I have been in love Elizabeth Berg's work ever since I read her Oprah Book Club selection Open House, so when I spied The Last Time I Saw You (click HERE) during a recent visit to a local bookstore, I snapped it up, brought it home and devoured it. What a pleasure!
The book opens with Dorothy Shauman standing in front of a mirror, trying to decide what to wear to her upcoming fortieth high school reunion, fantasizing about the possibility of having a fling with Pete Decker, a popular jock back in the day. Over the course of the next few chapters, we get to know some of the other members of Dorothy's class: Lester Hessenpfeffer, the brainiac become veterinarian, widowed at a young age; Mary Alice Mayhew, the awkward geeky girl, still single and finally coming into her own; Candy Sullivan Armstrong, the sweet, sexy debutante who married well but just received a devastating medical diagnosis; and Pete Decker himself, a somewhat boorish cad. Life hasn't turned out the way any of them predicted, and each comes to the reunion with various degrees of regrets, hopes, fears, and dreams. Elizabeth Berg does a masterful job of creating complex characters who defy their stereotypes; in the end, they learn as much about themselves as they do about each other, and find friendship - and romance - in unexpected places.
If you are looking for a lighthearted yet thought-provoking read, with a twist of nostalgia, I highly recommend The Last Time I Saw You.