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True To Form [Kindle Edition]

Elizabeth Berg
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.99
Kindle Price: $10.37
You Save: $5.62 (35%)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

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Book Description

In this warm and engaging novel, New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Berg revisits the heroine she so lovingly brought to life in Durable Goods and Joy School.
It is 1961, and thirteen-year-old Katie is facing a summer full of conflict. First, instead of letting her find her own work for the season, Katie's father has arranged for two less-than-ideal baby-sitting jobs -- one for the rambunctious Wexler boys and another for Mrs. Randolph, a kind but elderly, bed-ridden neighbor. To make matters worse, Katie has been forcibly inducted into the "loser" Girl Scout troop organized by her only friend Cynthia's controlling and clueless mother. A much-anticipated visit to her former home in Texas and ex-best friend Cherylanne proves disappointing. And then comes an act of betrayal that leaves Katie questioning her views on friendship, on her ability not to take those she loves for granted, and, most important, on herself. "One thing to say about you, Katie, is that you are true. You should be proud of it, and don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise," Cherylanne insists. But whether or not Katie will ever feel true to herself remains to be seen.
From the writer whose work The New Yorker calls "strong" and "timeless," True to Form is a delicately told tale of a young girl wise beyond her years, whose growing pains finally awaken her to the clarity of forgiveness and a greater understanding of the complicated world around her. Full of the anguish and the joys of adolescence in a much more innocent time, True to Form is sure to make readers remember and reflect on their own moments of discovery and self-definition.

Editorial Reviews Review

In her 10th novel, True to Form, Elizabeth Berg finds her way into the year 1961 and into the head of 13-year-old Katie Nash at the start of her summer vacation. Katie's world is smooth and easy with endless possibilities and sunshine. You almost expect sitcom-style canned laughter when she whines in frustration or stomps up to her room and turns the radio way up, but then almost everything Katie does fits that era's squeaky-clean conventionalities. The younger daughter of a remarried widower, Katie craves popularity, a great summer job, and a direct line to the local DJ to make requests. Newly transplanted from Texas, she settles in with her only friend, Cynthia, who shares her views on status and appearance and boys. Between a regular babysitting gig for a household of little boys and caring for an elderly bedridden woman, her summer is off to a less than auspicious start. Cynthia's mother's plot to start a Girl Scout troop and to camp out for a weekend in their living room doesn't help. Berg's plot doesn't exactly mine new territory, but Katie emerges as a girl who sees the world differently from the rest of her peers. Her poetic perspective on her surroundings and her predicaments should eventually win readers over. The period backdrop feels unformed against this portrait of a young artist-to-be, but Katie imbues it with fresh eyes. --Emily Russin

