In this superb collection of short stories, Berg takes us into the times in women's lives when memories and events cohere to create a sense of wholeness, understanding, and change.
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.
Ordinary Life: A Love Story
Mavis McPherson is locked in the bathroom and will not come out. The tub is lined with pillows and blankets. Under the sink, next to the extra toilet paper, there is an economy-sized box of Wheat Thins, a bowl of apples, and a six-pack of Heath bars. Against the wall, under the towel rack, is a case of Orangina, and next to that is a neat pile of magazines and three library books. A spiral-bound notebook and pen lie on top of the toilet tank. Hanging from the hook on the back of the door are several changes of underwear.
Mavis is on retreat, she tells her husband through the crack in the door when he comes home that evening. Al volunteers at St. Mary's Hospital, dividing his time between delivering newspapers to patients and helping maintenance fix faulty equipment, though this is a secret from the administration--volunteers aren't supposed to do that. Al's mechanical skills are legendary, but he is not known for his sense...
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These unforgettable stories are by turns haunting, funny, sparkling, and scary. Byatts Little Black Book adds a deliciously dark note to her skill in mixing folk and fairy tales with everyday life.
When odd, supernatural events plague the town of Comtosook, a ghost hunter is hired by the developer to help convince the residents that there's nothing spiritual about the property. An intricate tale of love, haunting memories, and renewal. (An interview about the book is included below the reading guide).
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From NYT bestselling author Ann Leary
The captivating story of an unconventional New England family.
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