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Until the Real Thing Comes Along: A Novel…

Until the Real Thing Comes Along: A Novel (Ballantine Reader's Circle) (edition 2011)

by Elizabeth Berg (Author)

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6271729,331 (3.48)1
Desperate for marriage and motherhood but impossibly in love with the wrong man, real estate agent Patty Hansen comes up with an ingenious, if offbeat, solution to accomplishing her goals.
Title:Until the Real Thing Comes Along: A Novel (Ballantine Reader's Circle)
Authors:Elizabeth Berg (Author)
Info:Ballantine Books (2011), Edition: Ballantine Books Ed, 274 pages
Collections:Your library

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Until the Real Thing Comes Along by Elizabeth Berg


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Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Other Good Readers have said this was below par for Elizabeth Berg. The other novels must be really really good is all I can say. ( )
  Teresa1966 | Dec 22, 2020 |
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!

I have read a few of Berg's books and found some of them affecting, sweet. She is on my second string of writers usually: not one whose work I seek but whose work I will read if I happen upon it. After listening to this one, though, I have demoted her to third-string, along with other cutesy-serious chicklit authors. I won't buy anything of hers again and likely won't read anything else either.

It is the 1990s. Patty Murphy is in her mid-thirties and still hopelessly in love with a gay man. She has loved him since high school and simply can't get past it. He has not led her on, yet he has not cut her off either. When she goes into flights of fancy about how wonderful he is and how much she loves him and is it possible he might love her a little...he doesn't run for the door, which seems the sensible response. Instead he continues to insist that they are good friends, best friends, and that that is what they will remain.

But Patsy is feeling that biological clock ticking. And yes, that is what she calls it. Her whole life revolves around her need for a man and babies.

Have we read this before? Hell yes. The gay man fixation is a minor twist but the constant drumming of the "I have to have a man" theme is so tiresome. Is there nothing else in life? Is life without a husband the worst of all worlds?? I am really done with the thirty-something woman-alone-waiting business. Is this perhaps a first-world problem? Whatever it is I don't want to read about it any more.

Nevertheless, of course, I listened to the end, giving the book a chance to redeem itself. There are hints throughout about Patty's mother, who seems not quite right, and suggestions that all may not be sunny in her parents' world. Generally Petty ignores the hints until truth is revealed. She is happier being unhappy in her own little me me me world.

****Spoiler Alert****If you read past this line I will be revealing too much.***

A day comes when Patty is moaning about her lack of a family and instead of putting her off, Ethan, man of her dreams, agrees to be a friend with benefits. So that they can have a baby, which apparently they both need.

They even move to another state in their effort to make a little pretend family. Only Patty, of course, thinks Ethan is going to come over to her side, really love her. When everything comes crashing down it is revealed that Ethan has been sitting at the bedside of one gay man after another who is dying of AIDS. He admits he wanted to try with Patty so he could have a more normal life. And of course Patty learns that her mother has Alzheimer's. So there are tears shed all over the place and it all gets serious.

To me it was a cheap trick. Let's turn this cutesy chicklit light story into something serious by throwing in an illness and many deaths. Almost as if Berg knew it was all crap so she tried to raise it up somehow. It sure didn't work for me.

A side note: the reader, Kate Rudd, has an interesting accent. Although her English is flawless it sounded to me like she learned it as a second language. There is a bit of a lilt and accents where I don't expect them on ordinary words. She was actually born in Muskegon, Michigan and lives in Michigan still. I grew up in Michigan myself, but in the Upper Peninsula, which is almost like a different state with its own language. Perhaps what I hear in Kate is a little Minnesota touch? Illinois? Not sure.
( )
  slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
It's the recipe for ultimate disappointment - being in love with your best friend who happens to be gay. I found myself feeling impatient with Patty - professing to want a husband and babies so very badly but being completely fixated on the idea that only her gay friend, Ethan, will do in the role of building a family. Really this novel is about the experiment the two decide to conduct - maybe they can make it work, since they both really want a baby. It is only when reality sets in that Patty finally comes to some kind of resolution about both her relationship with Ethan, and her perpetual longings. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Jun 2, 2018 |
Splendid writing! I loved the writing and felt as though I was right there in the room listening to the conversation. It's not an action book or a mystery, although there is some level of mystery, if you will, concerning what is going to happen in the lives of the people. This is a very realistic slice of life, told with real talent and humor by the author. ( )
  Rascalstar | Jan 21, 2017 |
3 stars ( )
  JennysBookBag.com | Sep 28, 2016 |
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For Julie Marin and Jennifer Sarene and in memory of James Allen Gagner
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This is how you play the house game: Go for a drive to somewhere you've never been.
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Desperate for marriage and motherhood but impossibly in love with the wrong man, real estate agent Patty Hansen comes up with an ingenious, if offbeat, solution to accomplishing her goals.

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