Debut author Carol Van Den Hende pens a tale inspired by combat-wounded veterans. Award-winning novel Goodbye, Orchid explores an accident that leaves a successful entrepreneur Phoenix Walker forever changed. In the aftermath, he’s faced with the hardest decision of his life. Does he burden Orchid, the woman whose traumatic childhood makes him feel protective of her? Or does true love mean having to say Goodbye, Orchid?
Goodbye, Orchid won the 2020 American Fiction Award for urban fiction and 2020 Pinnacle Achievement Award for multicultural fiction. The story has also been named a most anticipated fall read by Buzzfeed, Parade and Travel+Leisure.
Carol collaborated with wounded veterans like Purple Heart recipient and disability activist Sgt Bryan Anderson, to get the physical and emotional details right. For both Bryan and Phoenix, the period following their accidents made them question their ability to be a whole man. After being “blown up,” Bryan writes “…I hoped that if [my girlfriend] never saw me again, she would always remember me the way I was…I didn’t want to see her seeing me like this, in my hospital bed after being blown to pieces…I’d thought that she would see me the way I was seeing myself, seeing only what was missing. …For the longest time, I thought I was only half a person – half a body.” For both men, healing comes in the form of a new realization. “…when she looked at me, she didn’t see my missing limbs or scars or burns. She saw me, the real person…[she] made me feel whole again, like a real person, not just half of one,” Bryan writes in his memoir, No Turning Back.
Bryan says the same of Goodbye, Orchid. “I like the way Carol writes. She gets who I am. She gets my experience.”
PRAISE FROM MILITARY VETERANS
“As a combat decorated and wounded veteran, Goodbye, Orchid captures the mindset, roller-coaster and daily heroics of my experience after being injured. All around excellence.”
—Doc Jacobs, Bronze Star with Valor and Purple Heart-decorated Navy Corpsman, CEO Doc Jacobs Foundation, author There and Back Again
“In this most worthy novel, the protagonists’ lives are shattered and they re-emerge champions A tale of sacrifice and rebirth; heroism is in the details.”
—SSGT Aaron Michael Grant, author of TAKING BAGHDAD: Victory in Iraq With the US Marines
“Goodbye, Orchid touches on the very real yet ignored psychological challenges from traumatic injuries; including the impact on self-image, and the prospect of sacrificing love. Ultimately, though, this story’s strength is in its resilience and optimism.”
—Command Sergeant Major Dennis Woods retired, author of Black Flag Journals, One Soldier’s Experience in America’s Longest War
GOODBYE, ORCHID is available wherever books are sold.