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Home Safe: A Novel | [Elizabeth Berg]

Home Safe: A Novel

Beloved author Elizabeth Berg tells the story of the recently widowed Helen Ames and of her 27-year-old daughter Tessa. Helen is shocked to discover that her mild-mannered and loyal husband had been leading a double life. The Ames's had saved money for a happy retirement, planned in minute detail, but that money has disappeared in several big withdrawals, spent by Helen's husband before he died. What could he possibly have been doing?
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Publisher's Summary

The best-selling author of The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted and The Year of Pleasures returns with a wonderful novel about a woman, a daughter, and a surprising change in life.

Beloved author Elizabeth Berg tells the story of the recently widowed Helen Ames and of her 27-year-old daughter Tessa. Helen is shocked to discover that her mild-mannered and loyal husband had been leading a double life. The Ames's had saved money for a happy retirement, planned in minute detail, but that money has disappeared in several big withdrawals, spent by Helen's husband before he died. What could he possibly have been doing? And what is Helen to do now? Why does Helen's daughter object to her mother's applying for a job, and why doesn't Tessa meet a nice man and get married?

What Helen's husband did with all their money turns out to be provocative, revelatory, and leads Helen and her daughter to embark on new adventures, and change.

©2009 Elizabeth Berg; (P)2009 Random House

What the Critics Say

"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." (Publishers Weekly)
"Berg is a tender and enchanting storyteller who wisely celebrates the simple, sustaining elements of life, from comfort food to birdsong to a good laugh." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.2 (41 )
5 star
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3.3 (13 )
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3.0 (14 )
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Performance
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  •  
    glamazon The Coast of Rhode Island 07-23-09
    glamazon The Coast of Rhode Island 07-23-09 Member Since 2003

    glam

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4348
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    483
    310
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    FOLLOWING
    3748
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    Overall
    "Another Personal Best for Berg"

    I love Berg's explorations of separation, change and loss, and the way she crafts the residue of big life seismic shifts into new life.
    My only issue with her work is that her novels are not long enough.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dr. Lake Oswego, OR, United States 10-15-11
    Dr. Lake Oswego, OR, United States 10-15-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    367
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    113
    86
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    54
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    Performance
    Story
    "A Navel Gazer"

    My wife had just read this book and raved about it. Well - it has its appeal, but it ultimately left me feeling like I had spent a lot of time with a self-absorbed woman who was not all that interesting. Most of the book is spent inside her head listening to her inner dialog. The good news - it is very well written and tells a thoughtful story of a woman sorting out her life after the unexpected death of her husband.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Baycyd San Francisco 12-17-09
    Baycyd San Francisco 12-17-09 Member Since 2005

    Baycyd

    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    93
    25
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    1
    Overall
    "Author narration was terrible"

    I love Berg's writing, but she should never have narrated this book. I couldn't even finish listening to it. Too bad; as I say, I love her writing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. Nelson 11-28-09
    G. Nelson 11-28-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    40
    2
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    Story
    "Annoying"

    The narrator is hard to listen to. I found her very whine-y and needy. The main character was so passive aggressive, hovering, needy, and weak that I couldn't stand to hear about her! Maybe that is the point of the book, but I wanted to reach out and shake her.
    Not worth the credit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brandy Valparaiso, IN, USA 09-10-09
    Brandy Valparaiso, IN, USA 09-10-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    16
    6
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    0
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    Overall
    "Sweet"

    This is a beautiful story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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