Tapestry of Fortunes [NOOK Book]

Overview

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In this superb new novel by the beloved author of Open House, Home Safe, and The Last Time I Saw You, four women venture into their pasts in order to shape their futures, fates, and fortunes.
 
Cecilia Ross is a motivational speaker who encourages others to change their lives for the better. Why can’t she take her own advice? Still reeling...
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Tapestry of Fortunes

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NOOK Book (eBook)
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Overview

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In this superb new novel by the beloved author of Open House, Home Safe, and The Last Time I Saw You, four women venture into their pasts in order to shape their futures, fates, and fortunes.
 
Cecilia Ross is a motivational speaker who encourages others to change their lives for the better. Why can’t she take her own advice? Still reeling from the death of her best friend, and freshly aware of the need to live more fully now, Cece realizes that she has to make a move—all the portentous signs seem to point in that direction.
 
She downsizes her life, sells her suburban Minnesota home and lets go of many of her possessions. She moves into a beautiful old house in Saint Paul, complete with a garden, chef’s kitchen, and three housemates: Lise, the home’s owner and a divorced mother at odds with her twenty-year-old daughter; Joni, a top-notch sous chef at a first-rate restaurant with a grade A jerk of a boss; and Renie, the youngest and most mercurial of the group, who is trying to rectify a teenage mistake. These women embark on a journey together in an attempt to connect with parts of themselves long denied. For Cece, that means finding Dennis Halsinger. Despite being “the one who got away,” Dennis has never been far from Cece’s thoughts.
 
In this beautifully written novel, leaving home brings revelations, reunions, and unexpected turns that affirm the inner truths of women’s lives. “Maybe Freud didn’t know the answer to what women want, but Elizabeth Berg certainly does,” said USA Today. Elizabeth Berg has crafted a novel rich in understanding of women’s longings, loves, and abiding friendships, which weave together into a tapestry of fortunes that connects us all.

This eBook edition of Tapestry of Fortunes includes a full-length bonus novel: Elizabeth Berg’s Open House!

Praise for Tapestry of Fortunes
 
“A testament to the power of female friendships . . . Berg strips her writing down to what is essential and takes an unflinching look at lifelong regrets. The characters . . . will settle in your heart.”Booklist (starred review)
 
“Elizabeth Berg has carved out a place as one of America’s most beloved chroniclers of female friendship.”Chicago Tribune
 
“Luminous . . . As always, her writing is spare and lyrical, filled with . . . elegant description and profound insight.”Library Journal
 
“An incredibly uplifting and life-affirming story . . . Berg explores the themes of change and personal reinvention with exquisite phrasing, sharply-focused attention to detail, and boundless joy and heart.”—Bookreporter
 
Praise for Elizabeth Berg
 
“Truth rings forth clearly from every page. [Elizabeth] Berg captures the way women think—and especially the way they talk to other women—as well as any writer I can think of.”The Charlotte Observer, about Talk Before Sleep
 
“Elizabeth 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
 
“Berg’s writing is to literature what Chopin’s études are to music—measured, delicate, and impossible to walk away from until their completion. [Grade:] A+.”Entertainment Weekly
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Motivational speaker Cecelia Ross needs some movement in her life. Since the death of her best friend the year before, she's been immobilized by grief, unable to move forward. When Cece receives out of the blue a postcard from the lost love of her life, she's galvanized into action. She sells her home, takes a break from her career to volunteer at a hospice, and moves into a charming old house with three roommates, all of whom are struggling with unresolved relationship issues of their own. Bonded by mutual hope, the four women take to the road to explore choices not made, opportunities missed, and the prospect of second chances. VERDICT Berg's (Once Upon a Time, There Was You; The Pull of the Moon) latest foray into female friendship weaves a mellifluous tapestry of the relationships that make up the fabric of our lives. As always, her writing is spare and lyrical, filled with the elegant description and profound insight that is her trademark, but the story sometimes feels rushed. These characters are delightful and Berg's fans would relish the time to know them better. Still, her writing is luminous. Not her best, but wonderful just the same.—Jeanne Bogiro, New Lebanon Lib., NY
From the Publisher
Praise for Tapestry of Fortunes
 
“A testament to the power of female friendships . . . Berg strips her writing down to what is essential and takes an unflinching look at lifelong regrets. The characters . . . will settle in your heart.”Booklist (starred review)
 
