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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book a 58 year old can relate to!
I LOVED this quick and easy read of 58 year-olds facing the 40 year high school reunion. I am 58 myself with a 40 year high school reunion this summer and, I have to tell 'ya, Ms. Berg absolutely nails the various predicaments, conditions, and thoughts of us boomers. If you are of this certain age, you'll laugh out loud at the references to Viagra, Spanx, and a face...
Published on April 10, 2010 by 1gr8reader

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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not the old Elizabeth Berg
Wow! What a disappointment this book was. Thankfully, I borrowed it from the library so I didn't pay anything for it! Actually, I listened to the CD and stuck with it since I was on a long trip and didn't have anything else available.

I have read nearly all of Ms. Berg's books, and this one was the worst by far. The characters are stodgy and predictable, as...
Published on June 30, 2010 by Babe Ruth


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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book a 58 year old can relate to!, April 10, 2010
I LOVED this quick and easy read of 58 year-olds facing the 40 year high school reunion. I am 58 myself with a 40 year high school reunion this summer and, I have to tell 'ya, Ms. Berg absolutely nails the various predicaments, conditions, and thoughts of us boomers. If you are of this certain age, you'll laugh out loud at the references to Viagra, Spanx, and a face "looking like ice cream falling off a plate." It's been many, many books ago that I repeatedly laughed out loud. Her writing is soooo smooth. What a refreshing joy ~ just good lighthearted reading for an afternoon ~ a wonderful way to spend a few hours repeatedly identifying with these characters. A gem!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "You think you'll never get old, but you will.", May 9, 2010
Why would anyone want to attend their fortieth high school reunion? We find out in Elizabeth Berg's bittersweet novel, "The Last Time I Saw You." The author introduces us to a diverse group of people in their late fifties who still remember what it was like to be an adolescent at Whitley High. Fifty-eight year old Dorothy Shauman is divorced and desperate to reconnect with the best-looking guy in the class, Pete Decker, "the football player, the prom king." As Dorothy gazes at herself in the mirror, she "raises her chin so her turkey neck disappears." Her imagination runs wild as she predicts how she and Pete will banter, flirt, and subsequently leave the others behind to spend some quality time together. Mary Alice Mayhew had been shunned by her high-school classmates because of her dowdiness and lack of social skills. Although she has never been married, she claims to be content with her quiet and solitary existence. "She has learned not to let hurt take up residence inside her." In spite of her self-reliant personality, Mary Alice admits that there is someone she used to know in high school whom she would not mind seeing again.

Widower and loner Lester Hessenpfeffer is devoted to the animals he cares for in his veterinary practice, and would rather not attend the reunion at all. His assistant, Jeanine, hounds him into going. Pete Decker left his wife, Nora, for a younger woman, and now regrets his rash behavior; his mistress is vapid and his wife has started dating someone else. He hopes to win her back at the get-together. Candy Sullivan, the most desirable female in the class, is miserable in her marriage to an aloof and controlling husband. She needs to get away from him while she makes some tough decisions about her future.

Berg has a field day with her lively and diverse cast, all of whom have a great deal to learn about life. As the former classmates ponder who they were four decades ago and how they have changed, they are forced to admit that some of their choices may have been misguided. They wonder if it is too late to seek the happiness that has eluded them. Can a loner find companionship at an age when most people are thinking of retirement? Is it possible for an unhappily married woman to start over, either alone or with someone else?

In the wrong hands, this could easily have been a maudlin, predictable, and heavy-handed work of fiction. Fortunately, Berg hits all the right notes in this crisp, succinct, sometimes profound, and often hilarious novel. She explores her characters' confusion, insecurities, and fears with compassion, subtlety, and wry humor. As people age, they may develop wrinkles, gain a few pounds, and become a bit more set in their ways. However, most individuals never lose the desire for love, acceptance, and fulfillment. "The Last Time I Saw You" is touching but never saccharine. To her credit, Berg does not resort to a clichéd resolution for each character's problems. Instead, she wraps everything up satisfyingly and intelligently, showing respect for us and for the stalwart men and women who dare to confront some hard truths. As one individual says at a session in which everyone bares his soul: "I've finally gained some perspective that lets me laugh about things that used to make me want to tear my hair out."
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38 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The House is a Mess - I Blame Elizabeth Berg!, April 8, 2010
The last two days, the dishes have piled up, the laundry in the dryer needs to be rewashed - everything is wrinkled and I don't iron, and my coffee table is littered with chocolate Easter candy wrappers and empty coffee cups.

I blame Elizabeth Berg and her new release - The Last Time I Saw You.

What a joy to read. The characters were faulty yet lovable, the writing, as ALWAYS, was so freaking smooth and flowing.

Read the synopsis for info on what the book is about - my review is to recommend it. If you want a pleasurable read, if you want to escape for a day or two (because you won't want to put it down), go out and pick up a copy.

Just make sure your house is clean and you have plenty of food to snack on as you won't be doing much other than reading!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not the old Elizabeth Berg, June 30, 2010
Wow! What a disappointment this book was. Thankfully, I borrowed it from the library so I didn't pay anything for it! Actually, I listened to the CD and stuck with it since I was on a long trip and didn't have anything else available.

I have read nearly all of Ms. Berg's books, and this one was the worst by far. The characters are stodgy and predictable, as is the dialog, and it's hard to believe anyone under the age of "senior citizen" (I am 49), would find this book intriguing in any way. The characters are complete stereotypes and their interactions totally unrealistic and downright boring. To top it off, Ms. Berg's narration sounds tired and not up to the level of a professional reader. Avoid this book and stick with earlier titles like "The Art of Mending" and "Year of Pleasures" and "We Are All Welcome Here."
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Berg Disappoints, April 14, 2010
I, too, stopped all activity to read Elizabeth Berg's newest novel but this loyal fan was disappointed. I found the characters rather juvenile and, frankly, annoying. The premise appealed to me as one "of the age", but I found this to be a foolish story and one I couldn't really relate to. I wanted to smack a few of the characters!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just OK, June 8, 2010
This was my first Elizabeth Berg book - I had heard a lot of good things about her and the plot sounded interesting, so I chose this to be the first one of hers I read.

