I'm a big fan of road trip novels, particularly road trips involving a group of women. I thought that would be a major focus of Elizabeth Berg's latest book, Tapestry of Fortunes. There is a road trip, but the story is actually about connecting with the past, and discovering what's important for the future.
Cecelia Ross is a motivational speaker who can tell others how to move on with their lives, but she's lost her own focus. Before her best friend died four months earlier, Penny had pointed out that Cecelia never took time to enjoy life or relax. Cecelia felt as if she couldn't quit. She lacked the courage to change her life, and she had even as a young woman when Dennis Halsinger asked her to move to Tahiti with him. He was the man she loved best, and felt loved by, but she didn't have the courage to change her life. Now, years later, she's sort of lost, and wants to move on. Penny's death, a postcard from Dennis, and a push from her mother help to motivate her. Cecelia sells her house, and moves in with three other women.
Cecelia's roommates couldn't be more different. Joni, at fifty-two, is a chef, who loves preparing food for people, but deals with turmoil at work. Renie is a thirty-nine-year-old gay woman who works for an alternative newspaper and has a chip on her shoulder. Lise is a forty-two-year-old physician who owns the house, and has problems communicating with her daughter. And, when Cecelia announces she's making a road trip to visit Dennis, who is temporarily in Cleveland, all three women have stops to make along the way. Cecelia's small fortune telling box invites each of them to reach for answers, searching for their past, and ways to change the future.
Tapestry of Fortunes is a satisfying book, with a road trip, the "Vacation that galvanizes you and makes you feel like you're going to change your life." This time, it's more than just the road trip that brings change. It's a story of friendship, and finding the truth in our own lives. Berg beautifully captures uncertainty, the need for answers, and the need for love.
Elizabeth Berg's website is www.elizabeth-berg.net
Tapestry of Fortunes by Elizabeth Berg. Random House. 2013. ISBN 9780812993141 (hardcover), 219p.
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