'Until that moment, I hadn't realized how much I'd been needing to meet someone I might be able to say everything to.'They met at a party. It was hate at first sight. Ruth was far too beautiful, too flamboyant. Not at all Ann's kind of person. Until a chance encounter in the bathroom led to an alliance of souls. Soon they were sharing hankies ...
'Until that moment, I hadn't realized how much I'd been needing to meet someone I might be able to say everything to.'They met at a party. It was hate at first sight. Ruth was far too beautiful, too flamboyant. Not at all Ann's kind of person. Until a chance encounter in the bathroom led to an alliance of souls. Soon they were sharing hankies during the late showing of Sophie's World, wolfing down sundaes sodden with whipped cream, telling truths of marriage, mortality and love, secure in a kind of intimacy no man could ever know. After years of shared secrets, guilty pleasures, family life and divorce, they face a crisis that redefines the meaning of friendship and unconditional love. This is the story of Ruth. Of Ann. And of all of us who wonder what we'd say if we knew we didn't have forever.
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Publishers Weekly, 1994-02-21 Because it is rendered with such clarity, authority and feeling, Berg's novel may cause readers to forget that this story of a woman's death from cancer is fiction. Berg's ( Durable Goods ) depiction of a sisterhood of women banding together to succor a friend is never falsely sentimental. Accurately observed details and honest descriptions of the body's frailties make the narrative gripping and immediate. But intensely real characterizations, outrageous black humor and graceful prose are what render it memorable. Narrator Ann Stanley, a nurse who loves her young daughter and husband but sometimes hates the institution of marriage, recognizes a soul mate when she meets Ruth Thomas. A talented artist, Ruth is mercurial, outspoken, fearless, charming, charismatic. When she leaves her caustic, icy husband and (regretfully) her teenaged son, she is eager to embrace new experiences, to find love and artistic fulfillment. Instead, she is sidetracked by cancer, which she fights gallantly, even into its terminal phase. Ann and several other devoted friends spend days and nights by Ruth's side, helping her to die. Berg writes candidly--if ultimately a bit too schematically--about the bonds between women that transcend the male-female relationship. A celebration of intimate friendship as well as a cry of grief, this book is a weeper, all right, but its effect is cathartic. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 1995-05-22 A friendship between two women turns tragic when one is diagnosed with breast cancer. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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