... The result is an intensely personal reflection on his father’s legacy and his family bonds, tender in its treatment and stirring in its brevity. Composed in short chapters of concise, honest prose, Garcia’s book pulls back the curtain to provide a view denied to journalists, photographers, and even the doctors and nurses who crowded his father’s hospital quarters, eager to get a peek at the dying star ... An intimate portrait of immense loss.