The Pull of the Moonby Elizabeth Berg
Sometimes you have to leave your life behind for a while to see it and really live it freshly again. In this luminous and exquisitely written new novel by Elizabeth Berg, a woman follows the pull of the moon to find her way home. Now, in the middle of her life and with her soul fraying, Nan begins an impromptu trek across the country, inspired by a turquoise leather… See more details below
Sometimes you have to leave your life behind for a while to see it and really live it freshly again. In this luminous and exquisitely written new novel by Elizabeth Berg, a woman follows the pull of the moon to find her way home. Now, in the middle of her life and with her soul fraying, Nan begins an impromptu trek across the country, inspired by a turquoise leather journal she sees in a bookstore and knows she must buy - and fill. As she writes in it, and talks with people she meets, she also sends letters home to her husband: "I have felt for so long like I am drowning. And we are so fixed in our ways I couldn't begin to tell you all that has happened inside me...I would be standing over you pouring your coffee...and inside me would be howling so fierce I couldn't believe the sounds weren't coming out of my eyes, out of my ears, from beneath my fingernails." What makes for this kind of a change in a person? How do we lose our strength, our clarity of vision, our sureness of purpose? And, more important, how do we regain it? Sometimes humorous, sometimes heartbreaking, always intimate and honest, The Pull of the Moon is a novel about a woman coming to terms with issues of importance to all women. Nan addresses the thorniness - and the allure - of marriage; the sweet ties to children; the gifts and lessons that come from random encounters with strangers, be they a handsome man appearing out of the woods or a lonely housewife sitting on her front porch steps. Most of all, Nan writes about the need for the self to stay alive.
Fifty-year-old Nan, who's never worked, writes daily bulletins to excoriated husband Martin from the road, letting him know obliquely why she left by sharing secrets, including the fact that she feels continually diminished by his habitual lack of attention to what she says; that she's been going through a rough menopause, "acutely missing my periods," and feeling like "some old gal;" that she fears the dark and hates that about herself; and that she wishes she and Martin could go live in a much smaller house by the ocean, with "golden-colored wooden stairs and a small fieldstone fireplace," urging Martin to call an architect and have plans drawn up for such a house when she returns home. Talk about mixed messages. In her italicized diary entries, she remembers her past (pre-Martin boyfriends from the 1960s, the ways in which she tried to raise her now-grown daughter, Ruthie, "to be different from me") and chronicles her encounters with other loners (a teen-aged boy in an Ohio mall who wants to sleep with her; a humiliated wife in an Iowa garden-supply store; a bereaved young husband in a Minnesota motor park). She faces her fears (sleeps outside in the moonless dark, confronts her sexuality alone in a motel room one night) and gradually begins to miss Martin. So, finally, she heads back home to Boston, scripting her reunion with Martin in letters that contain not a shadow of a doubt that he wants her back.
The culture doesn't want her backshe's idle, self-absorbed, and dull in ways we haven't encountered for 20 years. An uninspiring concoction.
“Reading The Pull of the Moon is like sitting down for a long, satisfying chat with a best girlfriend. . . . [It] pleasantly encourages readers to recover a little life-embracing enthusiasm themselves."—Orlando Sentinel
“When was the last time you thought about running away? . . . In The Pull of the Moon, Berg shares her strength, the wonderful widening of her soul so that we, too, can take the journey in the ease of our chair.”—Greensboro News & Record
“Berg’s gift as a storyteller lies most powerfully in her ability to find the extraordinary in the ordinary, the remarkable in the everyday.”—The Boston Globe
- Random House Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Meet the Author
Elizabeth Berg has published fiction and nonfiction and has been nominated for a National Magazine Award. She lives in Massachusetts.
- Chicago, Illinois
- Date of Birth:
- December 2, 1948
- Place of Birth:
- St. Paul, Minnesota
- Attended the University of Minnesota; St. Mary¿s College, A.A.S.
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