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 divorceshe 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.
The Seattle Times
There's something compelling about the way Berg knows her characters intimately, how she gets under their skin and leaves the reader with an indelible impression of lives challenged and changed.
Berg's writing is to literature what Chopin's études are to music—measured, delicate and impossible to walk away from until their completion.
Affecting and sentimental, these stories could easily appear in the magazines sold at grocery checkout counters; as light commercial fiction, they should provide sustenance for Berg's fans.
Though clever, beautiful, and often funny, Berg's writing is weighted with an overwhelming sadness; readers may find the pieces hard to read in one sitting. Still, this latest by the best-selling and award-winning novelist is recommended.
Deftly [details] those defining moments in ordinary women's lives when fresh insights help explain their discontents.
Booklist - Donna Seaman
The relentless misunderstandings between men and women are a particular forte, and Berg approaches the battle between the sexes with graceful inventiveness in several remarkable stories
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Becca First to voice an opinion I guess I am the first to review this book, but i felt that they were wonderfully deep heartfelt stories even though they were very short. Everything that the characters felt, I felt right along with them
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