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Once upon a time, there was you : a novel
Elizabeth Berg
Adult Fiction BERG

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In Berg's anemic new novel, John and Irene Marsh, though divorced for some time, remain adoring parents to daughter Sadie, who is about to start college. Both parents are now in their fifties and trying to sort out dating and relationships, with varying levels of success. But when Sadie is kidnapped, their separate lives quickly cleave, and coping with the tragedy means that they must come together as a family. When Sadie is safely returned, and rushes into marriage, John and Irene are forced to deal with their own failures, and finally start to understand where they went wrong (as well as what they did right). Unfortunately, Berg doesn't give readers a reason to like care for any of her players, much less to invest in their relationship. And the kidnapping, both exploitative and anticlimactic, is too contrived, nothing but mechanics, the most obvious of inciting incidents. If Berg (The Last Time I Saw You) is out to plumb the depths of the modern marriage in the hopes of touching the profound, it fails to come across here. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Berg is a prolific writer, but some might say her last few novels (The Last Time I Saw You) have veered toward lighter fare, approaching fluff. Her new book leaves that designation in the dust, tackling varied, meaty topics with grace, and a pacing that makes it hard to put down. Irene and John are messily divorced, but their shared love for their teenage daughter, Sadie, is a bond that cannot be broken. When Sadie goes missing, they are reunited, like it or not. John's new girlfriend and Irene's serial online dating all fall to the wayside as the exes hunker down and try to find Sadie. Will the forced closeness cause a natural reconciliation? As Sadie's disappearance brings new issues for the couple to deal with, for the first time they examine their past marriage and what it meant to them both. Verdict This addictive read shows anew what a wonderful writing talent Berg is: strong characters illuminate a tender story about what makes a marriage work (or not), and how a family binds itself together despite things that pull it apart. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 11/1/10.]-Beth Gibbs, Davidson, NC (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters John
Male
Divorced

Irene
Female
Divorced



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