Saturday, May 23, 2009

Home Safe

Confidence. Protagonist Helen Ames has lost her bearings and her confidence following the death of her husband, Dan. The Oak Park, Illinois novelist isn’t writing, and after she learns that her husband withdrew $850,000 in cash from an account for a purpose unknown to her, she feels financially insecure. She reluctantly takes on teaching a class. Helen leans heavily on her adult daughter, Tessa, and her strong relationship with Midge allows her to hear things about herself that can be hard to face. With extraordinary ease and grace, Elizabeth Berg makes her latest novel, Home Safe, be a gentle way for readers to reflect on the losses we all face in life, and pursue ways to move ahead. I live a block north of Elizabeth Berg and see her walk her dog regularly through our neighborhood. While there may be parallels between the author and her character, the resonance for every reader comes from appreciating a sense of place and a purpose that makes life fulfilling and rewarding. I’ve come away from each of Berg’s books with a warm feeling about life, and if that’s the kind of reading experience you enjoy, along with a story well told, you’re likely to be pleased when you read Home Safe.

Rating: Three-star (Recommended)

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