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Never Change

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,487 Ratings  ·  461 Reviews
Elizabeth Berg has penned an unforgettable tale about second chances that tugs hard at the heart strings even as it soothes the soul. Never Change tells the bittersweet story of Myra Lipinsky, a 51-year-old home care nurse and self-acclaimed spinster who finds herself assigned to care for the golden boy she secretly worshipped back in high school. Only Chip Reardon isn't q ...more
Paperback, 214 pages
Published August 22nd 2002 by Arrow Books (first published 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sep 21, 2008 Kellie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2007-reads
I put 3 authors in the same echelon, Tyler, Shreeve and Berg. I think, Berg is my favorite. I have read several of her books and the thing I recall the most about her books is her words. I have written down several of her quotes from the various books I have read. She has a way of putting into words things you have thought but couldn’t really find the words to say. I felt a personal pull to this book since my mother is a nurse and I could never understand why she enjoyed her job so much. This bo ...more
Book Concierge
Myra Lipinski has spent her life looking out at everyone else living their lives. Working as a visiting nurse, she cares with tender efficiency for patients who need the kind of nursing care she can provide. She also feels genuine affection for them, bolsters their spirits and helps them outside of her official duties. But she has to remain professionally detached. Fortunately this comes easy for her. At fifty-one, she knows she will always live alone – except for her dog Frank. After all, she’s ...more
Carolyn Agosta
Jul 22, 2010 Carolyn Agosta rated it it was amazing
I bought this book with no prior knowledge of the story line - I just knew it was by Elizabeth Berg, so certainly it would be worth reading.

What I did not know was that it deals with death and dying, the progress of illness and its effects on the caregiver, the question of what we do with our life to make it meaningful to ourselves, and the way love can come up to us when we don't expect it.

When I began reading, and realized the storyline included a man who was in the final weeks of his life,
Sep 10, 2011 Rebecca rated it it was ok
I have read several books by Elizabeth Berg and always find that she tells a good story. My biggest concern with this book were the many many many boundaries that the main character Myra broke working as a home health nurse. This book focuses on Myra caring for a former high school classmate when he returns home with a terminal cancer. Some of the boundary issues included: telling her patients her personal struggles, socializing with patients, moving a patient into her home, and having a sexual ...more
Myra Lipinski is a middle aged home health nurse. She lives alone with her dog, Frank. She is reasonably satisfied with her life, but has never really put herself out there. When she is asked to be the nurse for Chip Reardon, her high school crush, old feelings resurface. Chip has a brain tumor and wants no more drastic treatment. It up to Myra to offer him comfort and guide him through the difficulties to come.
While I enjoyed the book, I had mixed feelings about it. Myra's musings were often w
Aug 05, 2009 Swanbender2001 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a mixture of emotions I felt as this story ended. My heart broke and was uplifted at the same time. Berg translates the indescribable lessons one receives when attending the death of a loved one. So much sadness and letting go but such an uplifting experience and I really believe one that can’t easily be described or understood unless you go through it with your eyes and heart wide open. An amazing connection. The only part of this story that was left underdeveloped for me was the relations ...more
Mar 27, 2010 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Donna by: Case Teachers' Shelf
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 21, 2010 Becky rated it really liked it
I really love Elizabeth Berg.

I really connected to this character - I like that Berg writes characters that are like REAL people, like someone you might even know. Maybe even yourself! Myra, the main character, never connected with people because she was afraid that she'd be rejected, so she just never really tried - and now, later in life, she's slowly realizing that what you've always thought isn't always what the reality is. I loved her dawning awareness of herself and how people view her, an
Apr 12, 2011 Karyl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel is a very poignant look at the end of someone's life, and how he or she can choose to die with dignity. It also shows us that we should never take our lives for granted, no matter how empty and pointless we think they are, because we always mean something to someone. I really enjoyed how Berg reassured her readers that dying isn't something of which to be scared, that making that transition is really a beautiful and meaningful thing.

The only thing that drew this story down a bit for m
Feb 19, 2011 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: never-finished
I'm sending this one back to the library. I just couldn't connect with the main character, a woman who's still "in love" with some random popular boy from high school, despite the fact that she's now in her 40s. It would be one thing if she was presented in a slightly pathetic light so that the reader could pity her and maybe come to empathize a bit with regard to the weird and silly things we all secretly cling to, but no, she just came across as a confusing and unbelievable character.
Feb 15, 2015 Pamela rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Reading an Elizabeth Berg novel usually satisfies like a warm blanket on a cold day. This one - not so much. I couldn't warm to Myra, the main character wallflower. The disregard for ethical boundaries within her private nursing career didn't sit well with me. And though I don't relish expletives, I can tolerate minor off-color language when it's true to character and/or situation. But in this novel it felt out of place in most incidences, like a cactus in a rose garden.

