Cindy's Reviews > What We Keep

What We Keep by Elizabeth Berg
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's review
Jan 25, 2011

it was amazing

Mommy's Day Out Book discussion for March 2011. Good reviews from all participants! Elizabeth Berg wins us all.


Her dedication says "To women who risk telling the hard truths"

Favorite quotes:

"Whenever I see a sight like these clouds, I think maybe everyone is wrong; maybe you can walk on air. Maybe we should just try. Everything could have changed without our noticing. Laws of physics, I mean. Why not? I want it to be true that such miracles occur" (3).

"It can hurt you, remembering - the shock of reentry, the mild disorientation, the inevitable sadness that accompanies a true vision of the past" (11).

"And we longed for the extraordinary. People rooted in security often do" (13).

"I loved all aspects of science, in fact - everything I read having to do with that most elegant of subjects thrilled me, though usually I did not understand what I read. I t was an oddity about me that the subject I had the most difficulty with was the one I loved most" (14).

"It was the kind of beauty Jasmine Johnson had, though her beauty had a dark, pulling side that could make you uncomfortable, that could make you feel you were falling helplessly toward someplace you weren't at all sure you wanted to go" (42).

"I love listening to conversations between children" (51).

"My mother could do that, render a strong feeling with a few strokes of a Number 2 pencil. It was a gift that always surprised people, it made us proud.
On the negative side, you often had the feeling that something dark and uneasy was going on with my mother; but she would not acknowledge it, nor allow anyone else to" (53).

"Rather it occurs to me that I did not pursue any profession having to do with psychology because if I understood more about how people work, how they are, I might understand my mother. And I did not want to understand my mother. If I understood her, I might have to forgive her. And at some critical time I became very much invested in not forgiving her - we all did" (56).

"In some ways, I could hardly stand being with him, it was too new and too much. But I also wanted to be nowhere else. I felt thirsty and thirsty; I felt hungry and hungry.." (132).

"It's funny how, oftentimes, the people you love the most are given the least margin for error: Funny too, the places where the anger ends up surfacing" (242).

"She still seems so familiar, even though she's so different," I say. I shouldn't be surprised. But I am anyway. I guess I just didn't know what to expect."
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Reading Progress

January 25, 2011 – Shelved
March 3, 2011 –
page 158
Started Reading
March 11, 2011 – Finished Reading

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