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It’s that time of year again, near-spring, when I’m one step short of going out and tugging on whatever shoots of green I can find. I am heartened by the sight of robins everywhere, even if the buds on the trees remain tightly closed. Spring is an exercise in having faith and learning patience: It will come, when it’s ready; and then I can engage in my favorite practice of sitting on the front porch and watching dogs walk by with their people.
On April 5, Random House will release my new novel, Once Upon a Time, There Was You. This is the story of a long-divorced couple who are thrust together again after something terrible happens to the only thing they still have in common: their 18 year old daughter. I wanted to see what happened if you put two people who used to be in an intimate relationship, but now are estranged, back together. Would they remember what they used to love about each other? Would they see all over again what they hated? Might they get back together again?
The other day, I was doing an interview for this novel, and I told the woman interviewing me that I was struck by how many times I’ve heard people--both men and women, but mostly women--say they walked down the aisle knowing it was the wrong this to do, but they did it anyway. The interviewer paused, then said, “That’s what I did. And I got divorced. But then we got back together.” Bingo! I thought, what changed in those two people that made them able to be with each other in a way they could not be before? What does marriage require, really? What does the act of loving honestly and fully require? That’s the kind of thing my novel looks at.
It wouldn’t be a book of mine if it didn’t also celebrate female friendship. And there is, as usual, a mix of humor and pathos. But there is also something brand new, which is suspense. An element of real creepiness. But I’ll just keep you in...well, suspense about what that is.
I recently read a quote by Marie Von Ebner-Eschenbach that I loved, which says, “An interesting book is food that makes us hungry.” I hope that’s what my book does. In addition to being an enjoyable read that makes you laugh and perhaps tear up a little, too, I want it to make you think, to make you wonder, to take a look at your own life in new ways. If that happens, we’ll both be satisfied.
Thank you for reading this letter, thanks for buying my books, and most of all, thanks for making the dream of a 9-year old with crooked bangs and a heart full of longing to share what she felt inside, come true.
Sincerely, Elizabeth Berg--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This wasn't my favorite novel by Elizabeth Berg. It started off great guns, but fizzled out about midway. I'm not sure what the takeaway is after I finished.Published 1 day ago by Betty L.Brown
It was a good book and a nice surprise. I have never read this author before and I enjoyed this one very much. If you like Anne Tyler's books you would like this read.Published 1 month ago by Catherine Dougherty
Another 5 star novel from Elizabeth Berg. The reader is given an insight into a failed marriage that's brought together again for a few days because of a "tragedy" in... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Michael D. Gilmore
Once Upon a Time, There was You by Elizabeth Berg, is an engaging study of family dynamics, its humor, frustrations, scares, scars and secrets. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Mary E. Trimble
I liked thus story, even though Isabel drove me batty. I could barely be with her suffocating personality, which speaks to how talented a writer Berg is. Read morePublished 6 months ago by HLD
Identifiable characters but the whole thing with the daughter seemed to be a stretch just to move the plot.Published 6 months ago by shel