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A Novel

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eBook published by Random House (Random House Publishing Group)

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About This Book
In this stunning 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 grief, unable to do the work that has always sustained her–is beginning to depend too much on her twenty-seven-year-old daughter, Tessa, meddling in her life and offering unsolicited advice. Then Helen is shocked to discover that her mild-mannered and seemingly loyal husband was apparently leading a double life. When a phone call from a stranger sets Helen on a surprising path of discovery, both mother and daughter reassess what they thought they knew about each other, themselves, and what really makes a home and a family.
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In this stunning 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 grief, unable to do the work that has always sustained her–is beginning to depend too much on her twenty-seven-year-old daughter, Tessa, meddling in her life and offering unsolicited advice. Then Helen is shocked to discover that her mild-mannered and seemingly loyal husband was apparently leading a double life. When a phone call from a stranger sets Helen on a surprising path of discovery, both mother and daughter reassess what they thought they knew about each other, themselves, and what really makes a home and a family.
Product Details
eBook
Published: April 28, 2009
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Imprint: Random House
ISBN: 9781588368522
Other books byElizabeth Berg
  • Durable Goods

    Durable Goods
    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.

    Talk Before Sleep

    Talk Before Sleep
    "Until that moment, I hadn't realized how much I'd been needing to meet someone I might be able to say everything to."They met at a party. It was hate at first sight. Ruth was far too beautiful, too flamboyant. Not at all Ann's kind of person. Until a chance encounter in the bathroom led to an alliance of souls. Soon they were sharing hankies during the late showing of "Sophie's Choice," wolfing down sundaes sodden with whipped cream, telling truths of marriage, mortality, and love, secure in a kind of intimacy no man could ever know. Only best friends understand devil's food cake for breakfast when nothing else will do. After years of shared secrets, guilty pleasures, family life and divorce, they face a crisis that redefines the meaning of friendship and unconditional love.

    Dream When You're Feeling Blue

    Dream When You're Feeling Blue
    A Novel
    New York Times bestselling 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.

    The Year of Pleasures

    The Year of Pleasures
    A Novel
    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.  From the Hardcover edition.

Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
  • Dear Martin, I know you think I keep that green rock by my bed because I like its color.

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  • I had been right to want to drive to the midwest, taking only the back roads.

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  • Oftentimes on summer evenings, I would sit outside with my mother and look at the constellations.

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  • This morning, before I came to Ruth's house, I made yet another casserole for my husband and my daughter.

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  • You know before you know, of course. You are bending over the dryer, pulling out the still-warm sheets, and the knowledge walks up your backbone. You stare at the man you love and you...

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  • One Saturday when she was nine years old, Helen Ames went into the basement, sat at the card table her mother used for folding laundry, and began writing.

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  • Well, I have broken the toilet.

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  • It was Kitty's turn to sleep with her head at the foot of the bed.

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  • Natuurlijk weet je het al voordat je het weet.

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  • Sex is so shaky and mysterious. I will never unravel it.

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  • …it had put them on the fast track for being comfortable with each other. As they were, ever after. Always comfortable in a way that Dan described as home safe.

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  • I do not believe the army is a good idea for people with regular human hearts.

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  • Without her husband or the practice of laying out words on a page, she feels that she spends her days rattling around inside herself; that, whereas she used to be a whole and happy woman,...

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  • What she feels, suddenly, is that she has come to see Dan. He is not here, but here he is.

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  • A friend of hers … once described such acts of kindness as hold knots on life’s climbing rope..

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  • Helen turns to face her friend. “You know, sometimes you just don’t get it. I know you think I’ve had enough time to grieve. But I’m not like you, Midge. I feel things more deeply. I –“...

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  • Perhaps we'll see each other. Love, Nan

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  • For us, it was the opposite.

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  • I say she was right.

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  • It's so she can find me.

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