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Home safe : a novel
Berg, Elizabeth.
Adult Fiction BERG

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Love, work and the absence of both figure prominently in Berg's latest, a rumination on loss and replenishment. Since novelist Helen's husband, Dan, died a year ago, she's been unable to write, and though her publisher and agent aren't worried, she is, particularly after a disastrous performance at a public speaking engagement leaves her wondering if her writing career will be another permanent loss. Meanwhile, daughter Tessa is getting impatient as Helen smothers her with awkward motherly affection. Tessa longs for distance and some independence, but Helen is unable to run her suburban Chicago home without continually calling on Tessa to perform the handyman chores that once belonged to Dan. And then Helen discovers Dan had withdrawn a huge chunk of their retirement money, and Helen's quest to find out what happened turns into a journey of self-discovery and hard-won healing. Berg gracefully renders, in tragic and comic detail, the notions that every life-however blessed-has its share of awful loss, and that even crushed, defeated hearts can be revived. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Eleven months after her husband's sudden death, Helen Ames remains helpless about home repair, ignorant of finances, and stymied by writer's block. Lonely and unsuited to any job outside the home, Helen has nothing to do but exasperate her adult daughter, Tessa, by intruding, until the family accountant calls asking about a secret withdrawal of $850,000 her husband made before dying. The mystery is quickly resolved, but in the meantime, Helen reluctantly agrees to lead an adult writing workshop for pay. The story then proceeds comfortably through Helen's coming to terms with her husband's surprise, her daughter's well-meaning withdrawal, and Helen's journey of self-discovery-with the help of her students-outside of her roles as wife, mother, writer. Prolific novelist Berg (The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted) is an accomplished master of women's fiction. Her warmth, humor, and forgiving eye for human nature, mixing wry observation with heartwarming moments, make this a pleasant read. Recommended for popular fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/09.]-Laurie A. Cavanaugh, Brockton P.L., MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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