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BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Elizabeth Berg's Once Upon a Time, There Was You. It begins with the sudden revelation of astonishing secrets--secrets that have shaped the personalities and fates of three siblings, and now threaten to tear them apart. In renowned author Elizabeth Berg's moving new novel, unearthed truths force one seemingly ordinary family to reexamine their disparate lives and to ask themselves: Is it too late to mend the hurts of the past? Laura Bartone anticipates her annual family reunion in Minnesota with a mixture of excitement and wariness. Yet this year's gathering will prove to be much more trying than either she or her siblings imagined. As soon as she arrives, Laura realizes that something is not right with her sister. Forever wrapped up in events of long ago, Caroline is the family's restless black sheep. When Caroline confronts Laura and their brother, Steve, with devastating allegations about their mother, the three have a difficult time reconciling their varying experiences in the same house. But a sudden misfortune will lead them all to face the past, their own culpability, and their common need for love and forgiveness. Readers have come to love Elizabeth Berg for the "lucent beauty of [her] prose, the verity of her insights, and the tenderness of her regard for her fellow human" (Booklist). In The Art of Mending, her most profound and emotionally satisfying novel to date, she confronts some of the deepest mysteries of life, as she explores how even the largest sins can be forgiven by the smallest gestures, and how grace can come to many through the trials of one.
Exhilarating short stories of women breaking free from conventionEvery now and then, right in the middle of an ordinary day, a woman rebels, kicks up her heels, and commits a small act of liberation.What would you do, if you were going to break out and away? Go AWOL from Weight Watchers and spend an entire day eating every single thing you want-and then some? Start a dating service for people over fifty to reclaim the razzle-dazzle in your life-or your marriage? Seek comfort in the face of aging, look for love in the midst of loss, find friendship in the most surprising of places? Imagine that the people in these wonderful stories-who do all of these things and more-are asking you: What would you do, if nobody was looking?From the Hardcover edition.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERElizabeth Berg has written a lush historical novel based on the sensuous Parisian life of the nineteenth-century writer George Sand--which is perfect for readers of Nancy Horan and Elizabeth Gilbert. At the beginning of this powerful novel, we meet Aurore Dupin as she is leaving her estranged husband, a loveless marriage, and her family's estate in the French countryside to start a new life in Paris. There, she gives herself a new name--George Sand--and pursues her dream of becoming a writer, embracing an unconventional and even scandalous lifestyle. Paris in the nineteenth century comes vividly alive, illuminated by the story of the loves, passions, and fierce struggles of a woman who defied the confines of society. Sand's many lovers and friends include Frédéric Chopin, Gustave Flaubert, Franz Liszt, Eugène Delacroix, Victor Hugo, Marie Dorval, and Alfred de Musset. As Sand welcomes fame and friendship, she fights to overcome heartbreak and prejudice, failure and loss. Though considered the most gifted genius of her time, she works to reconcile the pain of her childhood, of disturbing relationships with her mother and daughter, and of her intimacies with women and men. Will the life she longs for always be just out of reach--a dream? Brilliantly written in luminous prose, and with remarkable insights into the heart and mind of a literary force, The Dream Lover tells the unforgettable story of a courageous, irresistible woman. Praise for The Dream Lover "Exquisitely captivating . . . Sand's story is so timely and modern in an era when gender and sexual roles are upended daily."--USA Today "Fantastic . . . a provocative and dazzling portrait . . . Berg tells a terrific story, while simultaneously exploring sexuality, art, and the difficult personal choices women artists in particular made--then and now--in order to succeed. . . . The book, imagistic and perfectly paced, full of dialogue that clips along, is a reader's dream."--The Boston Globe "Absorbing . . . an armchair traveler's delight . . . Berg rolls out the wonders of nineteenth-century Paris in cinematic bursts that capture its light, its street life, its people and sounds. . . . The result is an illuminating portrait of a magnificent woman whose story is enriched by the delicate brush strokes of Berg's colorful imagination."--Chicago Tribune "Berg weaves an enchanting novel about the real life of George Sand."--Us Weekly "Lavishly described . . . Berg uses her own skill as a writer to graphically present the reader with a clear picture of a brilliant, yet flawed woman."--Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star "[A] beautiful, imaginative re-creation . . . Berg's years-long immersion in the writings of and about Sand has resulted in a remarkable channeling of Sand's voice."--Library Journal (starred review) "Berg offers vivid, sensual detail and a sensitive portrayal of the yearning and vulnerability behind Sand's bold persona."--Publishers Weekly "A thoroughly pleasant escape . . . [Sand is] intoxicating, beautiful, gifted, desirous, unconventional and heartbroken."--Kirkus ReviewsFrom the Hardcover edition.
