Goodbye, Sweet Girl is heartbreaking, breathtaking in its scope, and urgently truthful in its harrowing and tender examination of when empathy fails—and when it wins ... [Sundberg] reveals the poignancy of contemporary self-actualization, that this experience doesn’t define her, but moreover, it doesn’t shame her. She’s as full as ever. This book is her deliverance.
I was stunned by Sundberg’s writing again, this time by how beautifully she paints the complexity of her marriage to an abusive man. One of Sundberg’s accomplishments in the book is her ability to illustrate all of the moments that led her to fall in love with Caleb and to rationalize away the red flags ... I read her book so voraciously to better understand each of our nuances and complexities, how any of us rationalizes our decisions, and how we find the courage to take care of ourselves and to speak our truths.
Throughout the book, Sundberg contemplates a recurring question in the public discourse on domestic violence—why women stay with abusive men (for example, that women might overvalue the sacredness of marriage). Sundberg cogently ties together the painful chain of events in her life and the personal growth that resulted from it.
Because of its subject matter, Goodbye, Sweet Girl might seem difficult to read, but Sundberg’s crystalline prose and insightful narration lighten the reading experience…. [her] story is haunting, propulsive and, perhaps for some readers, familiar. Her wrenching memoir deserves to be read by a wide audience so that we can all learn to recognize the signs of domestic abuse
By turns wrenching and lyrical, Sundberg’s book is an unflinching exploration of both domestic violence and one woman’s long, often painful evolution from codependence to self-respect. A courageously honest memoir.