A few years ago at the Connecticut Library Association conference, I heard Elizabeth Berg talk about her writing career. Her love of writing and reading was obvious, as she talked about her previous career as a nurse and how that enhanced her understanding of people. Her keen appreciation of how people - and especially women- think permeates her work.
My favorite of her books is a short story collection , The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted: and Other Small Acts of Liberation. The title says it all, as she focuses on women of all ages, teenage to 80-something, dealing with issues of dieting, body image, aging, love, loss, letting go and creating a new life. (She will be having a " Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted party!" In Illinois.)
Berg writes a book a year; easy additions to your reading list- not too literary , not too slick- good quick reads with thoughtful underpinnings about the pains and pleasures of relationships.
Once Upon a Time, There Was You is her latest. Sadie is 18 and secretly in love. Her parents are divorced and each engaged in a search for new love. Suddenly, terror intrudes and the parents come together to deal with Sadie's disappearance. About the permanent connections of divorced parents (connected enough to get back together?), the revelations of female friendship (will they push it too far?), the overwhelming anxiety of a mother's fear and concern (will she alienate her daughter?)...the story is about the vagaries of different kinds of love.
I admit that as the mother in the story took her " helicopter" parenting to new heights, I experienced an uncomfortable twinge of identity. That is Berg's gift- her empathetic grasp of our emotions and motivations and her clever and wise ways of telling our stories. More Berg books.