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We Are All Welcome Here: A Novel

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Elizabeth Berg, bestselling author of The Art of Mending and The Year of Pleasures, has a rare talent for revealing her characters' hearts and minds in a manner that makes us empathize completely. Her new novel, We Are All Welcome Here, features three women, each struggling against overwhelming odds for her own kind of freedom.

It is the summer of 1964. In Tupelo, Mississippi, the town of Elvis's birth, tensions are mounting over civil-rights demonstrations occurring ever more frequently — and violently — across the state. But in Paige Dunn's small, ramshackle house, there are more immediate concerns. Challenged by the effects of the polio she contracted during her last month of pregnancy, Paige is nonetheless determined to live as normal a life as possible and to raise her daughter, Diana, in the way she sees fit — with the support of her tough-talking black caregiver, Peacie.

Diana is trying in her own fashion to live a normal life. As a fourteen-year-old, she wants to make money for clothes and magazines, to slough off the authority of her mother and Peacie, to figure out the puzzle that is boys, and to escape the oppressiveness she sees everywhere in her small town. What she can never escape, however, is the way her life is markedly different from others'. Nor can she escape her ongoing responsibility to assist in caring for her mother. Paige Dunn is attractive, charming, intelligent, and lively, but her needs are great — and relentless.

As the summer unfolds, hate and adversity will visit this modest home. Despite the difficulties thrust upon them, each of the women will find her own path to independence, understanding, and peace. And Diana's mother, so mightily compromised, will end up giving her daughter an extraordinary gift few parents could match.

Review:

"Berg's latest novel of ordinary women made extraordinary by a steely nobility covers a lot of territory...and her signature gifts for depicting strong women and writing pointed dialog are as acute as ever." Library Journal

Review:

"Berg has the components of a forceful drama in place, but her tale lacks emotional resonance and offers an ending that defies the rest of the novel's realism. A feathery feel-good story about triumph over adversity — probably another hit for Berg." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Berg isn't content with a heartwarming story about being plucky and disabled. She also throws in racism, a winning lottery ticket, and Elvis Presley...producing, in the end, a little too much melodrama for one book. Still, [her] many fans may feel that there's a lot of bang for the buck here." Booklist

Review:

"As expected, the writing is fluid, often poetic, as Berg gets to the heart of internal emotion and interpersonal dynamics with brilliant acuity and insight." Boston Globe

Review:

"Berg's fans might enjoy the fairy-godmother quality of the resolution, even if it doesn't feel completely organic to the plot. And perhaps in the charming and idealistic world Berg creates, there's room for a little magic." Chicago Tribune

Review:

"Berg finely draws all the characters in this story of acceptance, love, sacrifice and generosity of heart. It's the story of the struggle for freedom and the ties that bind. And, if the end seems like a fairy-tale ending, well that's just fine." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Synopsis:

Three women struggle against overwhelming odds for her own kind of freedom in the summer of 1964 in Tupelo, Mississippi. Despite the difficulties thrust upon them, each will find her own path to independence, understanding, and peace.

Synopsis:

Elizabeth Berg, bestselling author of The Art of Mending and The Year of Pleasures, has a rare talent for revealing her characters’ hearts and minds in a manner that makes us empathize completely. Her new novel, We Are All Welcome Here, features three women, each struggling against overwhelming odds for her own kind of freedom.

It is the summer of 1964. In Tupelo, Mississippi, the town of Elvis’s birth, tensions are mounting over civil-rights demonstrations occurring ever more frequently–and violently–across the state. But in Paige Dunn’s small, ramshackle house, there are more immediate concerns. Challenged by the effects of the polio she contracted during her last month of pregnancy, Paige is nonetheless determined to live as normal a life as possible and to raise her daughter, Diana, in the way she sees fit–with the support of her tough-talking black caregiver, Peacie.

Diana is trying in her own fashion to live a normal life. As a fourteen-year-old, she wants to make money for clothes and magazines, to slough off the authority of her mother and Peacie, to figure out the puzzle that is boys, and to escape the oppressiveness she sees everywhere in her small town. What she can never escape, however, is the way her life is markedly different from others’. Nor can she escape her ongoing responsibility to assist in caring for her mother. Paige Dunn is attractive, charming, intelligent, and lively, but her needs are great–and relentless.

As the summer unfolds, hate and adversity will visit this modest home. Despite the difficulties thrust upon them, each of the women will find her own path to independence, understanding, and peace. And Diana’s mother, so mightily compromised, will end up giving her daughter an extraordinary gift few parents could match.

