Home Safe: A Novel

By Elizabeth Berg
Binding:Hardcover
Publisher:Random House, (4/28/2009)
Language:English



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The bestselling 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 twenty-seven-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.
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"Home Safe: A Novel"
By Elizabeth Berg

Average Rating:

This book has not been rated


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From Publishers Weekly
Love, work and the absence of both figure prominently in Berg's latest, a rumination on loss and replenishment. Since novelist Helen's husband, Dan, died a year ago, she's been unable to write, and though her publisher and agent aren't worried, she is, particularly after a disastrous performance at a public speaking engagement leaves her wondering if her writing career will be another permanent loss. Meanwhile, daughter Tessa is getting impatient as Helen smothers her with awkward motherly affection. Tessa longs for distance and some independence, but Helen is unable to run her suburban Chicago home without continually calling on Tessa to perform the handyman chores that once belonged to Dan. And then Helen discovers Dan had withdrawn a huge chunk of their retirement money, and Helen's quest to find out what happened turns into a journey of self-discovery and hard-won healing. 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. (May) 
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From Booklist
Helen Ames is a popular and prolific writer living in Oak Park, Illinois, much like Elizabeth Berg. But Helen has lost her ability to write. Her inner world is as stunned and hushed as her cherished home in the wake of her husband’s sudden death. Dan took care of everything, leaving Helen free to dwell in her imaginary worlds. Now she is bereft and confused. Tessa, her beautiful, patient, funny daughter, a beauty editor at a woman’s magazine, is trying to help, as is Helen’s outspoken best friend, Midge. And at least Helen is financially secure. Or not. Where has her money gone? Did Dan have a secret life? Or was he planning a glorious surprise? 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. A keen and funny observer, she is the poet of kindness. And not only is this an insightful, graceful, and romantic novel of one charmingly contradictory woman’s path through grief, it is also a paean to the profound pleasures and revelations of reading and the adventure and catharsis of writing. Books, Berg affirms in her magical way, are a unifying force for good in the cosmos. 

Review
“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. A keen and funny observer, she is the poet of kindness. And not only is this an insightful, graceful, and romantic novel of one charmingly contradictory woman’s path through grief, it is also a paean to the profound pleasures and revelations of reading and the adventure and catharsis of writing. Books, Berg affirms in her magical way, are a unifying force for good in the cosmos.”–Booklist


From the Hardcover edition. --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition. 

Review
“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. A keen and funny observer, she is the poet of kindness. And not only is this an insightful, graceful, and romantic novel of one charmingly contradictory woman’s path through grief, it is also a paean to the profound pleasures and revelations of reading and the adventure and catharsis of writing. Books, Berg affirms in her magical way, are a unifying force for good in the cosmos.”–Booklist 
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ELIZABETH BERG is the author of eighteen novels, ten of which are bestsellers, and has more than 1.5 million books in print. Her novels include The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted, The Art of Mending, The Year of Pleasures, We Are All Welcome Here, The Handmaid and the Carpenter, Dream When You’re Feeling Blue, and others. Her novel, Open House, was an Oprah’s Book Club selection in 2000. Berg lives near Chicago, Illinois.


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