Thursday, March 12, 2015

What We Keep - Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56

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     What We Keep is the touching story of two sisters, beginning at ages twelve and thirteen, told in flashbacks. As an adult, Ginny (the younger sister) travels across the country for a reunion with her mother whom she has not seen for thirty-five years. The story of the two sisters' childhood is revealed in Ginny's memories during her journey. 
     The author shows amazing insight into the way children think and react to changes in their lives. I enjoyed her sense of humor, characters, and description. This is a book I will read again.


Book Beginning:
Outside the airplane window the clouds are thick and rippled, unbroken as acres of land. They are suffused with peach-colored, early morning sun, gilded at the edges. Across the aisle, a man is taking a picture of them. Even the pilot couldn't keep still--"Folks," he just said, "we've got quite a sunrise out there. Might want to have a look." I like it when pilots make such comments. It lets me know they're awake.

The Friday 56 - From page 56 in my paperback. Here's what Ginny thinks about her ballet lessons.
     Though I enjoyed looking at ballerinas, I hated studying ballet. It was the crowns the ballerinas wore that I lusted after, the ride in the elaborately decorated sleigh I saw when we watched The Nutcracker on television. I had no desire to train my body to do difficult things requiring grace and precision.

Genre: Contemporary Fiction / Family Saga
Length: 274 Pages (Originally released in 1998)
Amazon Link:  What We Keep
Author Website/Blog: Elizabeth Berg Website

Synopsis from Goodreads:
     Do you ever really know your mother, your daughter, the people in your family? In this rich and rewarding new novel by the beloved bestselling author of Talk Before Sleep and The Pull of the Moon, a reunion between two sisters and their mother reveals how the secrets and complexities of the past have shaped the lives of the women in a family. 
     Ginny Young is on a plane, en route to see her mother, whom she hasn't seen or spoken to for thirty-five years. She thinks back to the summer of 1958, when she and her sister, Sharla, were young girls. At that time, a series of dramatic events--beginning with the arrival of a mysterious and sensual next-door neighbor--divided the family, separating the sisters from their mother. Moving back and forth in time between the girl she once was and the woman she's become, Ginny at last confronts painful choices that occur in almost any woman's life, and learns surprising truths about the people she thought she knew best. 
      Emotional honesty and a true understanding of people and relationships are combined in this moving and deeply satisfying new book by the novelist who "writes with humor and a big heart about resilience, love and hope. And the transcendence that redeems" (Andre Dubus). "From the Hardcover edition."

                         

Anyone can participate in Book Beginnings on Friday and The Friday 56.
Click HERE to connect to other Book Beginnings posts (sponsored by Rose City Reader)
Click HERE to join other Friday 56 bloggers (sponsored by Freda's Voice)

42 comments:

JC Jones said...

II do like some of Berg's books but I am not a fan of a story told in flashbacks so this one is probably not for me.

Whitney Behr said...

I always enjoy a good family saga and What We Keep sounds really interesting. I have also heard very good things about Elizabeth Berg and this might be a good introduction.

Anne Bennett said...

I've liked the Elizabeth Berg books I've read so I would probably like this one. I'll take a look. My Friday Posts

Sandra Nachlinger said...

I tend to agree with you on flashbacks. However, Berg did a great job on this one. There was no confusion, and most of the book takes place in the past so there isn't a lot of back and forth.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

I've enjoyed other books by this author too.

Amanda Marie said...

This sounds like it would be a really good read. It is something different from what I would normally read but it sounds good.
Thanks for sharing.
Amanda

Catherine @ Book Club Librarian said...

I've read several Berg novels, but somehow I missed this one. I'm going to look for it.

My Friday post: http://www.bookclublibrarian.com/2015/03/friday-focus-friday-56-book-beginnings_13.html

Laura Thomas said...

I've not read this author before but the writing is catching. Might need to read this one and step away from thrillers and horror for a bit.
I like it when the pilot comments too. And I can relate to wanting the trappings without all of the hard work. LOL

My 56 - http://fuonlyknew.com/2015/03/13/the-friday-56-54-the-unspoken/

My 56 - http://fuonlyknew.com/2015/03/13/the-friday-56-54-the-unspoken/

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I love Elizabeth Berg's books, and this is one I read a long time ago, but now I want to read it again! Thanks for sharing...and here's mine: “WHERE THEY FOUND HER”

sherry fundin said...

