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From the beloved <i>New York Times</i> bestselling author of <i>Home Safe </i>and <i>The Last Time I Saw You </i>comes a beautiful and moving novel about a man and woman, long divorced, who rediscover the power of love and family in the midst of an unthinkable crisis. <br> <br>Even on their wedding day, John and Irene sensed that they were about to make a mistake. Years later, divorced, dating other people, and living in different parts of the country, they seem to have nothing in common—nothing except the most important person in each of their lives: Sadie, their spirited eighteen-year-old daughter. Feeling smothered by Irene and distanced from John, Sadie is growing more and more attached to her new boyfriend, Ron.<br> When tragedy strikes, Irene and John come together to support the daughter they love so dearly. What takes longer is to remember how they really feel about each other. <br><br>Elizabeth Berg has once again created characters who embody the many shades of the human spirit. Reading Berg’s fiction allows us to reflect on our deepest emotions, and her gifts as a writer make <i>Once Upon a Time, There Was You </i>a wonderful novel about the power of love, the unshakeable bonds of family, and the beauty of second chances.
<span class="h1"><strong>A Letter to Readers from Elizabeth Berg</strong></span> <p>Dear Reader,</br> <p>It’s that time of year again, near-spring, when I’m one step short of going out and tugging on whatever shoots of green I can find. I am heartened by the sight of robins everywhere, even if the buds on the trees remain tightly closed. Spring is an exercise in having faith and learning patience: It will come, when it’s ready; and then I can engage in my favorite practice of sitting on the front porch and watching dogs walk by with their people.</p> <p>On April 5, Random House will release my new novel, <i>Once Upon a Time, There Was You</i>. This is the story of a long-divorced couple who are thrust together again after something terrible happens to the only thing they still have in common: their 18 year old daughter. I wanted to see what happened if you put two people who used to be in an intimate relationship, but now are estranged, back together. Would they remember what they used to love about each other? Would they see all over again what they hated? Might they get back together again?</p> <p>The other day, I was doing an interview for this novel, and I told the woman interviewing me that I was struck by how many times I’ve heard people--both men and women, but mostly women--say they walked down the aisle knowing it was the wrong this to do, but they did it anyway. The interviewer paused, then said, “That’s what I did. And I got divorced. But then we got back together.” Bingo! I thought, what changed in those two people that made them able to be with each other in a way they could not be before? What does marriage require, really? What does the act of loving honestly and fully require? That’s the kind of thing my novel looks at.</p> <p>It wouldn’t be a book of mine if it didn’t also celebrate female friendship. And there is, as usual, a mix of humor and pathos. But there is also something brand new, which is suspense. An element of real creepiness. But I’ll just keep you in...well, suspense about what that is.</p> <p>I recently read a quote by Marie Von Ebner-Eschenbach that I loved, which says, “An interesting book is food that makes us hungry.” I hope that’s what my book does. In addition to being an enjoyable read that makes you laugh and perhaps tear up a little, too, I want it to make you think, to make you wonder, to take a look at your own life in new ways. If that happens, we’ll both be satisfied.</p> <p>Thank you for reading this letter, thanks for buying my books, and most of all, thanks for making the dream of a 9-year old with crooked bangs and a heart full of longing to share what she felt inside, come true.</p> <p>Sincerely,</br> Elizabeth Berg</p>