Sunday, 15 July 2018

The Last Time I Saw You

Finished July 10
The Last Time I Saw You by Elizabeth Berg

This story follows several people as the prepare for their fourtieth high school reunion. Each has their own reasons for going, and their own expectations of what the night will bring.
Dorothy Shauman is recently divorced, and hopes to finally get her chance with Pete Decker, the high school quarterback. Dorothy was popular in school, but didn't have a ton of friends. The girlfriends from back then are still in touch with her, and will also be attending the reunion. There is much gossip among them about who is going to be there and what each person's marital status is.
Mary Alice Mayhew was bullied in school, but rose above it, trying not to let it affect her. She is recently retired from her job as a researcher, and living in the house that used to belong to her parents. She has made a friendship with the older neighbour next door, Einer, who watched her grow up, was aware of the bullying and insists on going as her escort, in case anyone "tries anything".
Pete Decker has recently separated from his long-suffering wife, and is beginning to realize just what he has lost. He plans to go to the reunion to try to reconnect with his wife, who was his high school sweetheart.
Candy Sullivan was one of the prettiest girls in school, but she didn't date much among the boys in her class. She's been married for years, and lives a life in luxury, but never feels that it fits her that well. When she has a health scare, she insists on going to the reunion alone, taking the time to think about her next steps.
Lester Hessenpfeffer was a smart but nerdy kid, and he goes to the reunion mostly because of the nagging of his office manager who wants to see him move on with his life. He was widowed years ago, and hasn't been interested in relationships since then, except with a mentoring grandfatherly relationship with the girl who lives next door. They share an interest in animals and science. He doesn't have a lot of expectations for the reunion, but has a thought for Candy, wondering what she is like now.
This is a book of memories, regrets, hope, and renewal. Most of them don't get the outcome they expected from the reunion, but they all get something, something that brings a change to their lives.

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