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ISBN:140006161X
Author: Elizabeth Berg
ISBN13: 978-1400061617
Title: We Are All Welcome Here: A Novel
Format: azw lrf mbr lit
ePUB size: 1577 kb
FB2 size: 1451 kb
DJVU size: 1918 kb
Language: English
Category: Genre Fiction
Publisher: Random House (April 4, 2006)
Pages: 208

We Are All Welcome Here: A Novel by Elizabeth Berg



Her new novel, We Are All Welcome Here, features three women, each struggling against overwhelming odds for her own kind of freedom. It is the summer of 1964. In Tupelo, Mississip Elizabeth Berg, bestselling author of The Art of Mending and The Year of Pleasures, has a rare talent for revealing her characters' hearts and minds in a manner that makes us empathize completely. Her new novel, We Are All Welcome Here, features three women, each struggling against overwhelming odds for her own kind of freedom. Her husband leaves her and offers to put the baby up for adoption before he leaves, but the mom will have nothing to do with it.

Never having read anything by Elizabeth Berg, I was happy when my book club chose We Are All Welcome Here for our December selection. Though fiction, the book is based on the life events of one of Ms. Berg’s readers, Marianne Raming Burke, and her mother Pat Raming. In the novel, a young pregnant woman contracts polio in the final days of her pregnancy and actually gives birth to her daughter in an iron lung.

I would stretch out beside my mother’s chair, and she would lean her head back and gaze upward, smiling at Orion’s Belt, at the backward question mark of Leo, at the intimate grouping of the seven daughters of Atlas. Sometimes I would pick some of the fragrant grass I lay in to put under her nose

About book: It’s so delightful, revisiting a book and discovering you enjoyed it just as much as you did the first time around – if not more so. This was certainly the case with Elizabeth Berg’s novel: We Are All Welcome Here, an endearing story of triumph over tragedy, love in the face of adversity, faith, perseverance, and learning to accept each other’s differences with grace. Love does not have legs. It does not have arms.

Also by Elizabeth Berg. Praise for We Are All Welcome Here. In September 2003, I received a letter from a reader named Marianne Raming Burke, who had an idea for a book she wanted me to write. She began, I don’t know if you ever do this kind of thin. .My first thought was, I can tell you right now, I don’t.

We would make this a place where we could talk comfortably about our plans to walk to Memphis. I finally had a friend. Suralee Halloway-my age almost exactly, our birthdays were one month apart-had moved here in February and lived with her mother, the Divorcée, at the end of the block. Noreen Halloway had hair like Marilyn Monroe, and she had the mole above the finely formed lip, too. But her face was wide and bland, her body short and pudgy, probably due to the divinity she ate before bed every night.

Elizabeth Berg, bestselling author of The Art of Mending and The Year of Pleasures, has a rare talent for revealing her characters’ hearts and minds in a manner that makes us empathize completely.

As the novel (based on a true story) is set in Tupelo, the specter of Elvis Presley naturally intrudes, for an over-the-top, heartrending finale. PW. "Berg has the components of a forceful drama in place, but her tale lacks emotional resonance. Elizabeth Berg is the author of many bestselling novels, including Open House (an Oprah's Book Club selection), Talk Before Sleep, and The Year of Pleasures, as well as the short story collection The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted. Durable Goods and Joy School were selected as ALA Best Books of the Year.

