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Tapestry of Fortunes: A Novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, April 9, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st Printing edition (April 9, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812993144
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812993141
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (285 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Any woman who has ever longed to shake off her life and embark on a road trip with female companions will love Tapestry of Fortunes. Cecilia Ross, a motivational speaker who teaches others to live their truth, is unable to follow her own advice. When she receives a postcard out of the blue from the one man she never got over, she realizes it’s time to turn her regrets around. She seeks guidance from the fortune-telling devices that she stores in a box in the bedroom closet. Acting on their messages, Cece puts her house on the market, moves in with three women who are equally restless, and takes off with this newfound pack of friends, each on a mission to find the people and opportunities they missed. This book has all the ingredients for a highly satisfying read: a backroads journey, a testament to the power of female friendships, and the possibility of second chances. Berg strips her writing down to what is essential and takes an unflinching look at lifelong regrets. The characters are so completely realized, even the bit players will settle in your heart. High-Demand Backstory: The latest from the best-selling Berg, the author of more than 20 novels, will receive the full array of marketing support from the publisher. --Diane Holcomb

Review

Praise for Tapestry of Fortunes
 
“A testament to the power of female friendships . . . Berg strips her writing down to what is essential and takes an unflinching look at lifelong regrets. The characters . . . will settle in your heart.”Booklist (starred review)
 
“Elizabeth Berg has carved out a place as one of America’s most beloved chroniclers of female friendship.”Chicago Tribune
 
“Luminous . . . As always, her writing is spare and lyrical, filled with . . . elegant description and profound insight.”Library Journal
 
“An incredibly uplifting and life-affirming story . . . Berg explores the themes of change and personal reinvention with exquisite phrasing, sharply-focused attention to detail, and boundless joy and heart.”—Bookreporter

Praise for Elizabeth Berg

“Truth rings forth clearly from every page. [Elizabeth] Berg captures the way women think—and especially the way they talk to other women—as well as any writer I can think of.”The Charlotte Observer, about Talk Before Sleep

“Elizabeth Berg’s gift as a storyteller lies most powerfully in her ability to find the extraordinary in the ordinary, the remarkable in the everyday.”The Boston Globe

“Berg’s writing is to literature what Chopin’s études are to music—measured, delicate, and impossible to walk away from until their completion. [Grade:] A+.”Entertainment Weekly

“A writer whose luminous prose is likely to stay with you a long, long time.”Chicago Tribune

“Berg could be creating a new genre. . . . [She] is especially wonderful at depicting the small revealing moments of women’s friendships, the offhand sharing of secrets in the grocery store.”Kirkus Reviews

“Berg’s impeccable prose gives voice to that element in our psyche that enables us to cope with the impossible. . . . Berg writes on a higher plane.”Booklist

“One of the most life-affirming writers around.”The Miami Herald

“Berg has a gift for capturing the small, often sweet details of ordinary life.”Newsday

More About the Author

Elizabeth Berg won the NEBA Award for fiction for her body of work, and was a finalist for the ABBY for Talk Before Steep. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications, including Ladies' Home Journal, Redbook, and the New York Times Magazine. She has also taught a writing workshop at Radcliffe College. She lives near Boston, Massachusetts.

Customer Reviews

This story was beautiful, full of Berg's distinct writing.
Barbara Whittington
The odds and ends of the story all seem to tie up a little too nicely and way too quickly.
kelfuller77
The characters seemed like friends and I almost missed them when I finished the book.
Sue

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Susan Johnson VINE VOICE on March 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Cece's best friend dies of cancer and she then examines her life. What will she do now? She travels a great deal as a motivational speaker and the author of self-help books. She wanders into a situation where she rents a house with three other women of various ages. They hit it off immediately so Cece sells her house with all her belongings, takes a sabbatical from work, volunteers at a hospice and seeks a love from her past.

This book was just too pat for me. She meets three women and is immediately drawn into their circle. She abadons everything to start over. They are such good friends right away that they tell each other deep, dark secrets about themselves that they have never told anyone else. They all have someone from their past that they want to meet again. So within the first month, I guess as the time period is left unclear, they are off on a road trip so they can fix their lives. They make cutesy stops including a restaurant in a house where the dining room of four tables is in the bedroom.

