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The Pull of the Moon
by Elizabeth Berg | Literature & Fiction
Registered by hotflash of Tucson, Arizona USA on 1/20/2006
Average 9 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by jessibud): reserved

8 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by hotflash from Tucson, Arizona USA on Friday, January 20, 2006

This book has not been rated.

A friend passed this book on to me almost two years ago; I promptly loaned it to my mother and just retrieved it today. I really enjoy reading Elizabeth Berg's work, so I am looking forward to this one. Will journal after I have read it, and will then make it available to another BXer. 

Journal Entry 2 by hotflash from Tucson, Arizona USA on Sunday, January 22, 2006

This book has not been rated.

I so enjoy this author's work. In this particular book, she is speaking from her heart right to the heart and soul of another woman - me. I think that every 50-something woman, who too often finds herself feeling more than just a little crazy, will relate to Nan as she navigates her way through her own mid-life madness and mourns the loss of youth. Her words, as she sorts out her feelings, give validity and form to the foggy bits and pieces meandering through my own mind. Nan is a soulmate to whom I can totally relate.

As a woman, I have always felt a connection to the tides, the phases of the moon, the rhythm of the earth, expressed so well in this statement on page 88: ...the pull of the moon will be shared by you and the ocean and the minds of wild things. Loved this one also: ...the working minds and hearts of women are just so interesting, so full of color and life... And no matter the stage of life, we can take pride in being female and stand up and celebrate with Nan as she comes to the conclusion that we should "take off our collective girdles and throw them to the wind".

A great read !! Want to buy a copy for all my 50-something, fabulous, girlfriends.

(Picture taken Jan. 2006, the night of the full moon as it becomes visible between the branches of my neighbor's lemon tree) 

Journal Entry 3 by hotflash from Tucson, Arizona USA on Monday, January 30, 2006

This book has not been rated.

And so its travels begin. Pull of the Moon is off to Toronto, Canada, to jessibud, a great Elizabeth Berg fan. This is a good one. Enjoy!

Picture taken March 13, 2006. Full Moon as seen from my patio 

Journal Entry 4 by wingjessibudwing from Toronto, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, February 14, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Wow, what a nice surprise to come home! I am feeling a bit crummy today, actually, and although I am currently in the middle of 2 books, this one looks so appealing and so *necessary*, that you might just have provided me with yet another distraction from writing my reports for school. Baaad Hotflash!!!

Thank you so much, dear friend. I have a feeling that this book will speak to me on many levels. Just from the blurb on the back cover, I can hear it calling:

"Sometimes you have to leave your life behind for awhile to see it and really live it freshly again. In this luminous novel, a woman follows the pull of the moon to find her way home..." 

Journal Entry 5 by wingjessibudwing from Toronto, Ontario Canada on Saturday, March 25, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Well, yes. This gem certainly did speak to me, on many levels. While I don't share many aspects of Nan's life circumstances, I do share the main ones: I am fifty-something and I am a woman. I am introspective, and I am also at that point in my life where I am looking back, looking ahead and looking at what I have, what I've lost and what's left. And Nan is right, it is all a matter of perspective, attitude.

I love this passage:

" I know my own luck. I know how rare it is for a person to be able to do this. And I know more and more what I'm doing it for. I feel a kind of strength starting to happen that is wholly legitimate, that is not some trapping I wear until it falls off. It is as though the thing has roots, and seeks the sun with its face turned toward it. And I know I never would have found it without leaving......I am so much farther away than I thought I'd go."

And here is her take on aging:

"But why not get old, when what it means is more time with all that is here? Why not relish retirement when it means an alarm clock does not wake you anymore? You can take in the morning light as an offering, lie still for a while with a square patch of sun lying across your chest. The day is blank and up to you. You can twist yourself in your sheets for the pleasure of the pull, knowing it will not make you late for anything....
I have been waiting to be without anxiety before I start home. But I think I am waiting for something that will never come. I mean that all relationships are fraught with anxiety, even those we have with ourselves. We live on a planet that never stops turning and we are witness to the theater of the seasons. How can we expect a relationship to not change? And change makes us anxious, it just does -- given the opportunity, we will nearly all of us sit in the same chair, every time. It is a tender thing, the way we always seek reassurance, the way we are never too old to reach for the outstretched hand."

Berg has a way of using language to illuminate ideas and thought and, more amazingly, emotions, that makes your mouth drop open in astonishment, sometimes.

Thank you so much, hotflash, for this book. It came at exactly the time I needed it. I will pass it along as soon as I decide who the next lucky person will be...


