What We Keep

What We Keep Do You Ever Really Know Your Mother, Your Daughter, The People In Your Family In This Rich And Rewarding New Novel By The Beloved Bestselling Author Of Talk Before Sleep And The Pull Of The Moon, A Reunion Between Two Sisters And Their Mother Reveals How The Secrets And Complexities Of The Past Have Shaped The Lives Of The Women In A Family Ginny Young Is On A Plane, En Route To See Her Mother, Whom She Hasn T Seen Or Spoken To For Thirty Five Years She Thinks Back To The Summer Of , When She And Her Sister, Sharla, Were Young Girls At That Time, A Series Of Dramatic Events Beginning With The Arrival Of A Mysterious And Sensual Next Door Neighbor Divided The Family, Separating The Sisters From Their Mother Moving Back And Forth In Time Between The Girl She Once Was And The Woman She S Become, Ginny At Last Confronts Painful Choices That Occur In Almost Any Woman S Life, And Learns Surprising Truths About The People She Thought She Knew Best Emotional Honesty And A True Understanding Of People And Relationships Are Combined In This Moving And Deeply Satisfying New Book By The Novelist Who Writes With Humor And A Big Heart About Resilience, Love And Hope And The Transcendence That Redeems Andre Dubus A beautifully written story about a 47 year old woman, who is on her way to meet her sister and their mother, from whom the sisters have been estranged for 35 years Their childhood is told in a series of memories and explains how the engaged, loving mother leaves their father and, after a time, decides her daughters would be better off without her in their lives There s a sadness to the story as you think about what the sisters and the mother have lost over the last 35 years, and the almost too late attempt at reconnecting Berg has a gift for writing that is sparse, but clear in its description of ordinary events, and I think she s at her best in this book My favorite passage comes near the end of the book,as the grown daughter is returning home from the visit I am thinking about the way that life can be so slippery the way that a twelve year old girl looking into the mirror to count freckles reaches out toward herself and her reflection has turned into that of a woman on her wedding day, righting her veil And how, when that bride blinks, she reopens her eyes to see a frazzled young mother trying to get lipstick on straight for the parent teacher conference that starts in three minutes And how after that young woman bends down to retrieve the wild haired doll her daughter has left on the bathroom floor, she rises up a forty seven year old looking in the mirror to count age spots. Would I be considered an imbecile, Gertrude Stein, or Yogi Berra if I said, Well, folks, the crux of Elizabeth Berg s WHAT WE KEEP is what we keep I m betting on imbecile Not wanting to be thought of as imbecilic and, by the way, being a half empty glass type, I ve decided to assert that the title is at least somewhat deceptive Whether or not Berg intended to deceive us I can t say but Wayne, a fifteen year old who does magic tricks, insists that people want to be fooled Berg 157 And out of the mouth of this character the author s mouthpiece , who enters and exits the novel quickly, come what seem to be the book s most important words Sometimes you see something that isn t there And sometimes You don t see something that is italics there 156 The statements are located a bit beyond the midpoint of the novel appropriately, as they are at the core of Berg s work, a work not so much about what we keep as about what we lose Not always, but too often, we lose when we deceive, when we assume, when we close our minds, when we ignore our hearts, when we choose to believe that appearances are reality If a reader doesn t already know these truths, the lives of Berg s main characters should be instructive Readers not needing instruction may still find Berg s characters interesting, easy to identify with, and easy to care about hence easy to keep in their memory warehouses.In arguing that Berg s novel prompts us to feel what s lost, am I suggesting that the title should have been What We Lose Definitely not because the characters losses are the consequences of what most of them have kept secrets. 2.5 starsThis was a quick, easy read I was enjoying the book most of the way through, with some minor issues mainly I didn t really have a feel for the 1958 time period and had to keep reminding myself that it was taking place then and not modern , but it lost me at the end After the build up of the story, 35 years without communication, everything tied up very quickly, with very little emotion, in a way that left me thinking lazy writing. At 47, as she prepares for a reunion with her mother after 35 years apart, Ginny Moore remembers the summer she turned twelve and her world shattered Told in a most authentic voice, Berg depicts childhood in the 50s, characters we care about, and the complexity of family dynamics, but mostly it s a book about healing through forgiveness A great summer read

Elizabeth Berg is the New York Times bestselling author of many novels, including We Are All Welcome Here, The Year of Pleasures, The Art of Mending, Say When, True to Form, Never Change, and Open House, which was an Oprah s Book Club selection in 2000 Durable Goods and Joy School were selected as ALA Best Books of the Year, and Talk Before Sleep was short listed for the ABBY Award in 1996 The

❮Reading❯ ➹ What We Keep  Author Elizabeth Berg – Uc0.info
  • Paperback
  • 304 pages
  • What We Keep
  • Elizabeth Berg
  • English
  • 14 April 2019
  • 9780345423290

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