New York Timesbestselling author Elizabeth Berg takes us to Chicago at the time of World War II in this wonderful story about three sisters, their lively Irish family, and the men they love. As the novel opens, Kitty and Louise Heaney say good-bye to their boyfriends Julian and Michael, who are going to fight overseas. On the domestic front, meat is rationed, children participate in metal drives, and Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller play songs that offer hope and lift spirits. And now the Heaney sisters sit at their kitchen table every evening to write letters-Louise to her fiancé, Kitty to the man she wishes fervently would propose, and Tish to an ever-changing group of men she meets at USO dances. In the letters the sisters send and receive are intimate glimpses of life both on the battlefront and at home. For Kitty, a confident, headstrong young woman, the departure of her boyfriend and the lessons she learns about love, resilience, and war will bring a surprise and a secret, and will lead her to a radical action for those she loves. The lifelong consequences of the choices the Heaney sisters make are at the heart of this superb novel about the power of love and the enduring strength of family. From the Hardcover edition.
On the hot Texas army base she calls home, Katie spends the lazy days of her summer waiting: waiting to grow up; waiting for Dickie Mack to fall in love with her; waiting for her breasts to blossom; waiting for the beatings to stop. Since their mother died, Katie and her older sister, Diane, have struggled to understand their increasingly distant, often violent father. While Diane escapes into the arms of her boyfriend, Katie hides in her room or escapes to her best friend's house--until Katie's admiration for her strong-willed sister leads her on an adventure that transforms her life. Written with an unerring ability to capture the sadness of growth, the pain of change, the nearly visible vibrations that connect people, this beautiful novel by the bestselling author of Open House reminds us how wonderful--and wounding--a deeper understanding of life can be.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Both autobiography and primer,Escaping into the Openis an inspiring, practical handbook on the joys and challenges of the writing life. Renowned author and writing instructor Elizabeth Berg interweaves the story of her own journey from working mother to bestselling novelist with encouraging advice on how to create stories that spring from the heart. Continually in print since its original 1999 publication, this invaluable resource is a true and constant friend to all writers, no matter their stage of development. With wit and honesty, Berg provides numerous exercises that will unleash individual creativity and utilize all five senses. Most important, she tells how to fire passion?emotion?into writing itself; to break through personal barriers and reach one's own outer limits and beyond.
In this wonderful novel about love and trust, hope and belief, Elizabeth Berg, the bestselling author ofWe Are All Welcome HereandThe Year of Pleasures, transports us to Nazareth in biblical times to reimagine the events of the classic Christmas story. We see Mary-young, strong, and inquisitive-as she first meets Joseph, a serious-minded young carpenter who is steadfastly devoted to the religious traditions of their people. The two become betrothed, but are soon faced with an unexpected pregnancy. Aided by a great and abiding love, they endure challenges to their relationship as well as threats to their lives as they come to terms with the mysterious circumstances surrounding the birth of their child, Jesus. For Mary, the pregnancy is a divine miracle and a privilege. For Joseph, it is an ongoing test not only of his courage but of his faith-in his wife as well as in his God. Exquisitely written and imbued with the truthful emotions and richness of detail that have earned Elizabeth Berg a devoted readership,The Handmaid and the Carpenterexplores lives touched profoundly by miracles large and small. This powerful and moving novel is destined to become a classic. From the Hardcover edition.
