Jackie's Reviews > Durable Goods

Durable Goods by Elizabeth Berg
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's review
Jun 15, 2009

really liked it

This author has a real talent for rendering the small details of girlhood. The first in a series of novels focusing on the same character (the others are Joy School and True to Form), Durable Goods introduces Katie, an army brat growing up in TX. Her mother has recently passed away, her father is cold and occasionally abusive, and her sister is itching to get out of town and away from their dad.
Yet, for me, the heart of the book is not the family drama, but the spot-on descriptions of the mundane activities and friendship highs and lows that make up one hot, lazy summer in a young girl's life. Katie and her best friend Cherylanne (a fantastic character who is brought back in the other books) go to the pool, ride bikes, hang out, fight, and make up. Meanwhile, Katie misses her mother and worries about her Dad and sister. Doesn't sound like much to build a book on, but oh, it is.
This book brought back my childhood more than any other book has, reminding me of some of the unwritten rules of friendship (one can hang out with an older neighborhood friend in the hood, but certainly not at school or on the bus), the activities that filled those long hours of sunshine (practicing back dives), and the way a young girl thinks, hopes, and dreams. Katie is exceptionally well-drawn--she feels like an old friend.
I highly recommend this book.
PS After reading these three titles, I went on an Elizabeth Berg tear, reading several other works by her . Some were ok, some were really pretty bad. These three are the ones to read.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
May 1, 2009 – Finished Reading
June 15, 2009 – Shelved

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Linda I agree completely with your review. There were lots of times when I could see myself in Katie at that age.

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

It brings back my childhood also. I grew up mostly on Air Force Bases and many in Texas.

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