“Elizabeth Berg has carved out a place as one of America’s most beloved chroniclers of female friendship.”Chicago Tribune
 
“Luminous . . . As always, her writing is spare and lyrical, filled with . . . elegant description and profound insight.”Library Journal
 
“An incredibly uplifting and life-affirming story . . . Berg explores the themes of change and personal reinvention with exquisite phrasing, sharply-focused attention to detail, and boundless joy and heart.”—Bookreporter

Praise for Elizabeth Berg

“Truth rings forth clearly from every page. [Elizabeth] Berg captures the way women think—and especially the way they talk to other women—as well as any writer I can think of.”The Charlotte Observer, about Talk Before Sleep

“Elizabeth 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

“Berg’s writing is to literature what Chopin’s études are to music—measured, delicate, and impossible to walk away from until their completion. [Grade:] A+.”Entertainment Weekly

“A writer whose luminous prose is likely to stay with you a long, long time.”Chicago Tribune

“Berg could be creating a new genre. . . . [She] is especially wonderful at depicting the small revealing moments of women’s friendships, the offhand sharing of secrets in the grocery store.”Kirkus Reviews

“Berg’s impeccable prose gives voice to that element in our psyche that enables us to cope with the impossible. . . . Berg writes on a higher plane.”Booklist

“One of the most life-affirming writers around.”The Miami Herald

“Berg has a gift for capturing the small, often sweet details of ordinary life.”Newsday

Library Journal
Craving change, Cecilia Ross takes time off, disposes of her home, and moves into a grand old house in St. Paul with three roommates. The four women decide to take a road trip, one to connect with the daughter she gave up, another with a former husband; a professional chef wants to check out other restaurants. As for Cecilia, that unexpected letter from former heartthrob Dennis Helsinger has her sailing on the wind. Who better to tell this story than quintessential women's author Berg?
Kirkus Reviews
A motivational speaker struggles to follow her own advice after a close friend dies. Cecilia, successful self-help author and woman of a certain age--which she declines, on principle, to disclose--travels the nation inspiring others to be their best selves. However, since her best friend Penny died after a short illness, Cecilia herself is now adrift. Penny, her next-door neighbor in Minneapolis, had tried to persuade Cecilia to take a vacation and go globe-trotting with her. But Cecilia procrastinated, and now it is too late. Consulting a variety of fortunetelling devices, she sells her home--she has never married--and moves in with three other women, who are also at loose ends. The witty repartee among the four, and their interaction with their pet, an aging yellow lab named Riley, is the most enjoyable aspect of this otherwise predictable pastiche of time-worn truisms on loss and aging. The four (and Riley) soon leave domestic routine to traverse the heartland in search of lost opportunities. Cecilia intends to reconnect with globe-trotting heartthrob Dennis, with whom she lost touch after college. Her traveling companions, advice columnist Renie, family physician Lise and chef Joni, are seeking, respectively, a lost daughter, an ex-husband and culinary inspiration. (Riley is just hoping for lots of road-food leftovers.) The bromidic plot leaves no doubt as to the outcome for all four. Berg marshals sentimental subplots in support of her inspirational thesis: The wry voice of the departed Penny reminds Cecilia that time's winged chariot is hovering just overhead, the fiancee of a dying man in a hospice where Cecilia volunteers (that was Penny's deathbed wish) offers him a last hope, and Cecilia's dotty mother, an assisted living resident, is bent on getting married. However, the characterization, particularly of Cecilia, is too sketchy: A deeper, more fully articulated back story might have lent needed depth to our understanding of how Cecilia arrived at this juncture in her life. Berg fails to play to her strengths here.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679644699
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/9/2013
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 18,581
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Berg
Elizabeth Berg is the author of many bestselling novels, including The Last Time I Saw You, Home Safe, The Year of Pleasures, and Dream When You’re Feeling Blue, as well as two collections of short stories and two works of nonfiction. Open House was an Oprah’s Book Club selection, Durable Goods and Joy School were selected as ALA Best Books of the Year, Talk Before Sleep was short-listed for an Abby Award, and The Pull of the Moon was adapted into a play. Berg has been honored by both the Boston Public Library and the Chicago Public Library and is a popular speaker at venues around the country. Her work has been translated into twenty-seven languages. She lives near Chicago.

