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Ordinary Life: Stories (Ballantine Reader's Circle)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0812968131, Paperback)The characters in Ordinary Life, Elizabeth Berg's collection of limpid, gemlike stories, are poised at the edge of knowing, and it takes only quiet events--a kiss, the return of a freed bird--to nudge them toward whatever they need to face, even if it is behind them. The title story, in which an elderly woman named Mavis McPherson locks herself in the bathroom for a week, contains the germ of Berg's message about the importance of the small, the everyday. Mavis's urge to retreat began when she found a photograph from 1946 of her husband and brother-in-law asleep. Behind them was a table, on which sat a porcelain figure, now broken, that had been her mother's.
She'd wished she had more pictures of everything she used to have, thought Mavis, all her furniture, even her old refrigerator, and what was in it, too: the big, square blocks of butter in the ribbed glass container, the old flowered mixing bowls she used to have holding leftovers, covered with waxed paper and anchored with rubber bands. How could she have known that ordinary life would have such allure later on?Berg, a writer from Chicago whose 2000 novel Open House was an Oprah book-club selection, should appeal to readers who like the straightforward prose and clarity of Sue Miller and Jayne Anne Phillips. --Regina Marler
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:48:48 -0400)
Relish the exquisite moments of ordinary life. These 14 complete stories offer reconciliations, moments of truth, and awakening appreciation for life's simple gifts.
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