Sunday, January 24, 2010

Home Safe

Sometimes the perfect book hits at the perfect time. I read Home Safe the day after a trip to The San Fransisco Bay Area. Since the book involves that area and Chicago the conflict between those areas for the main character were palpable. And, because I'm struggling with writing group problems, parts of it felt like a message to me: not only to keep on writing, but also not to give up on the idea of a functional and healthy writing group. It was the perfect book for that particular day. But it is also one of the rare BOOKS I RECOMMEND TO MY MOM. Not because the mother daughter issues in the book reflect ours, but because I think she'll also feel like she and Helen and Tessa are just friends you haven't seen in a while.

Home Safe: A Novel Home Safe: A Novel by Elizabeth Berg

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Helen, a successful writer, lost her husband, and after a year of emptiness and blank pages. She's turning all the energy she used to spend on writing and hr life towards interfering in her daughter, Tessa's, life instead. Then she finds out her husband was keeping a very big secret which involved removing most of their life savings. Reading this book is like having a long conversation about everything with an old friend you haven't talked to in a while. Helen and Tessa and their muddled relationship jump from the page. Since Helen can't write and is suddenly in more dire financial straits than she was prepared for she takes on teaching a writing class, and the class finally draws her out of herself.This book is one to suggest to most every mother, daughter, grandmother, or person who has ever lost anyone ever. Red Flags: The book groups are unrealistic and not as well drawn as they could be. Since it is a book about a writer other writers may find this jarring. If you don't like tidy endings you may not like this book.

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