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Elizabeth Berg's Once Upon a Time, There Was You.In this novel, beloved bestselling author Elizabeth Berg weaves a beautifully written and richly resonant story of a mother and daughter in emotional transit. Helen Ames-recently widowed, coping with loss and grief, unable to do the work that has always sustained her-is beginning to depend far too much on her twenty-seven-year-old daughter, Tessa, and is meddling in her life, offering unsolicited and unwelcome advice. Helen's problems are compounded by her shocking discovery that her mild-mannered and loyal husband was apparently leading a double life. The Ameses had painstakingly saved for a happy retirement, but that money disappeared in several large withdrawals made by Helen's husband before he died. In order to support herself and garner a measure of much needed independence, Helen takes an unusual job that ends up offering far more than she had anticipated. And then a phone call from a stranger sets Helen on a surprising path of discovery that causes both mother and daughter to reassess what they thought they knew about each other, themselves, and what really makes a home and a family.
In this exquisite new novel by bestselling writer Elizabeth Berg, a young woman falls in love -- and learns how sorrow can lead to an understanding of joy. Katie, the narrator, has relocated to Missouri with her distant, occasionally abusive father, and she feels very much alone: her much-loved mother is dead; her new school is unaccepting of her; and her only friends fall far short of being ideal companions. When she accidentally falls through the ice while skating, she meets Jimmy. He is handsome, far older than she, and married, but she is entranced. As their relationship unfolds, so too does Katie's awareness of the pain and intensity first love can bring. Beautifully written in Berg's irresistible voice,Joy Schoolportrays the soaring happiness of real love, the deep despair one can feel when it goes unrequited, and the stubbornness of hope that will not let us let go. Here also is recognition that love can come in many forms and offer many different things.Joy Schoolilluminates, too, how the things that hurt the most can sometimes teach us the lessons that really matter. AboutDurable Goods, Elizabeth Berg's first novel, Andre Dubus said, "Elizabeth Berg writes with humor and a big heart about resilience, loneliness, love and hope. And the transcendence that redeems." The same will be said ofJoy School, Elizabeth Berg's most luminous novel to date.
From the beloved bestselling author of Home Safe and The Year of Pleasures, comes a wonderful new novel about women and men reconnecting with one another - and themselves - at their fortieth high school reunion. To each of the men and women in The Last Time I Saw You, this reunion means something different - a last opportunity to say something long left unsaid, an escape from the bleaker realities of everyday life, a means to save a marriage on the rocks, or an opportunity to bond with a slightly estranged daughter, if only over what her mother should wear. As the onetime classmates meet up over the course of a weekend, they discover things that will irrevocably affect the rest of their lives. For newly divorced Dorothy Shauman, the reunion brings with it the possibility of finally attracting the attention of the class heartthrob, Pete Decker. For the ever self-reliant, ever left-out Mary Alice Mayhew, it's a chance to reexamine a painful past. For Lester Heseenpfeffer, a veterinarian and widower, it is the hope of talking shop with a fellow vet - or at least that's what he tells himself. For Candy Armstrong, the class beauty, it's the hope of finding friendship before it is too late. As Dorothy, Mary Alice, Lester, Candy, and the other classmates converge for the reunion dinner, four decades melt away: Desires and personalities from their youth reemerge, and new discoveries are made. For so much has happened to them all. And so much can still happen. In this beautiful novel, Elizabeth Berg deftly weaves together stories of roads taken and not taken, choices made and opportunities missed, and the possibilities of second chances.
You know people like me. I'm the one who sat in a folding chair out in the hall selling tickets to the prom but never going, the one everybody liked but no one wanted to be with. A self-anointed spinster at fifty-one, Myra Lipinsky has endured the isolation of her middle life by doting on her dog, Frank, and immersing herself in her career as a visiting nurse. Myra considers herself reasonably content, telling herself, It's enough, work and Frank. And it has been enough -- until Chip Reardon, the too-good-to-be-true golden boy she adored from afar, is assigned to be her new patient. Choosing to forgo invasive treatment for an incurable illness, Chip has returned from Manhattan to the New England home of his childhood to spend what time he has left. Now, Myra and Chip find themselves engaged in a poingnant redefinition of roles, and a complicated dance of memory, ambivalence, and longing. From the author whose work The New Yorker calls "strong" and "timeless" comes a wry and beautifully distilled portrait of one woman's resilience in the face of loneliness, and of a union that transcends life's most unexpected and challenging circumstances. With effortless warmth, and loving respect for characters that defies easy sentiment, Never Change melds the emotional depth and gentle intensity of poetry with the rich satisfactions of finely wrought fiction.
