Say When by Elizabeth Berg
A Novel

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Refreshingly, Berg tells the story from Griffin's point of view: he refuses to leave home, insisting that he and Ellen live as roommates, and tries to wear her down with small acts of kindness.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

Ellen, he thought, and the name seemed to him to hold everything he might possibly want to say to her....He looked at her lying on her side of the bed, looked too at the space she had left beside her. That was his side, because he was her husband. And she was his wife."
Griffin is a happy man. Settled comfortably in a Chicago suburb, he adores his eight-year-old daughter, Zoe, and his wife, Ellen -- shy, bookish Ellen, who is as dependable as she is dependent on him for his stability and his talent for gently controlling the world they inhabit. But when he wakes one morning to hear of his wife's love affair with another man and her request for a divorce, Griffin's view of life is irrevocably altered. Overnight he goes from being Ellen's husband to being her roommate, from a lover to a man denied passion and companionship. Now he must either move on or fight for his marriage, forgive his wife or condemn her for her betrayal, deny or face up to his part in the sudden undoing of his seemingly perfect life.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Open House and True to Form comes a brilliant novel that charts the days and nights of a family whose normalcy has been shattered. With startling clarity and a trademark blend of humor and poignancy, Say When follows a man on an emotional journey to redefine his notions about love and happiness and asks questions relevant to any contemporary couple: when is a relationship worth saving and when is it better to let it go? Might a man and a woman define betrayal differently? How honest are we with those to whom we are ostensibly closest?
Searingly honest, Say When is an engaging and memorable story that takes readers into the heart of a modern marriage, where intimacy and love, denial and pain, so often collide.
 

About Elizabeth Berg

See more books from this Author
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 June 3, 2003 by Atria Books. 288 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Romance, Business & Economics. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Say When
All: 4 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 1

Publishers Weekly

Above average

Refreshingly, Berg tells the story from Griffin's point of view: he refuses to leave home, insisting that he and Ellen live as roommates, and tries to wear her down with small acts of kindness.

Read Full Review of Say When : A Novel | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Book Reporter

Good
on Jan 23 2011

SAY WHEN is not a long novel...But the emotional life of Griffin, caught at this moment of crisis and reflection, is powerful nonetheless. Berg's prose is deceptively simple, neatly packaging a complicated story.

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RT Book Reviews

Above average

The slowly revealed underlying reasons for Ellen's unhappiness provide some justification for her succumbing to an affair. But she exudes a self-centeredness that makes her a somewhat unlikable character.

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Entertainment Weekly

Above average
on Jun 06 2003

Berg's cautionary tale of a failing marriage follows Frank Griffin...His struggle to reconcile with her teaches nothing more than the age-old relationship maxims that love is work and communication is key.

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Reader Rating for Say When
69%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 129 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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