Home Safe by Elizabeth Berg
Book description: In this new novel, beloved bestselling author Elizabeth Berg weaves a beautifully written and richly resonant story of a mother and daughter in emotional transit. Helen Ames- recently widowed, coping with loss and grief, unable to do the work that has always sustained her- is beginning to depend far too much on her twenty-seven-year-old daughter, Tessa, and is meddling in her life, offering unsolicited and unwelcome advice. Helen’s problems are compounded by her shocking discovery that her mild-mannered and seemingly loyal husband was apparently leading a double life. The Ameses had painstakingly saved for a happy retirement, but that money disappeared in several large withdrawals made by Helen’s husband before he died. In order to support herself and garner a measure of much needed independence, Helen takes an unusual job that ends up offering far more than she had anticipated. And then a phone call from a stranger sets Helen on a surprising path of discovery that causes both mother and daughter to reassess what they thought they knew about each other, themselves, and what really makes a home and a family.
“Maybe Freud didn’t know the answer to what women want, but Elizabeth Berg certainly does,” said USA Today, and that special gift of understanding shines through in this remarkable new novel. Home Safe is an exquisitely rendered story about mothers, daughters, and finding new richness in the stages of life, in one’s family, and in oneself.
I just finished this book and I have to say, I was very disappointed. The cover jacket’s summary of the story (the book description posted), I felt, was extremely misleading. About 2/3 in, I was still waiting to read what the book claims happened. I feel very misled.
I didn’t feel like I got to know the characters. The main character was all over the place and her flash backs to other events and times in her life seemed random at times. Something that was very distracting throughout the ENTIRE book was the amount of punctuation! Commas, semi-colons, colons, I mean REALLY?! They are all over. The sentences seem to run on and on separated by punctuation. It felt rushed and sloppy. While I was reading this book a friend noticed it on the table and said “Oh I love Elizabeth Berg, is that good?” And I said “No, not really. What’s with all the punctuation?” and she said “YES, I noticed that too!” I feel bad being so harsh because apparently she is a bestselling author. Until this book, I had not heard of her or read her books.
Something else that I found annoying was EVERY TIME her daughter spoke to her/addressed her mother, she said “Mom, mom.” Why is she saying mom twice? I have no clue what that was about and it got annoying.
I was very disappointed with this book, found the ending disappointing, and felt the story was incomplete. I had the feeling it was rushed through just to release another book and the author just went through the motions putting words to paper. I had high expectations and maybe that’s where I made a mistake. I read the cover jacket, which I do not feel is an accurate description of the story. Very odd book and very odd characters. Sorry, I don’t recommend this book…