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Never Change

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  5,832 Ratings  ·  488 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
Hardcover, 214 pages
Published May 22nd 2001 by Atria (first published 2001)
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Sep 21, 2008 Kellie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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 06, 2011 Rebecca rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 19, 2017 Laurel-Rain rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You know people like me. I'm the one who sat in a folding chair out in the hall selling tickets to the prom but never going, the one everybody liked but no one wanted to be with.

A self-anointed spinster at fifty-one, Myra Lipinsky has endured the isolation of her middle life by doting on her dog, Frank, and immersing herself in her career as a visiting nurse. Myra considers herself reasonably content, telling herself, It's enough, work and Frank. And it has been enough -- until Chip Reardon, th
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
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
Mar 21, 2010 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 11, 2011 Karyl rated it really liked it
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
Sep 21, 2010 Sarah rated it did not like it
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.
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.
Brenda Sorrels
Sep 30, 2012 Brenda Sorrels rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 26, 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
Jan 01, 2013 Martha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 25, 2017 Sasha rated it it was amazing
Many, many moons ago I read this novel and absolutely adored it. It is beautiful and charming and life-affirming and heartbreaking. Fifteen years later, I related to it even more than I did the first time around. At fifty-one years old, Myra Lipinski has always lived alone. While she admits that her job as a visiting nurse and caring for her beloved dog, Frank, are fulfilling, she is also quietly unhappy. When a former classmate with terminal cancer becomes her newest patient, Myra’s life change ...more
Dec 10, 2011 Lois rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
If I were Elizabeth Berg when "Me Before You" by JoJo Moyes came out, I would have thought, "Hmmm, this book is very similar to "Never Change" that I wrote way back in 2002. The premises are SO similar. Caretakers who fall in love with men who are determined to take their own lives because their illness/accident has left them knowing things will only get worse. The characters in Never Change are not as attractive or young as the characters in Me Before You, but many of the same anxieties, feelin ...more
Jun 04, 2017 Jeannie rated it liked it
Comforting book, just what I was looking for as in between book.
Mar 02, 2017 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mixed feelings about this one.

My issue was that there is no way on this green earth this situation could have arisen. Professional boundaries are very important and exist for exactly this kind of scenario. Professional codes of conduct provide safety for all involved. This story line crossed so many boundaries Myra would in fact no longer have her license to practice well before Chip arrived on the scene.

It does however highlight the research findings that as many as 65% of health professionals
Ginger Hallett
Feb 09, 2013 Ginger Hallett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

Shari Larsen
Sep 25, 2013 Shari Larsen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
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
Jan 23, 2012 Marcia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Taylor Yardley
Sep 27, 2013 Taylor Yardley rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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
Sabra Kurth
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
Feb 13, 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
Pam R.
Jun 15, 2010 Pam R. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 13, 2013 Carol rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Far-Fetched but Still Fablulous 2 8 Apr 16, 2014 04:02AM  
  • The World Below
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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.” 20 likes
“The seasons tell us, everything in organic life tells us, that there is no holding on; still, we try to do just that. Sometimes, though, we learn the kind of wisdom that celebrates the open hand.” 12 likes
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