Synopses & Reviews
Ellen, he thought, and the name seemed to him to hold everything he might possibly want to say to her....He looked at her lying on her side of the bed, looked too at the space she had left beside her. That was his side, because he was her husband. And she was his wife."
Griffin is a happy man. Settled comfortably in a Chicago suburb, he adores his eight-year-old daughter, Zoe, and his wife, Ellen -- shy, bookish Ellen, who is as dependable as she is dependent on him for his stability and his talent for gently controlling the world they inhabit. But when he wakes one morning to hear of his wife's love affair with another man and her request for a divorce, Griffin's view of life is irrevocably altered. Overnight he goes from being Ellen's husband to being her roommate, from a lover to a man denied passion and companionship. Now he must either move on or fight for his marriage, forgive his wife or condemn her for her betrayal, deny or face up to his part in the sudden undoing of his seemingly perfect life.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Open House and True to Form comes a brilliant novel that charts the days and nights of a family whose normalcy has been shattered. With startling clarity and a trademark blend of humor and poignancy, Say When follows a man on an emotional journey to redefine his notions about love and happiness and asks questions relevant to any contemporary couple: when is a relationship worth saving and when is it better to let it go? Might a man and a woman define betrayal differently? How honest are we with those to whom we are ostensibly closest?
Searingly honest, Say When is an engaging and memorable story that takes readers into the heart of a modern marriage, where intimacy and love, denial and pain, so often collide.
"Savvy, wry, and sharply observant...Berg's graceful and deceptively simple prose is laced with clear-eyed insights...deft and inspiring." The Denver Post
"Maybe Freud didn't know the answer to what women want, but Elizabeth Berg certainly does." USA Today
"Berg knows her characters intimately...she gets under their skin and leaves the reader with an indelible impression of lives challenged and changed." The Seattle Times
"Berg keeps her story light and funny, shading in the particulars of their relationship with just the right kind of domestic detail. Her insights into the way marriage can sometimes make its partners feel safe and sometimes imprisoned are all the more effective for her deft touch." Booklist
"The story, for all its nuances, hinges on just two questions: Will Ellen's relationship with Peter last? Can Frank's cunning use of passive aggression and belittling jabs lure Ellen home again?...Contrived and sentimental, though Berg writes neatly packed and fluid prose." Kirkus Reviews
How difficult is it to live in truth when you live with another? When is a relationship worth saving, and when is it better to let it go? In her previous novels, Elizabeth Berg has demonstrated a rare talent for laying bare the lives of ordinary people and everyday events with startling clarity, focus, and raw emotion. In Say When, she again negotiates perfectly the fine balance between humor and poignancy as she charts the days and nights of a family whose normalcy has been shattered. Told from the point of view of a man who goes overnight from being a husband to his wife's roommate, this an is absorbing story of working through denial and pain toward personal responsibility and redemption.
From the "New York Times" bestselling author of "True to Form" and "Open House, " a searingly honest novel of a man blind-sided by sudden revelations of the wife he thought he knew.
About the Author
Elizabeth Berg is the author of ten national bestselling novels, including the New York Times bestsellers 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 American Library Association 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, she is also the author of a nonfiction work, Escaping Into the Open: The Art of Writing True. She lives in Chicago.