Tapestry of Fortunes

Elizabeth Berg's 24th book is indeed a Tapestry of Fortunes--a novel as comforting as one of the heroine's antique quilts that invites readers to weave their own stories into the picture.

Cece Ross is a motivational speaker and author whose best friend dies before Cece fulfills a promise to take her own advice: slow down and enjoy life. Penny was Cece's neighbor, and her death prompts Cece to move out of her large, perfectly appointed home and onto a new stage of life. Two coincidences reinforce this transition: a postcard from a long-ago lover and an invitation to become a fourth renter in a home where she fits in perfectly.

Although her roommates are high achievers, they all need Cece's expert advice--and readers can draw from her frequently dispensed wisdom, too. When Cece decides to drive from Minneapolis to Cleveland to reunite with Dennis ("when you looked into his eyes, the sign was flipped to the Open side"), the other women join her. Each has a logical reason to make the trip, and their easy friendship but unusual differences lead to an unpredictable yet satisfying quest.

A mother rediscovering love in her golden years, a newfound dedication to hospice work and the families and careers of the housemates give depth to Cece's story. Berg's fans and any readers new to her novels (Open House, Talk Before Sleep et al.) will embrace Cece Ross as a new favorite character. --Cheryl Krocker McKeon, bookseller, Book Passage, San Francisco

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