From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of Home Safe and The Last Time I Saw You comes a beautiful and moving novel about a man and woman, long divorced, who rediscover the power of love and family in the midst of an unthinkable crisis. Even on their wedding day, John and Irene sensed that they were about to make a mistake. Years later, divorced, dating other people, and living in different parts of the country, they seem to have nothing in common--nothing except the most important person in each of their lives: Sadie, their spirited eighteen-year-old daughter. Feeling smothered by Irene and distanced from John, Sadie is growing more and more attached to her new boyfriend, Ron. When tragedy strikes, Irene and John come together to support the daughter they love so dearly. What takes longer is to remember how they really feel about each other. Elizabeth Berg has once again created characters who embody the many shades of the human spirit. Reading Berg's fiction allows us to reflect on our deepest emotions, and her gifts as a writer make Once Upon a Time, There Was You a wonderful novel about the power of love, the unshakeable bonds of family, and the beauty of second chances.From the Hardcover edition.
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Elizabeth Berg's Once Upon a Time, There Was You.In this superb novel by the beloved author of Talk Before Sleep, The Pull of the Moon, and Until the Real Thing Comes Along, a woman re-creates her life after divorce by opening up her house and her heart. Samantha's husband has left her, and after a spree of overcharging at Tiffany's, she settles down to reconstruct a life for herself and her eleven-year-old son. Her eccentric mother tries to help by fixing her up with dates, but a more pressing problem is money. To meet her mortgage payments, Sam decides to take in boarders. The first is an older woman who offers sage advice and sorely needed comfort; the second, a maladjusted student, is not quite so helpful. A new friend, King, an untraditional man, suggests that Samantha get out, get going, get work. But her real work is this: In order to emerge from grief and the past, she has to learn how to make her own happiness. In order to really see people, she has to look within her heart. And in order to know who she is, she has to remember--and reclaim--the person she used to be, long before she became someone else in an effort to save her marriage. Open House is a love story about what can blossom between a man and a woman, and within a woman herself.
Samantha's husband leaves her, and after the divorce, she settles down to reconstruct a life for herself and her eleven-year-old son. To meet her mortgage payments, Sam decides to take in boarders.
In this superb collection of short stories, the bestselling author of Open House and Talk Before Sleep takes us into the times in women's lives when memories and events cohere to create a sense of wholeness, understanding, and change. In Ordinary Life, Mavis McPherson locks herself in the bathroom for a week, and no, she isn't contemplating getting a divorce--she just needs some time to think, to take stock of her life, and she comes to a surprising conclusion. In Today's Special,a woman recognizes the solace she finds in the simple, timeless fare and atmosphere of the local diner and, ultimately, the harmony within her own spirit that familiar comforts can evoke. In White Dwarf, the secrets of a marriage are revealed as a couple passes the time with a seemingly insignificant word-association game. And in "Martin's Letter to Nan," the unforgettable husband and wife from Berg's novel The Pull of the Moon engage in a new correspondence in which a different aspect of their marriage is revealed.Elizabeth Berg's fiction has been praised for its "brilliant insights about the human condition" (Detroit Free Press), and The Charlotte Observer has said that "Berg captures the way women think as well as any writer."Those same qualities of wisdom and insight are everywhere present in Ordinary Life.
Dear Martin I'm sorry the note I left you was so abrupt. I just wanted you to know I was safe. . . I won't be backc for a while. I'm on a trip. I needed all of a suddden to go, without saying where, because I don't know where. I know this is not like me. I know that. But please believe me, I am safe and I am not crazy. I felt as though if I didn't do this I wouldn't be safe and I would be crazy. . . And can you belive this? I love you Nan" Sometimes you have to leave your life behind for a while to see it and really live freshly again. In this luminous, exquisitely written novel, a woman follows the pull of the moon to find her way home. Sometimes humerous, sometimes heartbreaking, always honest, The Pull of the Moon is a novel about the journey of one woman - and about the issues of the heart that transforms the lives of all women.
