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Elizabeth Berg is one of those writers who explores just about all aspects of the human condition - and "condition" is the operative word, as in we are al here "conditionally" and must navigate our lives with attention and mindfulness.
Having said that, what happens is that you never quite know what you're getting when you sign on to a literary trip with Berg. I always think I know her, but am always jolted from my complacency.
After very recently finishing "The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted" and being satiated with comic as well as tragic (or at least challenging) moments in life, any life, I have expanded my reading repertoire into the short story genre and was pleasantly surprised. Berg has a few substantial funny (if not downright slapstick) bones in her vision and deploys them well in this story collection.
But now, to my point - "Talk Before Sleep" could have been an inspiring exploration into the experience of the end of life; after all, loss is universal to us all, part of the admission price we pay to enter the planet and does not have to be a monochromatic plunge into sadness and despair. But instead I found the world portrayed in here in "Talk Before Sleep" to be narrow and sad.
But I will continue to seek out work by Elizabeth Berg, one of my favorite authors, and one of the few whose work I download without even having to listen to a sample.
8 of 11 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to Talk Before Sleep again? Why?
Oh yes, I sure would. Elizabeth Berg writes with great delicacy and I am comforted by her writing.
Who was your favorite character and why?
I loved all the characters. Berg is masterful at character building.
Have you listened to any of Elizabeth Berg’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
Yes, but some are better than others, at least for me. I read this in print when it first came out in the 90's at the suggestion of a dear friend. It never left me and I was thrilled to see it on Audible.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
While the story line is very sad, it is very real. What I took away from this novel is the value and great importance of having good friends. She is so good at describing friendships and many times I find myself thinking," yes, I've felt that "or "I never looked at it that way". And her descriptive qualities are just so beautiful. In the very beginning she muses on watching her mother hang sheets on the clothesline and her depiction is gorgeous!
Any additional comments?
For me Elizabeth Berg is like comfort food. I also like her narration. Few authors can do this and she does it well.