Needless to say, I'm a l
Brenda Sorrels
Sep 30, 2012 Brenda Sorrels rated it really liked it
This is my second Elizabeth Berg novel and while I didn't like it as much as Open House, I liked it enough to give it four stars and to recommend it. There is something alluring about her writing, and I think it is that she does dialogue so well. When I read a conversation that Berg has written, I feel as if I'm listening to real people. The conversations have clear beginnings, middles and endings, unlike a lot of dialogue in fiction that tends to be more fragmented or just pieces of conversati ...more
Jul 13, 2012 Marilu rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had not read a novel in about 6 months. FINALLY, I decided I needed to read a novel, and have found some time to do so. I decided I wanted a light read, a good general fiction book, and not the mystery, suspense, thriller type books I usually read. So, I picked up a book by an author that I have really enjoyed in the past. I started reading it and was really enjoying it, and then I got to page 130 something and read
" It makes you retarded, being pretty." a bit more convo and then " I don't kn
Shari Larsen
Sep 29, 2013 Shari Larsen rated it really liked it
At 51, Myra Lipinski considers herself a spinster. She immerses herself in her work as a home health care nurse, and dotes on her dog Frank. She considers herself reasonably content, and tells herself that work and Frank are enough; and it has been enough, until she is assigned to her newest patient, Chip Reardon. Chip was the "golden boy" that everyone in high school worshiped, and Myra,a self described ugly duckling and a loner, had a secret crush on him.

Now Chip is dying from terminal cancer,
Ginger Hallett
Feb 20, 2013 Ginger Hallett rated it really liked it
I was so relieved to find that this novel by Elizabeth Berg deviated from the formulaic pattern she appeared to be following in the last few books previous to this one. It restored my appreciation for her writing, as I had feared that her formulaic plots, if continued, would cause me to abandon reading her books even though I love the imagery and flow of her words. I am reading her books in the order in which she wrote them, and so I hope that she keeps her plots fresh in the upcoming ones.

Jan 24, 2012 Marcia rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Never Change by Elizabeth Berg has been languishing on the TBR shelves for some time now and made the cut for the first book in my 2007 TBR Challenge.

How many of us could dust off those high school yearbooks and count the number of inscriptions ending with the words “never change?” Hindsight would have had us all inscribing in our very practiced script “embrace change.” Myra Lipinski certainly would have benefited from this slightly altered wish to give her a perspective on her life that other
Jan 01, 2013 Martha rated it really liked it
Elizabeth Berg is quickly becoming my new Jodi Picoult...I just can't put her books down!

I related to Myra in that I never felt "pretty" in high school and I was the person classmates would talk to with concerns they had, but I never felt part of the "cool" group...but for some reason Myra stayed stuck in that mentality instead of finding herself after high school (and thankfully, I did not...what a sad, sad life had I not!).

I did find it unusual (although I am not in the medical field) that Myr
Sep 08, 2013 Barbara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book from the very first page! I liked and identified with the characters right away. Be warned , you will cry, but in a good, therapeutic way! I believe almost everyone could identify with Myra because haven't we all felt like an outsider at some point in our lives? Lonelyness is a universal theme.