In this exquisite, emotionally rich novel, New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Berg offers a deeply satisfying story about the bonds of love and the balm of friendship. A young man named Jay lies in a coma after suffering a freak accident, and his wife, Lainey, is the only one who believes he will recover. She sits at his bedside, bringing him reminders of the ordinary life they shared: fragrant flowers, his children's drawings, his own softly textured shirt. When Lainey's faith in his recovery falters, she is sustained by two women, Alice and Evie, who teach her about the endurance of friendship--and the genuine power of hope. Filled with beautiful writing and truths about life, Range of Motion is hard to put down and impossible to forget.Look for special features inside.Join the Circle for author chats and more.RandomHouseReadersCircle.comFrom the Trade Paperback edition.
Ellen, he thought, and the name seemed to him to hold everything he might possibly want to say to her....He looked at her lying on her side of the bed, looked too at the space she had left beside her. That was his side, because he was her husband. And she was his wife." Griffin is a happy man. Settled comfortably in a Chicago suburb, he adores his eight-year-old daughter, Zoe, and his wife, Ellen -- shy, bookish Ellen, who is as dependable as she is dependent on him for his stability and his talent for gently controlling the world they inhabit. But when he wakes one morning to hear of his wife's love affair with another man and her request for a divorce, Griffin's view of life is irrevocably altered. Overnight he goes from being Ellen's husband to being her roommate, from a lover to a man denied passion and companionship. Now he must either move on or fight for his marriage, forgive his wife or condemn her for her betrayal, deny or face up to his part in the sudden undoing of his seemingly perfect life. From the New York Times bestselling author of Open House and True to Form comes a brilliant novel that charts the days and nights of a family whose normalcy has been shattered. With startling clarity and a trademark blend of humor and poignancy, Say When follows a man on an emotional journey to redefine his notions about love and happiness and asks questions relevant to any contemporary couple: when is a relationship worth saving and when is it better to let it go? Might a man and a woman define betrayal differently? How honest are we with those to whom we are ostensibly closest? Searingly honest, Say When is an engaging and memorable story that takes readers into the heart of a modern marriage, where intimacy and love, denial and pain, so often collide.
What do women talk about when they know they don't have forever? They talk about what they have always talked about, only they go deeper and more honest: with outrageous humor they try to mitigate pain. Intimate and uncensored sharing, the kind of connection women prize, is at the heart of this deeply moving novel about the grit and power of female friends.Ann and Ruth have always talked as only great friends can--honestly, and about everything: husbands and marriages, sex lives and children, their work, their hopes, their disappointments, and their dreams. For Ann, cautious and conventional, her closeness to the outspoken and eccentric Ruth brings about discovery and liberation, a chance to say whatever she wants, and, most important, under the insistent tutelage of Ruth, to become herself. Over the years, the women have shared recipes, quilting patterns, child care, delicate and dangerous secrets. Each rests secure in the knowledge that they will be friends forever. Then something happens that will change their lives forever, and the women begin to share something more profound than either of them might have predicted.Written with an unerring ear for how women talk, laugh, and cry together, and with a gift for capturing the uniqueness of personality, Talk Before Sleep is sure to find a place in readers' hearts.From the Trade Paperback edition.