Elizabeth Berg, bestselling author of The Art of Mending and The Year of Pleasures, has a rare talent for revealing her characters’ hearts and minds in a manner that makes us empathize completely. Her new novel, We Are All Welcome Here, features three women, each struggling against overwhelming odds for her own kind of freedom.It is the summer of 1964. In Tupelo, Mississippi, the town of Elvis’s birth, tensions are mounting over civil-rights demonstrations occurring ever more frequently–and violently–across the state. But in Paige Dunn’s small, ramshackle house, there are more immediate concerns. Challenged by the effects of the polio she contracted during her last month of pregnancy, Paige is nonetheless determined to live as normal a life as possible and to raise her daughter, Diana, in the way she sees fit–with the support of her tough-talking black caregiver, Peacie.Diana is trying in her own fashion to live a normal life. As a fourteen-year-old, she wants to make money for clothes and magazines, to slough off the authority of her mother and Peacie, to figure out the puzzle that is boys, and to escape the oppressiveness she sees everywhere in her small town. What she can never escape, however, is the way her life is markedly different from others’. Nor can she escape her ongoing responsibility to assist in caring for her mother. Paige Dunn is attractive, charming, intelligent, and lively, but her needs are great–and relentless. As the summer unfolds, hate and adversity will visit this modest home. Despite the difficulties thrust upon them, each of the women will find her own path to independence, understanding, and peace. And Diana’s mother, so mightily compromised, will end up giving her daughter an extraordinary gift few parents could match.
Reviews: 7
Mala
When I finished this quick read (quick because it flowed through my brain effortlessly) the term "magical realism" came to mind. This book doesn't fit the academic definition of that term but the story, based on life in the Deep South in 1964, combined the harsh reality of segregation and the hopes and dreams of a 13 year old girl. Happily, all elements came together with a miraculous, stand-up-and-cheer ending. Now there are some curmudgeons who might feel cheated by the resolution, but I for one was content with an ending that betrayed no one and arose organically from the clues scattered throughout the story. Have I piqued your interest? I hope so. 13 year old Diane is a worthy member of the sorority of strong Southern girls like Scout and Frankie from Member of the Wedding. A story to be savored.
Phain
Never having read anything by Elizabeth Berg, I was happy when my book club chose We Are All Welcome Here for our December selection. Though fiction, the book is based on the life events of one of Ms. Berg’s readers, Marianne Raming Burke, and her mother Pat Raming.

In the novel, a young pregnant woman contracts polio in the final days of her pregnancy and actually gives birth to her daughter in an iron lung. Her husband soon divorces her and suggests giving their baby up for adoption. Instead, Paige opts to raise daughter Diana with the help of caretakers, and throughout most of the book, Peacie is the major one. Their poverty prohibits hiring night caregivers, and Diana must assume those duties of changing her mother's position or providing a drink of water or a bedpan.

It was a hard life for the courageous young Paige, Diana, Peacie, and LaRue, Peacie’s boyfriend. Because of various reasons related to the Civil Rights Movement, Peacie and LaRue must leave, and just when it looks like Diana might have to go into foster care, they have a surprise visitor who changes their lives in a positive way. While some reviewers find it a bit hokey that Elvis entered the scene and saved the day, I thought his entrance added a certain comic relief.

Despite the many challenges, the reader knows that Paige never regrets her initial decision to raise her daughter. In her words, “I could still taste and smell and hear and see. I could still learn and I could still teach. I could still love and be loved. I had my mind and my spirit. And I had you.”
Zovaithug
I started reading early on a day trip and had eighty percent finished by the end. The story was compelling, the characters interesting. I thought of one story it reminded me of also set in the sixties, "The world of Henry Orient," because of the celebrity connection and the relationship between the two teenage girls with single mothers. But Paige's story was interesting in itself, even if it had a "What's eating Gilbert Grape," quality to it.
Āłł_Ÿøūrš
This was an unusual departure for Elizabeth Berg, one of my favorite writers. As she explains in the beginning of the book, this was a story line proposed to her by a fan. It was such a compelling story that she agreed to write this novel based on the true story of this fan's mother and their relationship. I am so glad she did! Everything is there that you have come to expect from this writer; great character development, joy, sorrow, humor and love...lots of love! My takeaway phrase from this book is "redemptive beauty"...pretty much sums it up. Read this book!
Malahelm
I'm rounding up a bit, but I liked this book quite a lot. Its origin intrigued me: a reader asked Berg to write a story about her remarkable mother, and Berg found the woman inspiring enough to use her as the jumping-off point for a fictional character. Both that character and her daughter are beautifully rendered, and their story is a great example of an engrossing and suspenseful yet fully realistic plot. (Some might quibble with that adjective for an event near the end, but I stand by it.)
Jek
Captivating story with solid characters. I was the same age in 1964 as Diana - and Ms. Berg really gets the period and the teenagers just right. I wanted to call my childhood friend several times in the course of reading this book, to say, "Remember?" - even though I am from the Northeast, not the deep South. Only negative for me was the ending - I would have preferred something more realistic.
Gugrel
A very moving story about a young pregnant woman who is diagnosed with polio.
She carries her baby to term and delivers a girl who she is determined to raise, despite
being in an iron lung and being a single parent. It is a very difficult life for both the mother
and her child. They have limited income and only intermittent help from care-givers once
their long term helper leaves them. A sad story of their struggles. It was well written and
interesting.
This book is about a young girl coming of age in 1960s south. Her mother is paralysed from the neck down and is determined to raise her daughter with the help of her caregiver Peace. Many things happen both good and bad as Diana grows and learns about life.