Az’s CBR-III Review #7: The last time I saw you by Elizabeth Berg
I’ve always had this fascination of how different events are remembered differently by the participants in said events or even by the same person at different times in that person’s life. How an event that is insignificant for one of its participants is life-altering for another. The Last Time I Saw You by Elizabeth Berg is a prime example of this phenomenon. The book addresses the events preceding and leading up to the 40th high school class reunion in Clear Springs. This makes it interesting because high school experiences are literally over half a life away and yet they continue to shape and define the characters in this novel. What’s especially wonderful about this book is that it does deal with the time-honored cliches: the jock whose life didn’t turn out like he expected, the nerd done good, the unpopular girl leading a happy life, the high school sweethearts who have remained together and are happy, the prettiest girl who didn’t get everything she wanted, the trio of mean girls who haven’t changed a bit… however, the genius of Elizabeth Berg is that she tweaks the cliches in unexpected ways. Also, Berg nails the anxiety and insecurity that arises when having to face any group of people you haven’t seen in a while, especially when there is something to prove. This book is by turns hilarious, poignant and thought-provoking and a great, entertaining read. I read it in no time at all and was very sad to have it end. I then promptly re-read it and liked it even more. And that is always a wonderful thing.