That thought - do we really ever know anyone - has entered my mind before and I think we all have our secrets kept hidden deep inside.
sherry @ fundinmentalFriday Memes

Katherine P said...

I hadn't heard of this one but I love the sound of it. I'll definitely have to add it to my TBR. I definitely sympathize with the 56. I love all the trappings of ballet but not so much the actual ballet!

Stormi Johnson said...

Not heard of this author. Great teaser.

Stormi
Friday memes

Elizabeth said...

Great teasers. I have no desire to train my body to do difficult things either!

Sandra Nachlinger said...

Even though the book was released in 1998, it's still pertinent. That says a lot!

Lauren Marion said...

Not heard of this one before but it sounds really interesting!

Sandra Nachlinger said...

I participate in an exercise class, and that's difficult enough for me!

Sandra Nachlinger said...

I was fascinated by the misconceptions that the sisters had about their parents. Secrets make for good stories, don't they?

samannelizabeth said...

That's very insightful of that girl! I liked the pretty costumes in dance, but I wasn't a fan of all the practicing!
Happy reading and thanks for visiting my Friday Memes!

Sandra Nachlinger said...

It was so much fun getting to know the sisters. They felt real.

Elizabeth said...

This sounds like a book I would like.

Nice family story.

Thanks for sharing and stopping by my blog earlier.

Elizabeth
Silver's Reviews
My Book Beginnings

jacquie said...

Love the sound of this! It's will go on my to be read list for sure!

Alicia AKernelofNonsense said...

Capturing a child's voice in literature is never easy (and one of the underrated elements of children's fiction). It sounds like this author does a good job of it though. Happy reading.

Topazshell said...

It's a beautiful beginning. Elizabeth Berg writes so naturally.

Corina said...

I think I agree with her view of ballet in your 56! Thanks!

Sandra Nachlinger said...

I certainly enjoyed the story.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

Ballerinas make it look so effortless, don't they?

Sandra Nachlinger said...

I think she did a great job. I didn't have a sister, so I enjoyed seeing the way the sisters interacted.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

I agree.

guiltless reader said...

How lovely. I have to nod my head at the 56 -- ballet is physically torturous, how deceptively beautiful!

BooksThatSow said...

This one sounds as if it may hold my interest. The teasers hooked me enough.

Thanks for sharing, Sandy.

fredamans said...

Sounds like a really good read! I have to go look up the author and see why the name is so familiar to me.
Happy weekend!

Sandra Nachlinger said...

I love books that make me nod my head in recognition of what the author has written. That happened a lot in this book.

judy said...

Great synopses and teasers, Sandy. I remember enjoying this and several other Berg novels.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

I've read several books by this author and enjoyed them all. Thanks for leaving a comment, Judy.

Rose Ketring said...

The character doesn't sound like a "typical girl" but still a teenager -- wants outcomes to present themselves neatly in a black (or blue) colored bow lol

Yvonne said...

I've wanted to try this author for awhile. Sounds like a good book.

LadyD Piano said...

LOVE the snippet, especially since my daughter was a ballerina and majored in dance. This sounds very interesting to me and one that I may want to read. Thanks for sharing!

Katiria Rodriguez said...

Love this 56 this book looks and sounds such a lovely beautiful story thanks for stopping by my blog

Gilli Allan said...

Thanks Sandy, I have a similar disclosure to the one you made in PCL. I was 10! I can very much identify with the child's thoughts about the "magic" of the ballerina.

SherryGLoag said...

This one grabbed my attention and is going on my tbr list. Thanks for sharing.

Always By Your Side. is my meme this week.

Bea said...

This sounds quite emotional; nice choice of snippets, they really show off the writing.

Claudia Arroyo said...

I really really like the emotional sentiment in the Friday 56; it reads as something any ballerina would relate to and the internal struggles in striving to be the best! I love books that reflect realism like this; great feature Sandra :)