From the beloved best-selling author of Home Safe and The Year of Pleasures comes a wonderful new novel about women and men reconnecting with one another - and themselves - at their 40th high-school reunion.
To each of the men and women in The Last Time I Saw You, this reunion means something different - a last opportunity to say something long left unsaid, an escape from the bleaker realities of everyday life, a means to save a marriage on the rocks, or an opportunity to bond with a slightly estranged daughter, if only over what her mother should wear.
As the one-time classmates meet up over the course of a weekend, they discover things that will irrevocably affect the rest of their lives. For newly divorced Dorothy Shauman, the reunion brings with it the possibility of finally attracting the attention of the class heartthrob, Pete Decker. For the ever self-reliant, ever left-out Mary Alice Mayhew, it's a chance to reexamine a painful past. For Lester Heseenpfeffer, a veterinarian and widower, it is the hope of talking shop with a fellow vet - or at least that's what he tells himself. For Candy Armstrong, the class beauty, it's the hope of finding friendship before it is too late.
As Dorothy, Mary Alice, Lester, Candy, and the other classmates converge for the reunion dinner, four decades melt away: Desires and personalities from their youth reemerge, and new discoveries are made. For so much has happened to them all. And so much can still happen.
In this beautiful novel, Elizabeth Berg deftly weaves together stories of roads taken and not taken, choices made and opportunities missed, and the possibilities of second chances.
©2010 Elizabeth Berg (P)2010 Random House
Elizabeth Berg's narration sparkles with each character's different voice, catching the local inflections and the personality tones just perfectly. Her story is totally engaging, though yes, I'll admit the characters she chooses to highlight include some of the extremes of high school categories, but they are played out to realistic perfection, and the situations are moving as well as thought-provoking. I found the overcoming of challenges uplifting rather than depressing, and I had to laugh out loud at the way one particularly bitchy woman talks to herself inside her head. A very entertaining listen, over too soon.
I LOVE Elizabeth Berg's books and was excited to see that she had a new release. This book, However, was not like her other books at all, almost like it was written by someone else. Shallow characters, boring plot, and, worst of all, I could not stand to listen to her voice. Eventually I just got tired of listening the this banal book and gave up on it. I never give up on books but this one was not worth my time.
I am a big fan of Elizabeth Berg, but this book was such a downer. All the characters are so depressed and winey. Are we supposed to think everyone at this age is depressed, filled with regret, and grudges about the distant past? It was drudgery to get through this dreary saga about people who are still dragged down by things that happened 40 years ago in high school. Move on folks! Listener, you should also move on, past this book, unless you like to hear stories about a bunch of unhappy, repressed stereotypes.
The biggest criticism of this book for me was the narrator got on my nerves. I just didn't like her intonation or how she brought the charaters to life. In addition, I found the story line a little weak. I never made it past half of the audiobook before I gave up.
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