In this superb new novel by the beloved New York Times bestselling author of Open House, Home Safe, and The Last Time I Saw You, four women venture into their pasts in order to shape their futures, fates, and fortunes. Cecilia Ross is a motivational speaker who encourages others to change their lives for the better. Why can't she take her own advice? Still reeling from the death of her best friend, and freshly aware of the need to live more fully now, Cece realizes that she has to make a move--all the portentous signs seem to point in that direction. She downsizes her life, sells her suburban Minnesota home and lets go of many of her possessions. She moves into a beautiful old house in Saint Paul, complete with a garden, chef's kitchen, and three housemates: Lise, the home's owner and a divorced mother at odds with her twenty-year-old daughter; Joni, a top-notch sous chef at a first-rate restaurant with a grade A jerk of a boss; and Renie, the youngest and most mercurial of the group, who is trying to rectify a teenage mistake. These women embark on a journey together in an attempt to connect with parts of themselves long denied. For Cece, that means finding Dennis Halsinger. Despite being "the one who got away," Dennis has never been far from Cece's thoughts. In this beautifully written novel, leaving home brings revelations, reunions, and unexpected turns that affirm the inner truths of women's lives. "Maybe Freud didn't know the answer to what women want, but Elizabeth Berg certainly does," said USA Today. Elizabeth Berg has crafted a novel rich in understanding of women's longings, loves, and abiding friendships, which weave together into a tapestry of fortunes that connects us all.This eBook edition of Tapestry of Fortunes includes a full-length bonus novel: Elizabeth Berg's Open House!Praise for Elizabeth Berg "Truth rings forth clearly from every page. [Elizabeth] Berg captures the way women think--and especially the way they talk to other women--as well as any writer I can think of."--The Charlotte Observer, about Talk Before Sleep "Elizabeth Berg's gift as a storyteller lies most powerfully in her ability to find the extraordinary in the ordinary, the remarkable in the everyday."--The Boston Globe "Berg's writing is to literature what Chopin's études are to music--measured, delicate, and impossible to walk away from until their completion. [Grade:] A+."--Entertainment Weekly "A writer whose luminous prose is likely to stay with you a long, long time."--Chicago Tribune "Berg could be creating a new genre. . . . [She] is especially wonderful at depicting the small revealing moments of women's friendships, the offhand sharing of secrets in the grocery store."--Kirkus Reviews "Berg's impeccable prose gives voice to that element in our psyche that enables us to cope with the impossible. . . . Berg writes on a higher plane."--Booklist "One of the most life-affirming writers around."--The Miami Herald "Berg has a gift for capturing the small, often sweet details of ordinary life."--Newsday of the most life-affirming writers around."--The Miami Herald "Berg has a gift for capturing the small, often sweet details of ordinary life."--NewsdayFrom the Hardcover edition.
In this warm and engaging novel, New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Berg revisits the heroine she so lovingly brought to life in Durable Goods and Joy School. It is 1961, and thirteen-year-old Katie is facing a summer full of conflict. First, instead of letting her find her own work for the season, Katie's father has arranged for two less-than-ideal baby-sitting jobs -- one for the rambunctious Wexler boys and another for Mrs. Randolph, a kind but elderly, bed-ridden neighbor. To make matters worse, Katie has been forcibly inducted into the "loser" Girl Scout troop organized by her only friend Cynthia's controlling and clueless mother. A much-anticipated visit to her former home in Texas and ex-best friend Cherylanne proves disappointing. And then comes an act of betrayal that leaves Katie questioning her views on friendship, on her ability not to take those she loves for granted, and, most important, on herself. "One thing to say about you, Katie, is that you are true. You should be proud of it, and don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise," Cherylanne insists. But whether or not Katie will ever feel true to herself remains to be seen. From the writer whose work The New Yorker calls "strong" and "timeless," True to Form is a delicately told tale of a young girl wise beyond her years, whose growing pains finally awaken her to the clarity of forgiveness and a greater understanding of the complicated world around her. Full of the anguish and the joys of adolescence in a much more innocent time, True to Form is sure to make readers remember and reflect on their own moments of discovery and self-definition.
