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Once Upon a Time, There Was You

A Novel
Narrated by: Gabrielle De Cuir
Length: 9 hrs and 27 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (44 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of Home Safe and The Last Time I Saw You comes a beautiful and moving novel about a man and woman, long divorced, who rediscover the power of love and family in the midst of an unthinkable crisis.

Even on their wedding day, John and Irene sensed that they were about to make a mistake. Years later, divorced, dating other people, and living in different parts of the country, they seem to have nothing in common - nothing except the most important person in each of their lives: Sadie, their spirited eighteen-year-old daughter. Feeling smothered by Irene and distanced from John, Sadie is growing more and more attached to her new boyfriend, Ron.

When tragedy strikes, Irene and John come together to support the daughter they love so dearly. What takes longer is to remember how they really feel about each other.

Elizabeth Berg has once again created characters who embody the many shades of the human spirit. Reading Berg’s fiction allows us to reflect on our deepest emotions, and her gifts as a writer make Once Upon a Time, There Was You a wonderful novel about the power of love, the unshakeable bonds of family, and the beauty of second chances.

©2011 Elizabeth Berg (P)2011 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“[Berg] has a knack for taking you right into the soul of her characters, as they respond to joy and tragedy in a perfectly imperfect way.” ( Chicago Sun-Times, about The Last Time I Saw You)
“Truth rings clearly from every page. Berg captures the way women think - and especially the way they talk to other women - as well as any writer I can think of.” ( The Charlottesville Observer, about Talk Before Sleep)
“Lyrical from start to finish... Shaped by Berg’s artistic talents, these stories of ordinary people in ordinary situations are anything but ordinary.” ( Fort Worth Star-Telegram, about Ordinary Life)

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Bored to tears

I usually love Elizabeth Berg, but this one is going nowhere fast. I'm on chapter 13 out of 18 in part 2 and I am not going to finish this book. Her characters are forgettable and mostly unappealing and our view into their dysfunctional lives does not make me want to see where this is going.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Too Boring to Bother

I rarely stop listening to a book before it is over, but a few chapters into this one, I realized I didn’t really care what happened, and deleted the book from my device. The plot was a snooze (at least for quite a long while), and there was nothing about any of the characters that made me feel engaged or interested. The narration was fine, but I just wasn’t involved enough to keep listening.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jill
  • Elyria, OH, United States
  • 07-18-11

Worth listening

Very dramatic and cliff-hanging sub-plot is woven into a story about an everyday dysfunctional couple trying to raise and love their almost adult daughter -- one wanting to protect and shelter and the other promoting the theory "if you love them, let them go." In the end, both parents prove to be right.