Biography

Elizabeth Berg made her mark as a promising writer with the publication of her first novel, Durable Goods (1993), the story of Katie, a 12-year-old girl reeling from her mother's death while her abusive father drags her from town to town. The book, like Katie, was tough but tender, and the American Library Association named it a Best Book of the Year.

Since then, Berg has written subsequent novels, most of them, like Durable Goods, sincere, unpretentious, somewhat sentimental, and focused on an event that changes a woman's life. In Joy School (1997), a continuation of Katie's story, the crucible is her first taste of romance; in What We Keep (1998), it's a girl's abandonment by her mother; in Until the Real Thing Comes Along (1999), it's a woman's love for a gay man. All are grounded in the realistic minutiae of family life: irksome marriages, tempestuous parent-child relationships, love, betrayal, and resolution.

Although her books have received mixed reviews from critics, Berg remains immensely popular with readers who appreciate her fine powers of observation and honest descriptions. Her command of authentic details is on best display in her medically-themed titles. Before she became a full-time writer, Berg was a registered nurse, where she accumulated an endless store of observations related to sickness, healing, and the emotional toll that health crises take on people. In Range of Motion, Berg wrote about the experience of a comatose man; in Talk Before Sleep, about a nurse caring for a good friend who is succumbing to cancer; in Never Change, about a nurse treating an incurably ill man who also happens to have been a childhood acquaintance.

Although Berg's plots can occasionally be predictable, equally predictable is her taut, intelligent foray into the forces that shape ordinary people's lives -- especially women's lives -- and her exploration of the infinite resilience of the human spirit.

Good To Know

Berg had an experience she used for the straight-gay relationship in Until the Real Thing Comes Along: Her college love later came out to her after the two had broken up. The character of Ethan is modeled on that college boyfriend.

Berg hasn't managed to get her way when it comes to titling her books, usually getting overruled by her agent and editor. She wanted to call Durable Goods The King of Wands, after a tarot card; Range of Motion would have been Telling Songs; and Open House would have been The Hotel Meatloaf. Perhaps Berg should be thankful for her handlers?

Durable Goods was never meant to have a sequel, Berg says in a publisher's interview, but she ended up writing Joy School (and later True to Form) because she missed the original characters. Berg explains: "There was just a time when I was lying in the bathtub, and I thought about Katie, and I got out of the bathtub and started writing about her to see what she was up to."

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    1. Hometown:
      Chicago, Illinois
    1. Date of Birth:
      December 2, 1948
    2. Place of Birth:
      St. Paul, Minnesota
    1. Education:
      Attended the University of Minnesota; St. Mary’s College, A.A.S.

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 28 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 17, 2013

    I wish I had read the review below before reading the book. It s

    I wish I had read the review below before reading the book. It said the book was almost 400 pages on my Nook. I was enjoying the story and all of sudden , it is obviously a wrap up chapter, skipping a year and didn't wrap up any of the stories of the other three characters! What a disappointment! and a waste of money for a book of 200 pages. I liked the story but so bummed at how short it was and didn't even wrap up the story!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2013

    Where is the Elizabeth Berg of a few years ago? Tapestry of For

    Where is the Elizabeth Berg of a few years ago? Tapestry of Fortunes was yet another disappoint in a string of disappointing Berg novels. The story line had potential, but was lost in the impossibility of circumstances. For example, the main character ( the voice of the novel) gives up her career, lists and sells her home and most of it's contents, and packs up and moves into a house with three women she doesn't know....all within a few hours. The potentially interesting problems facing the four women are glossed over and neatly (and happily) resolved by a short road trip across the Midwest. This book is too hard to relate to, too unrealistic, too absurd to believe. The characters are one-dimensional and not very likeable. . It is sad, because the tender and compassionate insight Ms. Berg used to have is gone. What happened to her gift of creating characters you would love to know, facing problems you also had? I will not read another of Ms. Berg's offerings. There are too
    many worthier books to read. If you want to read Berg, please try her first four or five novels. They will touch your heart in a very special way.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 12, 2013

    I am very confused.  In the description of this book, it says it

    I am very confused.  In the description of this book, it says it has 240 pages.  So I am enjoying the read and suddenly a new chapter begins and what is to be a summary of what has happened to the characters in the past year.  Now this is on my nook, and on page 198 the book is over.  It then begins the first chapter of her Open House book, which I read years ago, so I have no desire to read it again and did not think I was paying for this...not a word is said about this book in the description.  So I am giving this book one star because it was more like a short story with just glimpses of a beginning, middle and end.  I have read every one of Elizabeth Berg's books.  This one has just left me puzzled.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2013

    Very disappointing when I found the new book ended prematurely a

    Very disappointing when I found the new book ended prematurely and then was insulted to find 'Open House' attached almost like an after thought. No mention of that when I purchased the nook book. Shame on you!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2013

    True Berg fans will love this book and the bonus book for ereaders!

