This is the first Elizabeth Berg novel I've read, though it's the thirteenth she's written. It was the cover photo of a cabinet filled with fabrics that summoned my attention, but the story held it.
Berg's observations are parceled out in small bundles of wisdom, many of which will make it into my quote collection:
"My parents were my clock and my calendar; they told me where to go and when. My parents were also the arbiters of judgment, of taste, and of politics; I stepped into their values like an outfit they'd laid out for me on my bed. Later, of course, I forged my own beliefs and rebelled against nearly everything they'd taught me" (43).
Isn't this exactly the way it goes, and all we can hope for our young? First our lives follow in the tracks forged before us, then we learn independence.
"...nobody knows what goes on in other families, because families lie about themselves to other people. Not only to other people but to one another. And to themselves" (110).
And how! I know this all too well. Honesty has a high price, but it's worth paying.
"This is my true religion: arbitrary moments of nearly painful happiness for a life I feel privileged to lead" (148).
What a precise description for a familiar sensation. There are moments, peppered throughout the day, when it's all I can do to contain a shriek of utter jubilance. Then comes the other side of the teeter-totter. Good fortune must have limits. When will mine falter?