Once Upon a Time, There Was You
By Elizabeth Berg
(Random House, Hardcover, 9781400068654, 304pp.)
Publication Date: April 5, 2011
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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.
Elizabeth Berg is the author of many bestselling novels, as well as two collections of short stories and two works of nonfiction. Open House was an Oprah’s Book Club selection, Durable Goods and Joy School were selected as ALA Best Books of the Year, and Talk Before Sleep was short-listed for an ABBY Award. Berg has been honored by both the Boston Public Library and the Chicago Public Library, and is a recipient of the New England Booksellers Award for her body of work. Her writing has been translated into twenty-seven languages, and she adapted her novel Pull of the Moon into a play that has been successfully performed on two stages in the Chicago area. Berg lives in Chicago.
Praise for Elizabeth Berg
“[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
“Berg writes with humor and understanding about matters of the heart.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch, about Until the Real Thing Comes Along
“An enchanting and empathic storyteller, Berg delights in the eccentricities that shape complex personalities and excels in decoding the chemistry and paradoxes of relationships. She is also an avid appreciator of the pleasures of food, funny and assuring on the subject of age, and an advocate for kindness. All these elements are at work in her latest comedy of marriage. . . . All is droll and intriguing until Berg swerves, briefly, into the realm of terror, thus dramatically deepening questions about fear, love, family, and what one makes of one’s life. Berg’s tender and wise novels are oases in a harsh world.”—Booklist
“This addictive read shows anew what a wonderful writing talent Berg is: strong characters illuminate a tender story about what makes a marriage work (or not), and how a family binds itself together despite things that pull it apart.”—Library Journal