Journal Entry 6 by wingjessibudwing from Toronto, Ontario Canada on Thursday, March 30, 2006

This book has not been rated.

I loved this book so much, that I couldn't decide who to send it to next, who would appreciate the fine writing and the story Berg weaves. I didn't want to take a chance on wild-releasing; it is just *too good* a book for that, book snob that I am!

So here is my solution: I have chosen some bookcrossing friends who I know in my heart will love this and it will be on its way out the door on a little bookring tour when Bookgirrl and I meet for brunch this weekend!

Enjoy, everyone! (and thanks again, hotflash!)

1- bookgirrl - Toronto
2- silentmiaouw - Switzerland
3- islandmomma - Spain
4- zizzr - Texas
5- Antof9 - Colorado
6- Purple-lilly - Australia

UPDATE: as of November /07, this bookring is officially back in business. Thanks to the generosity of pinklady60, a new copy is on its way to Australia. Click here to go to pinklady60's copy and further journal notes! Thanks so much, pinklady60!

7- Lakelady2282 - Australia
8- sujie - Australia
9- Thursday5 - Ohio, USA
10- Sherria - Connecticut, USA -currently here


Journal Entry 7 by wingBookgirrlwing from Acton, Ontario Canada on Monday, April 17, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Looking forward to finding out what happens at the end of this book! About half way through. Some very true things in here and sometimes I laugh out loud. I know a girl who took off and drove across America by herself in her twenties - eating in truckstops, meeting all kinds of people, etc. I thought she was crazy at the time, but it makes more and more sense to me as I get older! 

Journal Entry 8 by wingBookgirrlwing from Acton, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, April 25, 2006

9 out of 10

A great book for women - mid-life and beyond. So much to relate to - even tho I find myself single at age 50 (divorced) while Nan is married, and I work full time while Nan has been a stay-at-home Mom. Altho Nan has had enough of drab home life and needs to do some serious reflecting on life and love - (and takes QUITE a drastic turn to accomplish this!!) she is so respectful and loving in her notes home. I found the character of Nan so likeable. She was firm, very honest. Kind, but never mushy. Heart-rending parts (especially the old woman and the poems) were written so well - direct, simple, never over the top. 

Journal Entry 9 by wingBookgirrlwing from Acton, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, April 25, 2006

9 out of 10

Sending to silentmiaouw as soon as I get her mailing address...... 

Journal Entry 10 by wingover-the-moonwing from Lausanne, Vaud Switzerland on Tuesday, May 23, 2006

This book has not been rated.

received this today, many thanks bookgrrl (and jessibud); I shall read it right away as my other current book is so stodgy I'm looking for a good excuse to give up on it. And thanks for the magazines, I will enjoy looking through them. 

Journal Entry 11 by wingover-the-moonwing from Lausanne, Vaud Switzerland on Sunday, May 28, 2006

9 out of 10

The book travelled with me to France this weekend and I finished it this afternoon - I can echo Nan's feelings at reaching 50 though now it seems far behind me and something that wasn't really that bad. I didn't feel the same pangs as Nan when my two lads left home; at the time my biggest problem was having to recalculate shopping quantities and getting it right. Maybe having always been a working mother makes a difference. The one thing I was missing in this book was Nan's husband's reactions - at the end I was wondering if he would do everything as she asked or if he had gone off and done his own thing. She seemed to take it for granted he would be sitting at home waiting for her to come back and I had a nagging doubt... It was a very reassuring read in many ways - I shall certainly have a different attitude next time I pluck up the courage to go to the hairdressers! I kept thinking, good for you, Nan.
Now I'm wondering if there's a similar novel that would help me over the next obstacle of turning 60!
Ready to send on to islandmomma. 

Journal Entry 12 by wingover-the-moonwing from Lausanne, Vaud Switzerland on Wednesday, May 31, 2006

This book has not been rated.

it's now winging its way to islandmomma 

Journal Entry 13 by islandmomma from El Médano, Santa Cruz de Tenerife Spain on Wednesday, June 14, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Arrived safely in the post today, thanks silentmiaouw. I was feeling at a bit of a loose end for one reason and another, so perhaps the arrival was timely! Looking forward to this after so many recommendations! Happily I just finished my current book last time too, so I should be able to pass it on speedily. 

Journal Entry 14 by islandmomma from El Médano, Santa Cruz de Tenerife Spain on Tuesday, June 20, 2006

This book has not been rated.