From Publishers Weekly

Berg is the master of the soft-focus, nonconfrontational women's novel, as evidenced in her 2000 Oprah Book Club selection, Open House. In her latest work, which again features the pubescent narrator first encountered in her debut novel, Durable Goods, she describes a summer in the life of 13-year-old Katie Nash. It is 1961, and Katie's mother has been dead for two years; Katie lives with her dour military father and peppy stepmother in Missouri. Resigned to allowing her strict dad to find her summer jobs, in her free time she gorges herself on junk food with her best friend, Cynthia, and works on her tan. Katie's first-person voice is deliberative and colloquial, and the story told is rarely eventful: the highlights come when Katie first starts working for a kind, needy elderly couple, the Randolphs, and wins a radio contest offering a free plane ticket anywhere in the world. Yet where does Katie choose to fly? Back to Fort Hood, Tex., where she last lived before her mother died and where she can revisit her former best friend, Cherylanne, who is slightly older than Katie and well versed in the ways of boys, clothes and getting married fast. The trip peters out when Katie realizes she really has nothing in common with boy-crazy Cherylanne. Meanwhile, Mr. Randolph secures a scholarship for Katie at the upscale school where he once taught, but even this boon becomes a hurdle when Katie belittles Cynthia to land in the rich girls' good graces. Berg lays nostalgia traps at every turn in her 10th feel-good novel, but her readers for the most part will be happy to fall into them.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 535 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0743411358
  • Publisher: Atria Books; Reprint edition (July 16, 2002)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC0VVG
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,706 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True to Form is Ture to Berg-Excellent! May 31, 2002
In True to Form, we are delightfully reunited with little Katie Nash, the main character from two of Berg's other outstanding novels, Durable Goods & Joy School. Berg does not disappoint as she brings us back into Katie's life, reminding us of what it's like to be a kid again, and the thoughts and feelings that accompany the coming of age process. Through Katie, Berg shows us not only how much insight she has, but also how truly talented her gift is. Her writing is simple, yet powerful and moving. Her words will take you back to the days when life consisted of school, friends, and parents.
In True to Form, Katie Nash is a 13 year-old girl, trying to figure out who she really is and what she stands for.
Dealing with the death of her mother several years prior, Katie has been raised by a very stern father, who
has a difficult time showing emotion. Fortunately, he is now married to Ginger, who is a mother figure &friend to Katie. When Katie's dad announces that she has two jobs for the summer, babysitting the Wexler kids and helping to care for elderly Mrs.Randolph, Katie is less than thrilled. Little does she know how meaningful these experiences will prove to be. Thrown into the mix, Katie discovers what it is that makes a true friend, and the price of popularity.
In one of Berg's most powerful passages, Katie is describing her drawer, where she keeps things that are special to her. "...I have red lipstick that was my mother's, with the mark of her mouth on it. I have a rhinestone button I found outside, feathers from birds, pennies that mean good luck.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elizabeth Berg is in true form! May 26, 2002
Elizabeth Berg is a genius in putting into words the beloved thoughts and feelings I remember from being a kid. She hits the nail on the head on every page. Her main character, Katie Nash, is a delightful young girl who you root for all the way. She is the same character that was in Elizabeth's first novel, Durable Goods, and she was also in Joy School. True to Form is a wonderful novel with many life lessons learned all in a moving, yet lighthearted way. This is a book not to be missed!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HEARTWARMING AND FUNNY July 12, 2002
Elizabeth Berg first introduced us to Katie Nash in her book "Durable Goods" and now in this book we meet up again with Katie who is now 13 yrs. old and her father has married Ginger whom Katie really likes. Ginger is a quieting influence in the family.........Since moving to Missouri because her father was transferred from a military base in Texas, Katie feels lonely once again, missing her best friend, Cherylanne. Katie did go back to Texas to visit once and the two friends keep in touch by letters.....Katie meets a new best friend named Cynthia, but Katie betrays her when she wants to fit in with the "in-crowd" at a new private school she now attends......Katie feels very badly about this and wants more than anything to have Cynthia forgive her.....Katie has learned not to take people she loves for granted because they could be taken from her as her sister was (she ran away to another state) or her mother was (by dying)...Through trial and error, Katie learns to forgive people, even herself........This story is about adolescence in a more innocent time during the 1960's.......I enjoyed it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable coming of age novel; great young adult reading September 4, 2003
True to Form continues the story of Katie Nash, the young, motherless girl who we first met in Durable Goods. Katie is now 13, and her life appears to have stabalized: her father has remarried a sweet stepmother, she has finally gotten used to her new town, and she is excited about the start of summer vacation. Of course problems still occur--the two summer jobs arranged by her father don't fit her "dream job" description, she desperately wants to fit in with the popular crowd, etc.--but at this point, Katie's difficulties seem to be more of the "normal" growing up variety as opposed to the more challenging obstacles she faced in Berg's earlier novels. Although I enjoyed reading about Katie's development into a more poised, thoughtful young woman, I found Berg's treatment of Katie to be very reminiscent of Judy Blume, and thus I think that Katie's story would be most appealing to young adult readers.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elizabeth Berg and Katie Nash are True to Form!!! June 5, 2002
Readers of Elizabeth Berg's books have been introduced to many endearing characters, not the least of which is Katie Nash. First appearing in the title Durable Goods, Katie is a motherless 11 year old living on an army base in Texas. Next we meet up with Katie in Joy School, as Katie moves to Missouri and falls in love with an "older man." Now in Berg's newest book, True to Form, we find Katie feeling the tugs of adolescence as her father remarries and she continues to meet new people and experiences new adventures.
As summer vacation approaches, Katie has all sorts of plans in mind which include getting a great summer job, winning a local radio contest, which offers a trip anywhere in the US, and most of all becoming popular. But her plans are severely altered when her father tells her has has found two summer jobs for her. These are baby-sitting for the rowdy Wexler boys and helping out an elderly couple. As if matters weren't bad enough, her only friend Katie informs her that her mother has become a Girl Scout leader and they expect Katie to join their troop. Now instead of the summer she planned, Katie spends her days breaking up arguments between the three young boys, helping Mr. Randolph care for his ailing wife and spending an overnight in Cynthia's living room with the Girl Scouts. Even winning a trip to Texas and seeing her best friend does little to lift her spirits. But then an opportunity to attend a prestigious private school and invitations from a popular group may turn this into the very best summer, or so Katie thinks.
As we all know life is a series of lessons to be learned and by the end of True to Form Katie learns about some of lifes most important ones.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars worth taking your time to savor.
The struggle of being true to yourself, finding yourself in others, the joy and pain of life is seen through the eyes of a precocious young woman. Read more
Published 1 month ago by P. Haddock
5.0 out of 5 stars Another good one from Elizabeth Berg
I love Ms. Berg's books, and this one was not disappointing. Very enjoyable.
Published 1 month ago by Darlene J. Vance
5.0 out of 5 stars love
I liked this book so much that I ordered it for my kindle AFTER I had already read it in pre-kindle days. Can't get enough of Elizabeth Berg!
Published 5 months ago by fussyrunner
5.0 out of 5 stars Will love it.
Love everything Elizabeth Berg. She is a wonderful author and I will read it, I promise. You can't go wrong.
Published 8 months ago by ldr322
5.0 out of 5 stars A great writer comes through again!
Elizabeth Berg is one of my favorite authors! She captures the dimensions of life with full and descriptive detail. I love her sense of humor too! Read more
Published 8 months ago by Z-Woman
5.0 out of 5 stars a good read!
A great beach read and it brings u back to ur youth everyone had this experience!thanks for a great afternoon!
Published 12 months ago by Carolwkelly
3.0 out of 5 stars Very Poor editing!
I enjoy Elizabeth Berg's writing, so I didn't think twice before purchasing this for my iPad. I've only just begun reading, and the editing is driving me crazy!! Read more
Published 13 months ago by Kimba
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read
The Katie Nash trilogy is the best coming of age books ever written! I feel not only like I know her, but right now I am sad because I won't know what happens to her next year. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Brenda Allen
3.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't get into it.
I usually find this author enjoyable. I just couldn't get into this story, never finished the book which is rare for me.
Published 14 months ago by W. D. Acox
5.0 out of 5 stars berg book
This is one of the best thoughtfully writen books I have read in a long, long time. Easy relaxing read
Published 14 months ago by vicki l.
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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.

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