    Frankly I don't understand the last reviews. Once again Berg touch my mind and heart and made me think of my own life tapestry. I have read every Berg novel along with her other offerings and I think she is true to form in this book (pun intended). The only complaint I have is that they end far too quickly because I cant put them down.
    I'd also like to thank Elizabeth and the publisher for including "OpenHouse" in the ebook. I own the hard copy (along with the others) but it's nice to have on my Nook. Some follks just can't recognize a gift.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Very predictable

    This is not one of Elizabeth Berg's best novels. The characters are not well developed and unrealistic. A middle aged woman suddenly sells her house and moves in with 3 other middle aged women and they are instantly best friends. She also goes to a nursing home and helps to save a relationship between a dieing man and his fiance. And, of course she ends up in a relationship. The surprise is that the book is really a novella and the nook version has another of Berg's previous novels attached to it.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 7, 2013

    I loved this novel! I lost my husband about 9 months ago - and

    I loved this novel! I lost my husband about 9 months ago - and this book really resonated with my experience with grief and with now seeking living - not just being alive. I loved all four interconnected stories and the message about life. Well written and definitely connects with loss and finding a way to honor the lessons our loved ones teach us through their lives and our losses.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2013

    Another good one

    A great book. I just wish they were longer . This one ended too quickly but a good book to read. Clears the heat and mind.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Another great read

    I can not wait for Elizabeth Berg's book to come out. They are so true to a woman's voice.
    Her books are always enthralling and the end always comes too soon. Her characters are people I would want as friends of mine.
    The story of friendship lost and found was very special and the road trip was one I'd love to take!
    More Elizabeth Berg please!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 28, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Sometimes a book comes along at just the right time in our lives

    Sometimes a book comes along at just the right time in our lives. This is true for Tapestry of Fortunes. A lovely story, well written and thought provoking.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 27, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Liz Berg is back, but not wholly 100% in her latest book, which

    Liz Berg is back, but not wholly 100% in her latest book, which I just finished.
    It ended abruptly, w/ a succeeding old 1990 story

    'Open House,' which I read years ago.
    And guess what? 'Open House' was a 5 star, and her recent a 4 star! I will keep reading Berg's books, though, if not for her human content and poetic words. They can take you away...BeachGal

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2013

    Sounds good

    Sounds good

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2014

    GREAT book!

    I loved this book and the characters. I don't want to give the story away....dislike when others do that. I couldn't put this book down. Wonderful read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2013

    Highly recommended.

    I read every book she writes. She never disappoints, I am a fan.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2013

    i really enjoyed this book, as i always have with elizabeth berg

    i really enjoyed this book, as i always have with elizabeth berg's other novels.  for those of you who read the nook version, nothing was cut out-that's how the book ended.    i believe ms. berg was getting her readers to use their imaginations with both the storyline and the way the book ended.  lighten up, people-this is fiction! 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2013

    I loved this book - it came at a perfect crossroads of time in m

    I loved this book - it came at a perfect crossroads of time in my life.  I wished it was longer - the characters could have had more depth and exploration if told in more than just the first person.  I would definitely recommend it to others.  I loved the theme of taking a chance to get yourself "unstuck."  The world is full of possibilities, paths to take, and people to care about, if you dare take the plunge.  It really made me think about the story long after I finished it.  I had the privilege of meeting Ms. Berg at a book signing.  She is so poised and has a genuine overall graciousness about her.  I could feel this story coming from her voice, her thoughts.  I will read more, that's for certain.  

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2013

    Just okay

    This is my first book to read by Berg. wasn't really excited about the book. It was just okay. Read the book in one day. It might be a good read for someone going through a divorce or a loss of a loved one. Found it to be very scripted.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2013

    not as good as her others

    was dissapointed-usually love her books

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 10, 2013

    Highly Recommended

    This is another great read from Elizabeth Berg. It is comfortable, yet thought provoking.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2013

    Loved it

    Character development is wonderful you become connected as only Berg can do.
    I have read all of her books and this is one of the best

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews

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