FACING UP TO OUR ADOLESCENT SELVES — REPRISING A REVIEW

A forty-year high school reunion promises so many things to so many people, but especially to Dorothy, Mary Alice, Lester, Candy, and Pete.

What could any of these people find at this unlikeliest of crossroads in their lives? The class beauty searches for meaning and hope for the future; a newly divorced woman hopes to finally attract the class heartthrob; the wall-flower hopes to face up to and overcome her painful past. A lonely widower who has thrown himself into his veterinary practice and pretty much eschewed all things romantic could possibly connect with other like-minded individuals. And Pete Decker, the class heartthrob, seeks an opportunity to put his best foot forward and find redemption for his tattered marriage.

Berg has done it again. The Last Time I Saw You: A Novel reeled me in from the very first page; I felt immediately connected to these characters, even the superficial ones, because they are so three-dimensional. Their pettiness, their hate, their compassion, and even the vulnerabilities that their classmates probably never knew they had are out in full display on this night. As each of them meets up with classmates, they discover that those old high school friends (or enemies) have grown and changed and perhaps even transformed themselves into decent human beings, just as they themselves have had to do some soul-searching and growing over the years.

What happens afterwards? Do any of the intriguing couplings of the evening turn into more? Will new friendships develop? And will each of them find that confronting their youthful selves actually transformed them into better people?

Reading about the journey of these classmates almost made me want to attend my reunion this year—almost!

Five stars!

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