Sunday, May 03, 2009

Elizabeth Berg :: Home Safe


oh, elizabeth berg, you have done it again.

I read this book in a day. I love Berg, her stories tell tales of real people. The characters often have endearing quirks and insecurities. And Helen is no exception. She is the mother of an adult child and a recent widow. She is struggling in her first year as a widow. Helen was lucky to have been married to a soul mate for 30+ years and then finds herself alone and somewhat helpless - helpless, if not a little by choice. She and her husband shared fairly traditional roles and his was to take care for her. So she finds herself learning how be alone, which is so much fun to peek in on.

Her relationship with her daughter is also excruciatingly funny to watch. Helen wants to take care of her daughter but her 27-year-old independant girl will have none of it. In one chapter, Helen tries to buy a sweater for her but knows how her daughter will hate that, so wears it herself - convinced that Tessa (her daughter) will compliment her on it and then she can give it to her. I love this convoluted thinking. It's charming and adorable. Berg shares many of Helen's funny thoughts - what she says and then what she'd like to say. It lends such a fun, human quality to Helen.

Berg typically creates good friendships for her characters - enviable relationships in the strangest of circumstances - somehow I find that comforting. That in the current world we live, there is opportunity for friendship anywhere, you just have to look abd be open. Note to the author :: perhaps you should consider a novel where blog-friendships evolve - because there is an example in my life where I have found surprising comraderie *wink, wink* (yes, I am talking to you).

I am a Berg fan since forever - this one did not disappoint. Thank you!

P.S. the icing on the cake is that the author is coming to my local Borders next week! So, while I tried to be sensible and rent a book from the library, clearly I will have to buy it so she can sign it! Oh well - the best intentions!


Blogger Jodi said...

Sounds like an interesting book! Thanks for the review. I love it when you can actually meet the author, esp. when her books are fresh in your mind!

11:16 AM  
Blogger Auntly H said...

they say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but I have to say most of my favorite books have had well-designed covers. This one paired with your review makes me think I better start reading....

11:48 AM  
Blogger IrishgirlieKnits said...

Sounds like a great book! And yes, I agree, you may have to buy another one!

12:06 PM  
Blogger t does wool said... I must have this as well! :)

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Caffeine Girl said...

Thanks for the book review. I'm always interested in hearing about books.

8:00 AM  
Anonymous kim said...

What a great book review. I love Elizabeth Berg and had actually gotten away from her for a few years. Thanks for reminding me...

7:18 PM  
Blogger sheepish one said...

i almost checked this out last week, but put it back on the shelf...
thanks for the review.
and have fun getting it signed!!

11:26 PM  
Blogger coffeechris said...

Elizabeth Berg - is my favorite author. I heard this book was coming out -thanks for reviewing it. I went to see/hear Berg read at a local book store when she had just moved to Chicago and written Open House - it is my goal to read all her books - I'm part of the way to join me?

12:22 PM  
Blogger peaknits said...

Coffechris - I would totally join you - I think the only one I have not read is Dream When You're Feeling Blue and it's on my bedstand. The only Berg book I didn't like was the Handmaiden and the Carpenter - because I didn't think the story could be re-told:)

12:57 PM  
Blogger coffeechris said...

join me? dusted me, I'm only half way there. I did really enjoy Dream when you're feeling blue. I still think my favorite is Open House, all about the time of reading it in one's life and the impact of seeing Berg at that time. It is so nice to have a fellow buddy on Berg love. I am a knitter more than a reader, kinda funny

9:56 AM  

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