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.