While she is clearly a talented writer, I didn't get the sense that this was her best book. I thought the plot sounded interesting - following the thoughts and actions of several characters who are preparing for and attending a high school reunion late in life. Each character comes from a slightly different spot in the high school social hierarchy, which of course influences their thoughts and preparation for the reunion. I appreciated seeing the multiple different points of view and I could sympathize with the worries about looking older and trying to look your best when you see classmates that can remember you when you were young, as well as with the desire to show people that no matter what happened in high school, you're doing well now.

Certain characters, such as Dorothy, I found to be immature and somewhat unrealistic in parts. I found myself hoping that when I was the same age of these characters, I would not be quite as hung up on what happened in high school as they seemed to be. I understand that with the book's focus on the reunion, obviously the characters would be reliving the past and wondering what would happen when they saw old flames, but at times, I was under the impression that these people had done nothing but plan to "fix" what had happened in high school during all the years leading up to this reunion. I didn't feel like that at my 10th reunion, so it was difficult for me to believe that I would care that much for my 40th. I also found the dialogue during the scene where everyone is talking about what they had hoped to get out of the reunion somewhat unrealistic.

I would definitely read something by this author again, but I wouldn't recommend this particular book to many people.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More here than sterotypical characters, April 12, 2010
I have just about decided that it's impossible for Elizabeth Berg to write a bad book. I keep waiting for it to happen and it just hasn't. Some novels resonate more than others based upon the reader's interests and personal story, but they are all either good or great.

This latest novel tells the story of a 40th reunion of a high school class. This is the last reunion (it's never explained why this is the last) but it motivates many of the class members to attend that might not have otherwise. We have a wide cast of characters from the jocks to the nerds and we find out what they were like in high school and who they have become as adults. Their life stories are not shared in a great amount of detail, but enough for the reader to be able to connect with and understand who they are as people.

It was a good read from start to finish. While there are the all the stereotypical characters, the stories underneath the surface are told so well that I actually felt sorry for the athletic jock who just never quite matures to be able to face reality and I enjoyed the nerdy girl who doesn't become a swan but evolves into a person we would all admire. Each person comes to the reunion with expectations and some are just heartbreaking.

Well-written and hard to put down, this isn't my favorite Elizabeth Berg book, but she continues to deliver!
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fast read however shallow and disappointing, April 14, 2010
First time reader of any of Berg's novels. A bunch of 60 year olds await their 40th high school reunion and some of the main characters seemingly have not evolved past their pathetic high school personas. The BIG difference is that they are now pretty darn old and it makes them even more pathetic and sad. There are a few redeeming characters, real honest, decent people but characters such as Dorothy are nauseating in every imaginable way, even when she has her "epiphanies" on the right way to treat people, she is under the influence of alcohol so it really doesn't count. It seems obvious that she is one of the ones who will never get it and even her own daughter seems embarrassed at her ridiculous and shallow existence.

Its a very fast read if you've got a few hours to kill but I'm left with this uncanny desire never to attend another reunion again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Are You Ready For Your Reunion???, June 26, 2010
The Last Time I Saw You was not the most influential book that I have read this year, but I don't think that was Elizabeth Berg's intention. Berg didn't focus on racism in the South (The Help) or government produced vampires (The Passage). No. Berg just wrote about what it is like to feel younger than you are, and how it feels to face the people who knew you during one period of your life long ago. And although I don't think Berg's novel will change history, I do think the simplicity of the plot hid a deeper message: You can't go back in time, but you can change who you are.

I read The Last Time I Saw You in record time-the quickest read I have had in awhile. I didn't read it so quickly because of the suspense, or the compelling romance. Instead I read it so quickly because it was fun, light, and enjoyable. Berg gave me five main characters who were easily recognizable in real-life, and for the most part I liked my time with most of them. I did not enjoy the chapters that focused on Dorothy. I don't necessarily think that was Dorothy's fault. She was just so easily identifiable and life-like that she exuded the same qualities as women I know and don't really like.

There was one section of the book that broke the spell for me though. (Don't worry-this isn't much of a spoiler.) At the reunion, some of the characters participate in a pseudo game of Truth (no Dare). I have only been to a couple of reunions, but I find it hard to believe that these "strangers" tell all of their most treasured secrets to each other. I couldn't see this happening, and even the set-up of the scene seemed false. It was almost like Berg was hurrying to finish up the reunion scene and just wanted to get all the characters' problems out on the table quickly.

My only other compliant was the abrupt ending. Two of the characters' resolution take place "off-stage" , and I liked them so much that I wanted to see them figure everything out. I didn't want to just hear they resolved their issues. After traveling so long with them, I really wanted to see how they did it.

All in all, I thought this novel was a good read, and it got me ready for my husband's reunion later this year. The Last Time I Saw You left me with some things to think about and some high school memories to mull over. Maybe a game of truth wouldn't be so bad, but maybe it would just be better to move on all together.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not her best work, June 30, 2010
This is my least favorite book by this author, whom I normally like alot. It started out like it was going to be good, but it got to be rather boring, and the ending just was very shallow, seemed like too many loose ends. I was just glad it finally ended. I don't recommend this book.
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The Last Time I Saw You: A Novel
The Last Time I Saw You: A Novel by Elizabeth Berg (Paperback - November 23, 2010)
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