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Tapestry of Fortunes (Random House Large Print) [Large Print] [Paperback]

Elizabeth Berg
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 15.34
Price: 8.62 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

9 April 2013 Random House Large Print

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.

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
“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

From the Hardcover edition.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 279 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Large Print Publishing; Lrg edition (9 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804121001
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804121002
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 16.3 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 278,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Elizabeth Berg is the author of eighteen novels and has more than 1.5 million books in print. Her novel, OPEN HOUSE, was an Oprah's Book Club selection in 2000. Berg lives near Chicago, Illinois. Visit her at www.elizabeth-berg.net

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Tapestery of Fortunes 1 Sep 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
She is a fantastic writer and i find her books soothing and so gripping.A pleasurable reading experience for the reader.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Failed to resonate with me 20 April 2013
By Julia Flyte TOP 50 REVIEWER
Cece is a motivational speaker in her early 50s. There are elements of her life that she's not quite happy with - too much travel, never having married - but changing things up feels too hard. When her best friend Penny dies she is hit hard, but it spurs her on to make dramatic changes. She turns down further speaking opportunities, sells her house and moves into a house with three other women. The four will become immediate and close friends and over the course of this (short) book they will each address long held regrets in their lives. It's a feel good book about the power of friendship and how it's never too late to make changes in your life.

So a sweet book, and a quick and easy read, but it failed to resonate with me. It's the kind of book where everything happens too easily. Again and again, people abandon long-held principles after just one short conversation. Cece decides to sell her house and lo and behold! - a buyer turns up the very next day who wants to buy not just the house, but all the furniture too. Someone who doesn't like you is just hurting because of something that happened to them 20 years ago and if you can only get them to spill their secret - which they are longing to tell you and only you - they will be your lifelong friend. I felt like beating my head against a wall with the inanity of some of the plot elements. There were also parts that felt very dated, such as when Cece makes contact with a former flame but all of their correspondance is by post (which thankfully seems remarkably quick and efficient - if you wanted to tell someone you were arriving to see them tomorrow, would you really send them a postcard???).

Moreover, none of the central characters are fleshed out.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  260 reviews
73 of 79 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Friendship of Women 30 Mar 2013
By Susan Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Cece's best friend dies of cancer and she then examines her life. What will she do now? She travels a great deal as a motivational speaker and the author of self-help books. She wanders into a situation where she rents a house with three other women of various ages. They hit it off immediately so Cece sells her house with all her belongings, takes a sabbatical from work, volunteers at a hospice and seeks a love from her past.

This book was just too pat for me. She meets three women and is immediately drawn into their circle. She abadons everything to start over. They are such good friends right away that they tell each other deep, dark secrets about themselves that they have never told anyone else. They all have someone from their past that they want to meet again. So within the first month, I guess as the time period is left unclear, they are off on a road trip so they can fix their lives. They make cutesy stops including a restaurant in a house where the dining room of four tables is in the bedroom.

Everything goes well. There are no hiccups. They are all friends, they all fix their lives and they all make great choices. There is a nice scene in the hospice that is quite touching but it just feels like it was thrown in. It's really not integral to the story. The book is short at 219 pages and just feels like a rehash of her other books. For her fans this will probably be enjoyable but for anybody else it's just not that interesting of a story and the characters are not developed enough to care about them.
51 of 56 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 13 April 2013
By Rebecca Stanard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book made me do two things I never do--write a review and not finish reading a book I started (and I've finished a lot of bad books).. I like Elizabeth Berg's books but this is a total disappointment and waste of money. The story and characters are unbelievable. Both lack depth. I kept reading hoping it would get better but finally had to put it down about 1/3 of the way through. I couldn't take one more life crisis neatly wrapped up or another cliche. I love stories of friendship between women but they are much more complex than those portrayed in this disappointing read.
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but too short. 15 April 2013
By T. J. Douglas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Elizabeth Berg is one of my favorite authors, so I was excited to buy her book the day it came out. The story was good, well-written as usually. But boy was I surprised when it ended at 47% on my Kindle. The rest of the book was a reprint of another of Berg's story, "Open House." I already read that book. I feel
short-changed. It was more of a novella than a novel and had I known I would not have paid $12.99 for it. Disappointed.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst Elizabeth Berg book, EVER! 21 April 2013
By KMO - Published on Amazon.com
Wow! I am a huge EB fan and have waited a long time for this book, but what a disappointment it was. The characters were so poorly developed. I could not form a liking for any of them. It was so not real to me that Cece could move in with these people she never met and they all instantly bonded and that Michael instantly related to her and no one else. It's almost like EB didn't really write the book.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Maybe Next Year? 20 April 2013
By Nancy R. Katz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If I were asked to name my favorite authors the following names would appear: Alice Hoffman, Anne Tyler, Anita Shreve, Luanne Rice, Diane Chamberlain, Jodi Picoult, Nelson DeMille. Ken Follett, Jeffrey Archer and Elizabeth Berg. I have read every book by these authors and in the past have loved them all. In this case the operative word is "past." Unfortunately, with the exception of one or two of the above mentioned authors, their last couple of books just didn't move me the way they once did. But wait, I thought, when I purchased Elizabeth Berg's newest book, Tapestry of Fortunes. Why? Becasue Elizabeth Berg was one of my very favorite authors among favorite authors. So with wonderful memories of Pull of the Moon, Open House, Home Safe and Range of Motion, I began Tapestry of Fortunes. Unfortunately, I was sadly disppointed as I was when I read Berg's last two books.

Tapestry of Fortunes tells the story of a woman at a loss for what to do next when her best friend falls ill and suddenly dies. Living next door to Penny and her husband, Cecelia enjoys her time spent with them and her dreams of a road trip with Penny someday. But then Penny suddenly dies and Penny's husband sells their house and moves away. Cecelia, who is a motivational speaker and author of self-help books, thinks that maybe it's time for her to make some changes to her life too. Selling her home, Cecelia moves to a house with rooms to rent which is shared by 3 other women, each with their own stories and dillemmas. What happens to Cecelia and the other women should show readers that life can zig and zag as one begins to take chances. Sadly, it didn't for me.

Unfortunately, to me the book was disappointing, filled with cliches and an overwhelmingly unrealistic and happily ever after ending for all of the women. Consider that Cecelia sells her house in one day, moves to a room in one dday where she is able to identify with the other women at once and finally finds an old love and the years roll away. Too many coincidences? Perhaps, but in the end even Cecelia's tarot reading cards didn't provide enough of my interest and the picture perfect ending was just too much.

Perhaps I expected too much from this author and the other favorites I have loved in the past. Or perhaps I have read their best and shouldn't go on reading them anymore. But that really isn't an option for me since I might just miss one of their best books in the future. It might just be that I will have to consider the immortal words of the Brooklyn Dodger's fans and "wait till next year" for their next books hoping one of them will be a winner.
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