Ordinary Life by Elizabeth Berg

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In this superb collection of short stories, the bestselling author of Open House and Talk Before Sleep takes us into the times in women’s lives when memories and events cohere to create a sense of wholeness, understanding, and change. In Ordinary Life, Mavis McPherson locks herself in the bathroom for a week, and no, she isn’t contemplating getting a divorce—she just needs some time to think, to take stock of her
life, and she comes to a surprising conclusion. In Today’s Special,a woman recognizes the solace she finds in the simple, timeless fare and atmosphere of the local diner and, ultimately, the harmony within her own spirit that familiar comforts can evoke. In White Dwarf, the secrets of a marriage are revealed as a couple passes the time with a seemingly insignificant word-association game. And in “Martin’s Letter to Nan,” the unforgettable husband and wife from Berg’s novel The Pull of the Moon engage in a new correspondence in which a different aspect of their marriage is revealed.

Elizabeth Berg’s fiction has been praised for its "brilliant insights about the human condition" (Detroit Free Press), and The Charlotte Observer has said that "Berg captures the way women think as well as any writer."Those same qualities of wisdom and insight are everywhere present in Ordinary Life.

About Elizabeth Berg

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Elizabeth Berg is the author of many bestselling novels as well as two works of nonfiction. Open House was an Oprah's Book Club selection, Durable Goods and Joy School were selected as ALA Best Books of the Year, and Talk Before Sleep was short-listed for an Abby Award. Her bestsellers also include The Year of Pleasures, The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted, and Dream When You're Feeling Blue. Berg has been honored by both the Boston Public Library and the Chicago Public Library and is a popular speaker at venues around the country. She lives near Chicago.
Published February 1, 2012 by Random House. 221 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Horror, Action & Adventure. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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In the title story, the most original here, 79-year-old Mavis locks herself in the bathroom with a supply of food, reading matter, and enough pillows and blankets to making sleeping in the bath comfortable, telling her bewildered husband that she’s “on retreat.” With the uninterrupted time she cr...

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Publishers Weekly

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While the men and women who populate the stories typify the monolithic entities of the fabled battle of the sexes—"men don't talk" is a refrain repeated more than once—Berg's gentle probing of everyday events offers insight into turning points of life that may not set off fireworks but are nevert...

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