Review: Tapestry of Fortunes by Elizabeth Berg

tapestry “A wonderful new novel about four women who take a trip into their past, to find again the people they miss, and to reconnect with their fortunes.
Cecilia Ross is looking for a change. She has decided to take time off from her job as a successful motivational speaker and sell her home. She moves in to a beautiful old house in St. Paul, Minnesota, complete with a big front porch, a wild garden, a chef’s kitchen-and three roommates. The four women are different ages, but all are feeling restless, and want to take a road trip to find again the people and things they miss. One woman wants to connect with a daughter she gave away at birth; another wants to visit her long-absent ex-husband; a third woman, a professional chef, is seeking new inspiration from the restaurants along the way. And Cecilia is looking for Dennis Halsinger, the man she never got over, who recently sent her a postcard out of the blue. This novel is classic Elizabeth Berg-a portrait of how women grow through the relationships that define them, and a testament to the power of female friendship.” –

In Tapestry of Fortunes by Elizabeth Berg, Cece Ross is mourning the death of her best friend – and neighbor – Penny. She is struggling with her place in life, and knows she needs to make a change – something that Penny had been urging her to do for quite some time before her death. While she has slowly been moving toward these changes, the arrival of a postcard from a long-lost love both delights Cece and gives her the push she needs to step forward into the unfamiliar and make the changes that she has pushed aside for so long. For so long a solitary person – Penny was her only true friend – Cece moves in to a beautiful home with three other women, with whom she begins to forge strong bonds with. She begins to volunteer at a hospice, which is something she had promised Penny she would do prior to her death. There, also, she makes a close friend. More contact is made with Dennis Halsinger (the long-lost love) and Cece and her roommates are off on a road trip to face their destinies, each one of them confronting something that was once lost to them, that they now hope to find again. They do find these things, and more, on a winding trip through the mid-west.

I am a huge Elizabeth Berg fan. While she generally doesn’t delve into extremely long and detailed territory, her observations, and language in general, can be quite profound. There is a definite theme of lost and found at play in this book – of things or people we’ve lost and find in our lives again, or of those we’ve lost and in their place find growth and renewal. Berg’s love for women and the bonds they share with each other is a well-known theme in her books and she once again delves into these relationships in Tapestry of Fortunes. But the thing I love the most about Elizabeth Berg is this:

I thought of all I had lost and all that I had yet to lose, I thought of how youth is wasted on the young, and then I came to my senses and sent a donation to Doctors Without Borders and took a walk.

Elizabeth Berg speaks my language. She includes the tiniest, seemingly most insignificant details in her writing – and I love these. Because this is what I do when I speak, and they are not insignificant details. They are as much a part of my story and part of who I am as the main point I’m trying to make. This is the case, too, with Berg’s characters. These small details bring them to life for me, give them personality, and make me feel as though they are people I would very much like to know. This is the quirk that turned me into an Elizabeth Berg fan seventeen years ago, and that has kept me hanging on all of this time. Tapestry of Fortunes by Elizabeth Berg is a delightful, heartwarming read that will brighten your days and make you appreciate those you are close to all the more.

5 out of 5 stars

Who I would recommend this book to: Liz – definitely Liz, who introduced me to my first Elizabeth Berg book (Talk Before Sleep) 17 years ago. It is still one of my favorite books.

Source: Free Library of Philadelphia Digital Library

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