About the Author

Elizabeth Berg is the New York Times bestselling author of many novels, including The Year of Pleasures, The Art of Mending, Say When, True to Form, Never Change, and Open House, which was an Oprah's Book Club selection in 2000. Durable Goods and Joy School were selected as ALA Best Books of the Year, and Talk Before Sleep was short-listed for the ABBY award in 1996. The winner of the 1997 New England Booksellers Award for her body of work, Berg is also the author of a nonfiction work, Escaping into the Open: The Art of Writing True. She lives in Chicago.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

idahogrl, June 7, 2009 (view all comments by idahogrl)
This is a great Berg novel. Even my mom couldn't put it down, and she never reads novels. An excellent weekend read. Don't pass this one up.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(0 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
Cathy Chapman, September 20, 2006 (view all comments by Cathy Chapman)
Real-life Pat Raming contracted polio when she was 22 and pregnant. She gave birth to her daughter in an iron lung. After spending 3 years in an iron lung, she came home-- in a wheel chair, with the breathing apparatus she now needed to breathe. She hired a caregiver and oversaw the care for daughter Marianne. Marianne wrote to Elizabeth Berg with the story of her mother, and Berg was inspired to write We Are All Welcome Here.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(7 of 12 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400061617
Publisher:
Random House
Subject:
General
Author:
Berg, Elizabeth
Subject:
Girls
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Mothers and daughters
Copyright:
Publication Date:
April 4, 2006
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Pages:
187
Dimensions:
9.54x6.38x.94 in. 1.02 lbs.

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

We Are All Welcome Here: A Novel
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 187 pages Random House - English 9781400061617 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Berg's latest novel of ordinary women made extraordinary by a steely nobility covers a lot of territory...and her signature gifts for depicting strong women and writing pointed dialog are as acute as ever."
"Review" by , "Berg has the components of a forceful drama in place, but her tale lacks emotional resonance and offers an ending that defies the rest of the novel's realism. A feathery feel-good story about triumph over adversity — probably another hit for Berg."
"Review" by , "Berg isn't content with a heartwarming story about being plucky and disabled. She also throws in racism, a winning lottery ticket, and Elvis Presley...producing, in the end, a little too much melodrama for one book. Still, [her] many fans may feel that there's a lot of bang for the buck here."
"Review" by , "As expected, the writing is fluid, often poetic, as Berg gets to the heart of internal emotion and interpersonal dynamics with brilliant acuity and insight."
"Review" by , "Berg's fans might enjoy the fairy-godmother quality of the resolution, even if it doesn't feel completely organic to the plot. And perhaps in the charming and idealistic world Berg creates, there's room for a little magic."
"Review" by , "Berg finely draws all the characters in this story of acceptance, love, sacrifice and generosity of heart. It's the story of the struggle for freedom and the ties that bind. And, if the end seems like a fairy-tale ending, well that's just fine."
"Synopsis" by , Three women struggle against overwhelming odds for her own kind of freedom in the summer of 1964 in Tupelo, Mississippi. Despite the difficulties thrust upon them, each will find her own path to independence, understanding, and peace.
"Synopsis" by , Elizabeth Berg, bestselling author of The Art of Mending and The Year of Pleasures, has a rare talent for revealing her characters’ hearts and minds in a manner that makes us empathize completely. Her new novel, We Are All Welcome Here, features three women, each struggling against overwhelming odds for her own kind of freedom.

It is the summer of 1964. In Tupelo, Mississippi, the town of Elvis’s birth, tensions are mounting over civil-rights demonstrations occurring ever more frequently–and violently–across the state. But in Paige Dunn’s small, ramshackle house, there are more immediate concerns. Challenged by the effects of the polio she contracted during her last month of pregnancy, Paige is nonetheless determined to live as normal a life as possible and to raise her daughter, Diana, in the way she sees fit–with the support of her tough-talking black caregiver, Peacie.

Diana is trying in her own fashion to live a normal life. As a fourteen-year-old, she wants to make money for clothes and magazines, to slough off the authority of her mother and Peacie, to figure out the puzzle that is boys, and to escape the oppressiveness she sees everywhere in her small town. What she can never escape, however, is the way her life is markedly different from others’. Nor can she escape her ongoing responsibility to assist in caring for her mother. Paige Dunn is attractive, charming, intelligent, and lively, but her needs are great–and relentless.

As the summer unfolds, hate and adversity will visit this modest home. Despite the difficulties thrust upon them, each of the women will find her own path to independence, understanding, and peace. And Diana’s mother, so mightily compromised, will end up giving her daughter an extraordinary gift few parents could match.

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