What do you do when your life isn't living up to your dreams? When the man you love is unavailable, and yet you long for a family, a home? What is the cost of compromising until the real thing comes along? Reading Elizabeth Berg is like having a friend sit down and talk with you about the deepest truths and most perplexing issues in life, and in this exquisite new novel the bestselling author of Talk Before Sleep and The Pull of the Moon once again gives us superb fiction about a passionate woman who solves life's problems in a way that is far from traditional, but close to the wise dictums of the heart. Patty Ann Murphy says she's "Ms. Runner-Up" in life. Rarely the bridesmaid, never mind the bride, Patty sells houses for a living (well, she's sold one house so far), longs to be married and have a family, but is irresistibly drawn to the wrong man. Ethan seems perfect for Patty--handsome, generous, and sensitive--but he's hopelessly unavailable. Patty's frustration leads her to feelings she doesn't admire--jealousy of her beautiful best friend, Elaine, for instance, about whom she says, "Find me one woman who doesn't withhold just a bit from another woman who looks like that." She's also worried about her mother, with whom she's very close but who is beginning to act strangely. Patty longs more and more for the consolation of loving and being loved, but for the moment feels she must content herself with waiting--until she can wait no more. Andre Dubus said about Elizabeth Berg's Durable Goods, "Elizabeth Berg writes with humor and a big heart about resilience, loneliness, love and hope. And the transcendence that redeems." And the same will be said about Until the Real Thing Comes Along.From the Hardcover edition.
Elizabeth Berg, bestselling author of The Art of Mending and The Year of Pleasures, has a rare talent for revealing her characters' hearts and minds in a manner that makes us empathize completely. Her new novel, We Are All Welcome Here, features three women, each struggling against overwhelming odds for her own kind of freedom. It is the summer of 1964. In Tupelo, Mississippi, the town of Elvis's birth, tensions are mounting over civil-rights demonstrations occurring ever more frequently-and violently-across the state. But in Paige Dunn's small, ramshackle house, there are more immediate concerns. Challenged by the effects of the polio she contracted during her last month of pregnancy, Paige is nonetheless determined to live as normal a life as possible and to raise her daughter, Diana, in the way she sees fit-with the support of her tough-talking black caregiver, Peacie. Diana is trying in her own fashion to live a normal life. As a fourteen-year-old, she wants to make money for clothes and magazines, to slough off the authority of her mother and Peacie, to figure out the puzzle that is boys, and to escape the oppressiveness she sees everywhere in her small town. What she can never escape, however, is the way her life is markedly different from others'. Nor can she escape her ongoing responsibility to assist in caring for her mother. Paige Dunn is attractive, charming, intelligent, and lively, but her needs are great-and relentless. As the summer unfolds, hate and adversity will visit this modest home. Despite the difficulties thrust upon them, each of the women will find her own path to independence, understanding, and peace. And Diana's mother, so mightily compromised, will end up giving her daughter an extraordinary gift few parents could match. From the Hardcover edition.
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Elizabeth Berg's Once Upon a Time, There Was You."BERG KNOWS THE HEARTS OF HER CHARACTERS INTIMATELY, showing them with compassion, humor, and an illuminating generosity." -The Seattle Times "BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN . . . [Ginny Young] crosses the country for a reluctant reunion with the mother she has not seen in 35 years. During the long hours of her flight, she returns in memory to the summer when she turned 12 and her family turned inside out. . . . What We Keep is about ties that are buried but not broken, wounds that are dressed but never heal, and love that changes form but somehow survives." -USA Today "COMPELLING . . . Reading [this] book is like having an intimate conversation with a friend who is baring her soul." -Charleston Post and Courier "TOUCHING . . . WHAT WE KEEP IS SOMETHING OF VALUE." -San Antonio Express-News
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Elizabeth Berg's Once Upon a Time, There Was You.In this rich and deeply satisfying novel by the beloved author of The Art of Mending, and Open House, a resilient woman embarks upon an unforgettable journey of adventure, self-discovery, and renewal. Betta Nolan moves to a small town after the death of her husband to try to begin anew. Pursuing a dream of a different kind of life, she is determined to find pleasure in her simply daily routines. Among those who help her in both expected and unexpected ways are the ten-year-old boy next door, three wild women friends from her college days, a twenty-year-old who is struggling to find his place in the world, and a handsome man who is ready for love. Elizabeth Berg's The Year of Pleasuresis about acknowledging the solace found in ordinary things: a warm bath, good food, the beauty of nature, music, friends, and art. "Berg writes with humor and a big heart about resilience, loneliness, love, and hope. And the transcendence that redeems," said Andre Dubus about Durable Goods. And the same could be said about The Year of Pleasures.
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