Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Last Time I Saw You by Elizabeth Berg

Anyone who never returned for their class reunion wonders what it might be like. And, the longer it's been since graduation, the more curious you become. Elizabeth Berg takes that curiosity, anticipation, and dread, and packages it all in her latest book, The Last Time I Saw You.

It's been forty years, and it's going to be the last reunion for a class from Clear Springs, Ohio. Berg picks a handful of people from that graduating class to focus on. Dorothy Shauman still has two loyal friends from those years, but she's divorced now, and still longs for Pete Decker, the high school quarterback. And, she's dieted, primped, and she's ready and willing to finally have another crack at the hottest male in their class. Decker himself cheated on his wife, and is now eager to get back with her, although she's seeing another man. There's Candy Sullivan Armstrong, who was the hottest girl in class, and now faces a health crisis, and a husband she fears. And, there's the two people that seemed to be losers to their classmates, Lester Hessenpfeffer and Mary Alice Mayhew.

At eighteen, we never really know what's going to happen to us, or our classmates. Berg's story really has no surprises. Those five characters relate their thoughts, fears, and hopes. There are some happy endings wrapped up a little too neatly. Even so, it's fascinating to watch people return for a dreaded or anticipated reunion. One of the characters sums it up neatly when she says, "It's not that you can't go home again; it's that you can never leave." And, in some ways, we always carry that insecure eighteen-year-old, and our class relationships, with us. Elizabeth Berg acknowledges the immaturity in each of us in her knowing book, The Last Time I Saw You.

Elizabeth Berg's website is www.elizabeth-berg.net

The last Time I Saw You by Elizabeth Berg. Random House, ©2010. ISBN 9781400068647 (hardcover), 256p.

*****
FTC Full Disclosure - Library book

38 comments:

bermudaonion said...

This sounds like a book I would love. The cover is just wonderful.

Kaye Barley said...

My graduating class was a close-knit one and has remained so. We graduated in 1966, and have a reunion every 5 years (and occasionally one in between). I'm always on the look-out for reunion books like this one - can't wait to give it a try. Thanks (again!!!) Lesa.
Hugs!
Kaye

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Another author I enjoy. :) Reunion books interest me more than actually going to my own! I'll look for this one...

Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder

Lesa said...

I've been on a hot streak with you lately, Kathy. I hope you enjoy it!

Lesa said...

I've seen your reunion pictures, Kaye, and it looks like your class has a great time. My mother's class is the same way. Unfortunately, as the classes got bigger, some of them aren't so close.

Lesa said...

I'm with you, Elizabeth. I like reunion books, but I've never been back to mine.

Ingrid King said...

This sounds wonderful. I love Elizabeth Berg. And I'm with Elizabeth and Lesa - I'd rather read about reunions than go to one of mine!

Kris said...

This sounds great and I look forward to reading it. I went to my 10 year reunion a couple of years ago and it didn't live up to the anticipation.

Lesa said...

I hope you enjoy this book, Ingrid! It's better than a reunion any day.

Lesa said...

My 35th is this summer, Kris, and I'm missing it by about a month when I go home. Oh, well. I'm not sure how much I'm really missing. I don't have kids to talk about; my husband died this year; and I sort of doubt if most of them would want to hear about all the authors and books I love. I think I'll stick with my friends online, and in my current life, who love to talk about books.

Anonymous said...

i have a question would this book be appropriate for an 8th grade class???

Anonymous said...

never mind

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