Myra is a home care nurse. She loves her job and she loves taking care of people in a practical hands- on kind of way. Now, Myra's new patient is also her high school crush, who is dying
Taylor Yardley
Sep 27, 2013 Taylor Yardley rated it did not like it
Berg has a way of describing human emotion that is thought provoking, but my goodness do her plots need help. Former high school wallflower reconnects with random cool-guy crush as he's dying of cancer. Opens her home to his ex girlfriend, and falls for him even as he and the high school sweetheart are spending the night together in her apartment. Ex girlfriend leaves and crush admits to having feelings for nerd girl. They spend his last weeks/months together and she falls for him so hard that s ...more
Jul 12, 2013 Judy rated it liked it
Second chances can be incredibly powerful experiences in life and we should grab them when ever we can. As life-changing as second chances can be, they can also be bittersweet. Myra Lipinsky is 51 years old, lives alone, and is fairly content with her life as a home-care nurse. Then she is assigned to care for Chip Reardon who has chosen to refuse treatment for an aggressive brain tumor and has come back to his hometown in New England to die. Chip was a golden boy in high school and Myra had a s ...more
Sharon Huether
Mar 06, 2015 Sharon Huether rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel, romance
Myra a private nurse had a few clients, enough to keep her busy. A high school class mate need her services He was terminily ill. At that time her life began to change. She and Chip, the high school fiend moved in together. Their romance was brief. Chip and Myra's friendship had given her confidence and self worth. Myra wanted to die too. At the last minute she changed her mind.
Sabra Kurth
Feb 26, 2013 Sabra Kurth rated it liked it
I really want to like this book--Myra Lipinski, a good nurse who truly cares for patients. She gets the chance too meet up with her high school crush, who remembers her and the book moves into high gear, But, hello, many boundaries were crossed and that's where I had issues with the book. Berg was a nurse, she, as a nurse, I assume, wouldn't have had her patient move in with her, much less, let her patient get high with another patient. However, I did like how Berg tried to have her characters d ...more
Apr 04, 2014 Carol rated it liked it
Shelves: book-club
The story of Myra, the lonely independent nurse and her connection with Chip, the dying heart-throb from high school is touching. My empathy and concern for Chip was a little harder to come by - his character was just not fully fleshed out. I felt cheated in that Berg didn't let us get to know him better. Diann I found to be too much a cliche' of the "pretty high school girl." However, the relationship between Myra, her patients, and even her dog were what made the novel interesting. I thought i ...more
Dec 16, 2011 Lois rated it it was amazing
quite sure I read this several yrs. ago - but so worth reading again. Myra is a nurse, never married, never dated really - not a very attractive woman. Her newest assignment (visiting nurse) is taking care of the most popular, most beautiful guy from her high school years.. he has a brain tumor. (Chip Reardon)... She has always had a crush on Chip (didn't every girl?) and now he falls in love with her - but he is dying, they both know it - a beautiful love story, filled with characters - her oth ...more
Jan 16, 2011 Michelle rated it it was amazing
This was just a beautiful book. Not just another book about cancer. The characters drew me into the story and their struggles held me captive until the wee hours of the morning when I was sobbing uncontrollably and wanting the author to have written another ending. However, I wouldn't change the life lessons learned from this book and its cast of colorful characters. It is the next day and this book still breaks my heart. But what kitschy country song said "there is beauty in the breaking"? I hi ...more
Pam R.
Jun 17, 2010 Pam R. rated it it was ok
I enjoyed the first book I just finished of Eliz. Berg. She's a prolific author, so I wanted to try another. Still in the early pages of 'we'll see how it goes'.

Well, this was a depressing book. As a former RN, I thought I'd be happier with a story about a home health nurse than this proved to be. Perhaps,it was the less than stellar ending, perhaps it was the fatal diagnosis, perhaps it was just me. A real 'downer' in mood building!

Will try to find another of Ms. Berg's books that will be a ha
Jun 26, 2016 Jessica rated it really liked it
I'm kind of annoyed at myself for liking this book. I randomly met a girl who was maybe kind of drunk and telling me that this was her favorite book and that I had to read it. So, okay, I did. I fully anticipated that this would probably be a 2-star read, based on my conversation with the girl. She was really nice, but it just seemed like she & I had very different taste, so I expected this book would be some sort of sappy rom-com type thing.

It's a lot more nuanced than that. Yes, it's kind
Mimi Fintel
Mar 21, 2015 Mimi Fintel rated it it was amazing
The main character in this novel is Myra Lipinsky. She is a fifty-one year old never married woman. She is okay with that because she knows she's not much to look at and even her parents never seemed to have really wanted her. Her dog, Frank, and her job as a visiting nurse have been enough for her to feel contented with her life. Suddenly everything changes. Chip Reardon, the popular boy from school that she had always secretly been in love with, returns to his childhood home to wait to die fro ...more
Sep 18, 2014 Ilona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-general, 2014
Lovely, lovely book.

My one quibble with it is that I found it improbable that three 50-somethings would care about people they knew in high school, decades earlier, with years and years of living in between then and now. Not only do they still care, but the relationships are set up to pretty much pick up where they left off. That, to me, is improbable. (Speaking as a 50-something, though I do occasionally wonder whatever so-and-so ended up doing with their life, I have no emotional connection to
Marlene Cullen
Sep 09, 2014 Marlene Cullen rated it it was amazing
The magic of Elizabeth Berg's writing is that she makes readers feel comfortable with her characters right away. In the first paragraph, she sets the tone, the scene, and introduces the main character, Myra, a person I like immediately. Berg's writing style is friendly, warm and simple, yet oh so eloquent in conveying minute details, giving the reader a detailed vision of the scene.

Her characters are so believable that while I'm reading her books (and for a little while after), I think they are
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Elizabeth Berg is the New York Times bestselling author of many novels, including We Are All Welcome Here, The Year of Pleasures, The Art of Mending, Say When, True to Form, Never Change, and Open House, which was an Oprah’s Book Club selection in 2000. Durable Goods and Joy School were selected as ALA Best Books of the Year, and Talk Before Sleep was short-listed for the ABBY Award in 1996. The w ...more
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“But in spite of my great desire for intimacy, I've always been a loner. Perhaps when the longing for connection is as strong as it is in me, when the desire is for something so deep and true, one knows better than to try. One sees that this is not the place for that.” 17 likes
“I got tears in my eyes, but they were not the crying kind, they were just the kind that show you your body agrees so much with what your mind just said.” 11 likes
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