The Last Time I Saw You: A Novel by Elizabeth Berg (Ballantine Books trade paperback; $15.00; 288 pages)
The Last Time I Saw You by Elizabeth Berg is a novel guaranteed to appeal to Boomers. It’s the story of 58-year-olds who attended Whitley High School together and who are gathering for what is said to be their “last reunion.” Why they won’t be gathering again is never clear, but we do know that the glamorous Candy Sullivan has just been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Her husband insists that this is just a first opinion, but Candy knows better and is determined to enjoy what little time is left to her.
“The diagnosis let her recalculate the meaning of time and relationships.”
Berg, the author of Home Safe, has a smooth and relaxing style and she’s at her best when describing human vulnerabilities. At one point, a male character feels sorry for the spouses who have been dragged along to the reunion. Then “all of a sudden he feels sorry for everybody. Here they all are, these people, all these years later just… what? Trying, he guesses. Just trying.”
The Last Time celebrates the joy of spending moments with those who knew you in times past, while highlighting the futility of getting them to accept you as a new and different person. It’s an enjoyable read that’s deeper than it first appears.
A review copy was provided by the publisher.