Monday, May 4, 2009

Review: Home Safe

" had put them on the fast track for being comfortable with each other. As they were, ever after. Always comfortable in a way that Dan described as home safe."

After Helen Ames' husband dies unexpectedly, she's at a loss, in more ways than one. She's not only lost her partner, she's left without the knowledge to navigate alone, having relied on her husband to handle all of the details of their life together. As a successful novelist, she's also hit with a case of severe writer's block, unable to form ideas and thoughts...or even go near her office.

She starts to become more and more dependent on her 27-year-old daughter, Tessa, who herself is trying to make a life of her own and find her way as a young woman.

Nearly a year after Dan's death, everyone thinks it's time for Helen to move on, pick up the pieces, and begin living her life, albeit a new one. But, Helen is stuck in her grief and paralyzed by the very thought of going forward.

When asked to teach a writing workshop, she reluctantly accepts...and it becomes an empowering catalyst for her, bringing her joy she didn't think possible again. It awakens her spirit and fuels her creative mind. And, a gift from Dan, carefully planned before his untimely death and revealed to her when she least expected it, reminds her what she had in him, as a husband...and teaches her what she has in herself.

Author Elizabeth Berg always knows how to turn a phrase just right, conveying so much about a character with just a few choice words, such as:

"She was a girl who would take the chair closest to the door, and then sit there every time."

Berg's novels always produce something for my quote book, and this one was no exception. After reading this, I went right for a fresh page, loving the analogy:

"It seems to her that life is like gathering berries into an apron with a hole. Why do we keep on? Because the berries are beautiful, and we must eat to survive. We catch what we can. We walk past what we lose for the promise of more, just ahead."

I have to admit that this wasn't my favorite of her books, as the writing seemed a little rushed and abrupt at times, but Berg is a master storyteller and fans won't want to miss her latest.


bermudaonion said...

The cover is just gorgeous. I'm disappointed to read that the book doesn't live up to it.

Dar said...

It's a little disappointing when a favorite author doesn't quite meet expectations but I'll still be reading this one as I'm a fan no matter what. I love the cover!

Alyce said...

I haven't read anything by this author, but if I do I will try one of her other books first.

Melanie said...

I recently read this and enjoyed it. I felt the relationship with her daughter was very realistic - loving and irritating at the same time. And I thought it had a nice solid ending.

Diane said...

I was going to order this book, but now, I'll just wait for my turn at the library. It does sound good though. Thanks for the review.

Lisa said...

I've not read any of Berg's books but look forward to this one and her older ones as well. You're review was very good - and honest - I love that! ;)

Mary said...

I'm going to a reading by Berg a week from tonight at my fav Indie bookshop. Can't wait. I never miss her when she's in town. I'll probably read the book. Thanks for the review.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

I haven't read anything by Elizabeth Berg (yet). I just today picked up "Open House" at a tag sale ... have you read this one?