Rachel Khong has managed to create an Alzheimer’s novel that is heartbreaking but also funny, offering a fresh take on the disease and possible outcomes both for the person suffering from it and their caretakers ... But the real charm of the novel isn’t the plot so much as the sparkling little details that pop up on every page, illuminating the dark material ... This isn’t melodrama; it’s a novel modeled on real life, where humor often rubs shoulders with pathos, and Ruth’s gift as a narrator is her ability to observe and record it all ... Goodbye, Vitamin never minimizes the difficulty of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s. But it also shows how this care can be rewarding.
...this is a writer who clearly knows how to squeeze the sweetness out of the tart fruit life throws at you ... Khong's endearingly quirky novel, which takes the form of Ruth's diary of her transitional year, is filled with whimsical observations, oddball facts, and yes, even some romanc ... Sweet? Yes. Sugarcoated? Perhaps. Saccharine or cloying? Not to me. Hello, Rachel Khong. Kudos for this delectable take on familial devotion and dementia.
It’s material for another grueling exploration of loss, and yet, against all odds, Ms. Khong has produced a book that’s whimsical and funny. This is because the author, like her guiding spirit, Lorrie Moore, has a love for the ridiculous in the mundane ... Amid the fear and heartache there’s plenty of absurdity, too, in her father’s erratic behavior, though Ms. Khong never descends to mockery. In the main storyline, the professor’s former students invent a fake class for him to teach, to boost his morale. But the charade doesn’t last long. Mostly this sweet-natured novel is about Ruth’s attempts to come to terms with a past her father can no longer remember while still attending to the quirky, fleeting joys of the present.