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True to Form (Katie Nash #3)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  4,641 Ratings  ·  321 Reviews
In this warm and engaging novel, "New York Times" bestselling author Elizabeth Berg revisits the heroine she so lovingly brought to life in "Durable Goods" and "Joy School." It is 1961, and thirteen-year-old Katie is facing a summer full of conflict. First, instead of letting her find her own work for the season, Katie's father has arranged for two less-than-ideal baby-sit ...more
Hardcover, 214 pages
Published June 4th 2002 by Atria Books (first published 2002)
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
If you're looking for something a little fluffy but well written, not shallow or sappy, I recommend True to Form. The book was written and marketed for adults, but I wish I could have read it when I was thirteen or fourteen. Maybe it would have helped me understand that all girls make similar mistakes and have similar "aha" moments at that age. Maybe I wouldn't have felt so alone in my dilemmas and awkwardness.

What made this book work for me was that I really liked Katie Nash. She's a very prec
May 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I gave this a very rare five-stars. This book encompasses one of the sweetest stories I have read in my life. It is an extremely small book (a little over 200 pages) and I savored every page. It is written like poetry and the author really knows what it is like to be that little girl on the verge of becoming a woman. It details what is like to want to "fit" in - in such a way that all of us with those inner little girls, can forgive ourselves for the manners in which we behave. I found myself in ...more
Virginia Messina
Elizabeth Berg is a beautiful writer--I've loved all of her books so far--and Katie Nash is probably the best pre-teen character in literature since Francie Nolan. Through Katie, Berg pulled me right back into the world of a 13-year-old. It doesn't matter that my childhood was different from Katie's in some important ways (she has lost her mother for one thing, and I also grew up a few years later), everything in this book felt familiar to me. The language is so lovely that I kind of wanted to s ...more
Khadija Masood
Jan 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book left me feeling warm and fuzzy all over. What a joy to read! I wish I had read it when I was a teenager. Berg expounds the complex universal truths in a refreshingly simple and unaffected manner. Loved her no-nonsense writing style. Don't be deceived by the simple prose though - this book is brimming with profound insights and lessons.
My first-ever audio book.

My first notes from before I finished: I have to write this down before I forget (the downside of a tape vs. a book you can flip through!) -- I thought it was such a lovely way for Katie to describe her stepmother: . . . the calm, pleasant look in her eyes a welcome mat for my feelings.

I'm through tapes 1 and 2 and have started 3. I would be further along, but my mom called me about halfway between here and Colorado Springs this morning, and I talked to her for probably
Dec 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED this book. I have fallen in love with this author, but this has been my favorite read of hers. She effectively captured the 13 year old narrator voice and connected with me. It made me laugh out loud and it made me cry. I didn't want to put it down and couldn't wait to pick it back up.

What more could you ask for in a book?
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe even a 4.5

I had forgotten how much I enjoyed this author’s gift for the poetic. There were a few times the Katie is reflecting on life that it’s hard to imagine a 14 year old would be so “evolved” but it was just so darn enjoyable to read.

“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. (Pg. 18)”. See what I mean?
Elizabeth Roberts-Zibbel
Apr 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: floof
Well. It’s been awhile since I’ve read Elizabeth Berg, and I do like her writing style, but this book really could be shelved in Children’s. Not even Teen, I would say. Katie is 13 and while many novels with child protagonists are decidedly still adult, in this one Katie has typical middle school type problems the summer before she starts high school (over a year early). Who are your real friends? What makes a good relationship between teen girls? or a good young / middle aged / elderly romantic ...more
Sep 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I stumbled upon a reference to this book "The third in the series," and I immediately put it on reserve at the Library. I loved the first two about Katie (Durable Goods and Joy School), finding Berg's depiction of a young girl's maturation delicate and thoughtful, and loving the fact that she created a world where an old priest could be a strong, kind friend, and where a girl's crush on a 20 something mechanic could turn into a warm, loving lesson.

True to Form is another winner, and I loved it.
Jonna Rubin
Apr 26, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"True to Form" beautifully illustrates the small challenges and trials of growing up in one of the most realistically stunning novels I've read in a long time.

