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Never Change (2001)

by Elizabeth Berg

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1,0982818,574 (3.61)16
A self-anointed spinster at fifty-one, Myra Lipinski is reasonably content with her quiet life, her dog, Frank, and her career as a visiting nurse. But everything changes when Chip Reardon, the golden boy she adored in high school, is assigned as her new patient. Choosing to forgo treatment for an incurable illness, Chip has returned to his New England hometown to spend what time he has left. Now, Myra and Chip find themselves engaged in a poignant redefinition of roles, and a complicated dance of memory, ambivalence, and longing.… (more)
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» See also 16 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
The plot moves decisively and the entanglements with the main character, Myra, the nurse, are
unpredictable and revealing as Chip and Myra discover each other.

The problem is that even toward the book's end, Myra still chooses to be an emotional pushover,
allowing the man she loves to sleep with his old girlfriend in her own house. Geez. ( )
  m.belljackson | Jun 5, 2021 |
Another tear jerker from Elizabeth Berg, NEVER CHANGE (2001) is something kids write in each other's yearbooks but of course we do change, and so have Myra and Chip. The wallflower outsider, now fifty-one and a visiting nurse, Myra takes on Chip,once the high school hero, now with terminal brain cancer, as her patient. They become close, things happen. Berg, who was a nurse, knows the territory, and mines it to maximum effect. My wife, who read this before I did, was sobbing by story's end. Me? Well, almost. We have both been reading Berg's books for over twenty-five years, and the first one we read, TALK BEFORE SLEEP, was equally moving. Since then we have read nearly all of her books, and there are a LOT of them. Her characters are utterly believable and painfully human. Elizabeth Berg is simply a wonderful writer. Very highly recommended.

- Tim Bazzett, author of the memoir, BOOKLOVER ( )
  TimBazzett | Feb 18, 2021 |
This is a good book, lots of character development and interesting occurrences. Nurse Myra is happy with her life until she meets her high school heartthrob, Chip Reardon in her professional capacity. Chip has cancer and he is seeing life through different eyes now. Will the old friends forge new friendships or is it destined to fail like the past? ( )
  LilQuebe | Mar 3, 2020 |
This was an interesting story. Interesting in that it deals a lot with time, and living life, or not living it enough, as the case may be. There isn't much backstory, and honestly, Myra isn't all that interesting a character, but the supporting characters are good. And I do enjoy Chip and Myra's relationship, as short as it is. ( )
  Melissalovesreading | Sep 30, 2018 |
I loved this book. Still pondering what to say in a review. ( )
  gentlespirit512 | Nov 22, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
The world breaks everyone and afterwards many are strong at the broken places.

Ernest Hemingway
Dedication
This book is dedicated to the memory of John Kirk Farrar. He called himself Johnny K. of the Milky Way. I guess that's where he really does live now.

Once, I was writing an article about what things make the best Christmas presents. So I called John and asked him, "What's the best present you've ever been given?" He thought for a while, and then he said, "You know how cats sometimes run sideways.?"I said yes. He said, "That's one."
That's how he was. That's why I miss him. So many do.
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The Tuesday before it happenend was a perfect summer day.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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A self-anointed spinster at fifty-one, Myra Lipinski is reasonably content with her quiet life, her dog, Frank, and her career as a visiting nurse. But everything changes when Chip Reardon, the golden boy she adored in high school, is assigned as her new patient. Choosing to forgo treatment for an incurable illness, Chip has returned to his New England hometown to spend what time he has left. Now, Myra and Chip find themselves engaged in a poignant redefinition of roles, and a complicated dance of memory, ambivalence, and longing.

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Elizabeth Berg has written a beautiful and poignant love story centering on a person accepting his fate and living what time he has left in life to the fullest.
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