For once I didn't mind being ill, because it meant I could just sit and enjoy this book in two sittings. I can see why people here have been praising Elizabeth Berg so highly, and I definitely identified with Nan! By one of those strange co-incidences life throws us from time to time I had been feeling pretty much the same way as Nan recently. I have to say that 50 did not hit me that hard, and that my circumstances are quite different, but approaching 60 I am feeling this sense of loss of youth quite hard, so it was great to realize that I am not alone in this!

I do agree about wondering about her husband, though. For me that made the story incomplete.

I also adored the scene at the hairdressers! I would love to say more, but not to spoil! But that has to be THE great, unifying scene with which all women can identify!

Thanks to jessibud for including me in this. Much appreciated. It will be off to Texas as soon as I hear from zizzr 

Journal Entry 15 by islandmomma from El Médano, Santa Cruz de Tenerife Spain on Tuesday, October 31, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Finally, this is on it's way, and I can only apologize profusely for the delay. True, it was a while before I heard from zizzr, and then she said she would be away for most of August, but then I mislaid it in the unpacking (I took a lot of care to know just where it was when I actually moved, but it was put "somewhere safe" when I knew I wasn't going to be posting it off for a few weeks), but that's all excuses really. I'm just sorry I held it up and relieved to be able to say it was posted today. I hope all the readers to follow will enjoy and identify with this! 

Journal Entry 16 by zizzr from Flint, Texas USA on Friday, November 17, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Received a day or two ago, but was so busy with family visiting and house renovations, it took me until today to get to the site to catch up. This will be read next as bookrings come first with me! Will enjoy between painting and finishing projects.

Journal Entry 17 by zizzr from Flint, Texas USA on Saturday, November 25, 2006

10 out of 10

I think the 'delay' in this book's arrival could not have been more perfect! It arrived as I was celebrating my 50th birthday with family helping us do some pre-selling repairs to our 'starter' home we have lived in for 27 years. I think my new life is about to start with the new decade I face.
I am excited to be going through this journey and reading of Nan's adventure to begin her second half of her life, and coming to terms with the loss of youth, and ideals that must be parted with to go forward bravely, and with new direction is one that will stay with me for some time.

I would have liked to know her husbands take on all of this too, but I suppose that is another book. After all, it was ALL about her, wasn't it?

Great book, quick read, but will stay with me!

Thanks to jessibud for including me in this ring. I have PM's auntof9 for her address.



Journal Entry 18 by zizzr at in the mail in Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Monday, November 27, 2006

This book has not been rated.

Released 11 yrs ago (11/27/2006 UTC) at in the mail in Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases



in today's mail to Antof9...Enjoy!

Journal Entry 19 by wingAntof9wing from Lakewood, Colorado USA on Monday, December 18, 2006

This book has not been rated.

OH dear! It's here! oh zizzr, I am so sorry I didn't journal this! Am I the only person who stacks things up when they have company coming and then can't find them later? yikes! I knew I had a bookring that needed journalling, and I couldn't find it. I couldn't even remember what it was! Now I know why -- this doesn't look like a typical Elizabeth Berg cover, and for the life of me, I couldn't picture it!

LOL -- it was on the dining room table, with a bunch of mail ...

Anyway, I'll read it in the next month (probably won't be taking it on holiday with me, as I can't release it there!) and get it on its way. How fun to have a Berg from two people I like so much -- the woman who introduced her to me (jessibud), and the lovely hotflash! 

Journal Entry 20 by wingAntof9wing from Lakewood, Colorado USA on Tuesday, January 30, 2007

This book has not been rated.

This was a fascinating book! It definitely had a lot of melancholy, but I wasn't filled with despair or depression while reading it. I just wrote on another thing I read recently that lately I require "hope" in my reading. This is the oldest character Berg has written yet that I've read, and although she didn't disappoint, I find myself prefering her younger characters.

I have to agree with IslandMomma about the beauty shop scene. I know I would have stood up and shouted, "Brava!" had I been there :)

I've had this entry open all day, thinking I'd finish writing it, and now I must go to sleep :) I'll finish it tomorrow or the next day.

Update: March 5 -- So much for tomorrow ...

In my defense, I was looking for something from Purple-lilly's wish list. I figured if I'm sending a package *that* far, it should be more than just one little tiny book! Alas, I couldn't find anything on my shelves or my favorite Goodwill on her list. And then I got behind on journalling! Anyway, I'll try to finish this today and at least get it in an envelope, even if I don't get to the post office today, too :)

So -- I have several pages marked here, and I should just get to it.