In this coming of age novel, we are reunited with young Katie Nash, of Berg's previous novels, who is facing some difficult choices appropriate for a young girl at the age of thirteen. While, as many have noted, we're not exactly breaking new ground here, Berg writes beautifully and with such authenticity that it's nearly impossible not to
Dec 28, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Have I mentioned that I love Elizabeth Berg?

I don't know why I never get excited about her books like I do when I grab some of my other favorite authors - because her writing is so completely alive it's fantastic.

This book in particular is about a 13 year-old-girl who is trying to find her way in life - and her thoughts, the stream-of-consciousness type of writing is so detailed, believable, and just a true pleasure to read. I would find myself smiling while reading the book, remembering the s
Nov 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
True to Form was of my all time favorites. This book was written so wonderfully that I could have pulled a favorite quote from almost every page. This isn't the type of story that you read just to see what happens. It was like experiencing the world through the eyes of Katie Nash. The reader just lived in the moment right along with her. Throughout the book, Katie is noticing the actions and emotions of the adults in her life as she, herself, is growing into a young woman. Her ob ...more
Mar 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, 2016
What a sweet little book. A little cloying, but only at the very end. A good random read. It kept my attention. There were no surprises, but I wasn't expecting any. A nice rainy day easy read between thinky nonfiction. The audiobook performer was good. Berg is a pleasant palate cleanser. And no, I hadn't read the other two in this character's series. I just picked this one off the shelf at the library because I needed an audiobook and I vaguely remembered reading another innocuous book of the au ...more
Denise Westlake
Jul 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Every single thing can have such a pure beauty that it aches to be known. " -104
In some couples, each puts the other first." - 111
" sometimes I get this feeling of a wink coming down from heaven to me" -116

This is a great book.. the third in a series, but you really wouldn't NEED to read the others to enjoy.. especially if you used to be a young girl who TRIED to sleep through the night with rollers in your hair ... and who thought your dad was strick... and cared about what the cool kids thoug
Nov 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm highly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. It's the only book by Elizabeth Berg that I've read, and I only picked it up because a neighbor pushed it on me at her garage sale. It's short (214 pages) and was the perfect take-it-on-vacation book. I love that she gets into the head of a 13-year-old, but you don't feel like you're reading YA lit. Berg clearly loves the written word, and her descriptions are marvelously poetic (but not in a "roll your eyes" kind of way). Why are people read ...more
Nov 30, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2008
This is a sweet book. It is about a 13 1/2 year old girl's Summer holidays, and her hopes, dreams, longings, friendships, disappointments etc. Berg's fluid writing is so effortless to read that the book just flows by. I read this novel in one day - half on the ferry to Guernsey and half on the way back.

I can't say that I thought much about it whilst in Guernsey though, nor that thoughts have popped up in my head about the book since reading it.
Annie Payne
May 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was beautiful and touched me deeply. The way Katie describes our mothers as a luxury that we take for granted until they are gone has changed me and my outlook on life. My mom is by far no spring chicken, but she still has plenty of life ahead of her. I want it to be as happy as humanly possible, and that is my newest and biggest goal in life! I hope that there will be more from the Katie Nash story in the future. I have so very much enjoyed reading her story!
Tara Lynn
Jul 22, 2014 rated it liked it
This lacked the power of the first two in the series, and I was disappointed that the third book took off in the same time period as the second. I was expecting the third to be a flash forward and a wrap-up of Katie as a young adult. Still, well-written and loved the scenes with an elderly couple. And I do love the character and wish we could see her as an adult. But Durable Goods is the best of the three.
Aug 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has the most beautiful language in it! The use of description creates word pictures that are memorable. I could have used this one for teaching writing in school, however, the content is actually written for adults. The main character is a teen, but my friends and I agreed that is an adult book.
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was a teen in the sixties and this book brings back so many memories. In many ways, it described me and my friends. My best friend and I could have been the characters in this book right down to the QT! I hadn't thought about that in years. Orange streaked legs and the huge disappointment that we'd wasted our hard earned babysitting money. Great quick read!
Kim Villarreal
These three books have meant so much to me. I think Katie is the girl I have always wanted to be but never quite had the nerve. Reading these books made me want to go back and get it right, just to see where my life would have taken me.
Arlene Allen
Not as good as the first two Katie novels, and while I understand the emphasis is on characters and their growth and development, there is no sense of time (1961) or place (Texas). A sweet read, a good choice for reluctant teen girl readers.
Jan 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Engaging, endearing voice of teenager whose suffered the loss of her mother (cancer), endures a seemingly, to her, distant dad, and a meaningful relationship with a step mom who LISTENS & HEARS...
Katie's beautiful imagery creates a meaningful and insightful coming of age novel. Warms the heart ...
Hannah Garden
Aug 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nothing is better than Elizabeth Berg when the heart is wounded by fear-of-people and PMS.
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finished the other two books in the series. "Durable Goods" was a good read, so was "True to Form".
A couple of things though...I kind of wished Berg would've advanced Katie's age over the arc of the three books. She seemed permanently stuck between 12 and 13.