Everything goes well. There are no hiccups. They are all friends, they all fix their lives and they all make great choices. There is a nice scene in the hospice that is quite touching but it just feels like it was thrown in. It's really not integral to the story. The book is short at 219 pages and just feels like a rehash of her other books. For her fans this will probably be enjoyable but for anybody else it's just not that interesting of a story and the characters are not developed enough to care about them.
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54 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Stanard on April 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book made me do two things I never do--write a review and not finish reading a book I started (and I've finished a lot of bad books).. I like Elizabeth Berg's books but this is a total disappointment and waste of money. The story and characters are unbelievable. Both lack depth. I kept reading hoping it would get better but finally had to put it down about 1/3 of the way through. I couldn't take one more life crisis neatly wrapped up or another cliche. I love stories of friendship between women but they are much more complex than those portrayed in this disappointing read.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By KMO on April 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Wow! I am a huge EB fan and have waited a long time for this book, but what a disappointment it was. The characters were so poorly developed. I could not form a liking for any of them. It was so not real to me that Cece could move in with these people she never met and they all instantly bonded and that Michael instantly related to her and no one else. It's almost like EB didn't really write the book.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By T. J. Douglas on April 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Elizabeth Berg is one of my favorite authors, so I was excited to buy her book the day it came out. The story was good, well-written as usually. But boy was I surprised when it ended at 47% on my Kindle. The rest of the book was a reprint of another of Berg's story, "Open House." I already read that book. I feel
short-changed. It was more of a novella than a novel and had I known I would not have paid $12.99 for it. Disappointed.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Nancy R. Katz VINE VOICE on April 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If I were asked to name my favorite authors the following names would appear: Alice Hoffman, Anne Tyler, Anita Shreve, Luanne Rice, Diane Chamberlain, Jodi Picoult, Nelson DeMille. Ken Follett, Jeffrey Archer and Elizabeth Berg. I have read every book by these authors and in the past have loved them all. In this case the operative word is "past." Unfortunately, with the exception of one or two of the above mentioned authors, their last couple of books just didn't move me the way they once did. But wait, I thought, when I purchased Elizabeth Berg's newest book, Tapestry of Fortunes. Why? Becasue Elizabeth Berg was one of my very favorite authors among favorite authors. So with wonderful memories of Pull of the Moon, Open House, Home Safe and Range of Motion, I began Tapestry of Fortunes. Unfortunately, I was sadly disppointed as I was when I read Berg's last two books.

Tapestry of Fortunes tells the story of a woman at a loss for what to do next when her best friend falls ill and suddenly dies. Living next door to Penny and her husband, Cecelia enjoys her time spent with them and her dreams of a road trip with Penny someday. But then Penny suddenly dies and Penny's husband sells their house and moves away. Cecelia, who is a motivational speaker and author of self-help books, thinks that maybe it's time for her to make some changes to her life too. Selling her home, Cecelia moves to a house with rooms to rent which is shared by 3 other women, each with their own stories and dillemmas. What happens to Cecelia and the other women should show readers that life can zig and zag as one begins to take chances. Sadly, it didn't for me.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Booklover on May 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I've noticed that of the people who gave this book five stars, a large percentage of them described the writing as "lovely." Well, they are right: Berg can write in a winning, warm style that reveals, through her character's eyes, many perceptive and sensitive observations about human nature and the human heart. And I do feel a bit guilty, for that reason, to be giving this book one star. But Berg has been writing a long time, and especially given her talent for characterization, she should be able to do much better than this. She has absolutely no talent for telling a story anchored in real life. Her protagonist CeCe, like women in some of her other books, lives a life charmed beyond anything feasible in reality. Everything that happens to both her and the people around her falls perfectly into place in a House and Garden dream world. She sells her house with everything in it in a day, makes immediate best friends with all of her new roommates, and each roommate's most fervent lifelong wish is granted by the fairy godmother of simplistic fiction.
Couldn't Berg have at least halfway TRIED to be realistic? There isn't a single plot point that isn't melted down into a puddle of pink frosting-tinged, happily-ever-after perfection. Fiction (at least the literary kind) ideally reflects life; but the world of this book is more about fairy tales coming true. Living in the real world, I have no patience for this stuff anymore; and I think this will be the last Berg novel I'll read. It does seem, though, that there are many readers who don't feel as I do, and who want to surround themselves with "lovely " writing where everything reaches perfection 100% of the time.
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