One of the things I like so much about Elizabeth Berg is that she writes things that have actually happened to me. Not the entire story and plot, per se, but the way she describes things is just spot-on. For example, "I pulled over and I wept so hard the car was shaking ..." I myself have done this very thing. And oddly, one of the things I noticed after crying for a while was that the car was shaking. This is real, and only those people who have done this would know it. And then further down the same page, such a poetic piece of writing. She's describing something upsetting: "and the feeling would have been of all my eggs being walked on by boots." Brilliant!

I found this part rather thought-provoking. Enough to mark the page, anyway: in describing how they have come into affluence, she describes buying new cars before the new-car smell has gone from the old one. New furniture, fashions, etc. "... for what? So that we can sit out on our (new) deck in the summer and drink vodka and tonics out of vodka-and-tonic glasses with limes that have been cut with the (new) lime cutter? It's always bothered me, what we lost when we stopped being able to fit our things into the trunk of our car. ... [Martin] says it's a luxury of being rich to wish you were poor. I don't want to be poor. I just want to be appreciative." (emphasis mine)

Again, I just love Berg's comments: "She wore a sweatshirt and jeans and lovely pearl studs in her ears -- dressing up a bit of herself so she wouldn't forget how, no doubt. You will see this in mothers of small children: they dress up from the neck up. Everything else is in danger of peanut butter." Isn't that awesome? It's almost a slogan.

I turned 40 this year, so it's interesting to think about things like menopause, getting older, becoming part of the scenery, how menopause was for my mother (I made her life miserable), etc. This was a good book to read at this time in my life, and it made me rather introspective. It's possibly the deepest Berg I've read yet, too.

Thanks jessibud and hotflash, and I'll get this in the mail shortly!

OOH! I've just this minute thought of something distinctly American to tuck in the envelope and keep this book company :) 

Journal Entry 21 by Purple-lilly from Heathfield, South Australia Australia on Sunday, March 18, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Arrived today and I am really looking forward to reading this after reading everyone else's comments. What a well travelled and well loved book, there is something very precious about reading something that has passed through such hands!
Thankyou so much for the "distinctly American " sharpies! Very handy thankyou Antof9- I dont think I have even seen them here! 

Journal Entry 22 by Purple-lilly from Heathfield, South Australia Australia on Tuesday, March 20, 2007

9 out of 10

I loved this book. When I first began to read it, I almost gasped aloud at some of the things Berg had written. I have thought that! Thats how I feel! How did she know? I will be fifty next year and many of the things written here are so familiar. Sometimes I look at the back of my hands where you can see age so easily and I wonder how it happened? When did I grow older and why did I not realise what I had when I was young until it was too late!

Never mind, this book helped me to see and rejoice in what I have now. Although I loved being a stay at home mum, I think I too lost myself for a while but was lucky enough to find myself again with out even knowing that I did!

The book made me reflect on my relationship with my husband and realise how truly blessed I am in him. He is my soul mate, sometimes he knows me better than I know myself. I know I can look forward to spending more time with him once our children have moved on into their own lives.

Thankyou so much for sharing this jessibud, it has been a wonderful introduction to this author- I will look out for more of her books and perhaps buy my own copy of this book! Thankyou Thankyou!

I didnt expect to get to this so quickly so will pm the next person for their address now! 

Journal Entry 23 by hotflash from Tucson, Arizona USA on Tuesday, March 20, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Hi everyone.
I am jumping in here because I have another book I think you all might enjoy as much as The Pull of the Moon (if everyone is saying...WHO is this? I am the BCer who registered "Pull..." initially and passed it to Jessibud, who started the ring; so, I have been reading everyone's journal entries too.)
Anyway.... this Berg book, Ordinary Life, is absolutely the best collection of short stories I have ever read. One story in particular will just make you catch your breath and look at the man in your life in a completely different way. It is entitled "Martin's Letter to Nan" and, yes, it is his response to her leaving him in Pull of the Moon. Berg wrote this story after so many women, at her book signings, would ask "What was Martin's response?". The whole collection is marvellous and I am not a short story fan.
I haven not even registered this book as yet, but if any of you are interested in it as a book ring, I will. So, PM if this sounds appealing at all. 

Journal Entry 24 by wingjessibudwing from Toronto, Ontario Canada on Monday, November 26, 2007

This book has not been rated.

UPDATE: as of November /07, this bookring is officially back in business. Thanks to the generosity of pinklady60, a new copy is on its way to Australia. Click here to go to pinklady60's copy and further journal notes! Thanks so much, pinklady60!

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