The other thing I noticed was a continuity error. In "Joy School" Katie has already moved to Missouri and her friend from Texas, Cherylanne, comes to visit her for a weekend. Cherylanne doesn't like Katie's other friend, the "bad girl" Taylo
A 'nice' book and beautifully written. I'll be going back to find some of my favorite phrases, which are many. Katie Nash, a girl in her early teens, wants to be a poet; there are some lovely ideas and images she shares with the reader, which I enjoyed, throughout the book. It is summer, and Katie's dad has arranged two neighborhood jobs: babysitting 3 neighbor boys and helpful an elderly man care for his ill wife. Katie comes to appreciate these new people in her life. She also wins tickets to ...more
Cathryn Conroy
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Written with wisdom and wit, this book by Elizabeth Berg—the third in a series—is a coming of age story to which any woman who came of age in the '60s will thoroughly enjoy, if not actually treasure.

It's the summer of 1961 and Katie Nash is 13, bridging that confusing time between childhood and adolescence. But Katie does something so terrible and upsetting that she can barely forgive herself, and the act may very well bring her remorse her entire life. How she tries to make amends is both ende
Elizabeth Schlatter
This is a very sweet novella from the viewpoint of a 13 year old girl, growing up in early 1960s Missouri. Nothing much happens in the big scheme of things, but what's lovely about Berg's writing is that she so fully captures the mindset of a young adolescent. Things that to a grownup would be considered minor become extremely important through the lens of youth, especially one who is trying to figure out her roles as a friend, as a daughter of a strict father and kind stepmother, as a daughter ...more
I always enjoy a book by Elizabeth Berg. This one was no exception. It's the story of a 13 year old girl in 1961 who is trying to figure out who she is and what she wants to stand for. She is pushed into taking a summer job caring for an elderly couple a few days a week and babysitting 3 rambunctious boys on other days each week. She learns plenty about long lasting love and care. She discovers she has a lot of good ideas and she contemplates life as she knows it every day of the summer. She als ...more
Pat Giese
A sweet story of teenage angst over wanting to be liked, part of the popular crowd and especially NOT being labeled "a loser". This youngster learns a great deal from the elderly couple who she helps during the summer, up until one of them surprisingly passes away....she was unprepared for that possibility. She learns the meaning of friendship despite disliking the sometimes lame girl scout activities her friends mother comes up with. Who else wanted to know more about her relationship with her ...more
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #57 True to Form 1 2 Sep 03, 2015 06:42AM  
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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
More about Elizabeth Berg

Other books in the series

Katie Nash (3 books)
  • Durable Goods (Katie Nash, #1)
  • Joy School (Katie Nash, #2)

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“Anything we have, we are only borrowing. Anything. Any time.” 42 likes
“I think, actually, that none of us understands anyone else very well, because we're all too shy to show what matters the most. If you ask me, it's a major design flaw. We ought to be able to say, Here, look what I am. I think it would be quite a relief.” 12 likes
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