Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Pull of the Moon

By Elizabeth Berg

Nan has just turned fifty and is unhappy with her life, even though she has a good marriage, a daughter in college, a huge fancy house, a Mercedes to drive and money enough in the bank that her husband doesn't need to work anymore, although he still does. She has been a stay-at-home mom and now feels that life has passed her by. Also she has gone through menopause and she feels death is just around the corner. So she just leaves one day. She gets in her fancy car, credit cards in hand, and sets off to find herself. She drives where she wants, backed up, of course, by all the dough she and her husband have amassed.

Well, as you can tell, I am less than sympathetic with this woman's complaints. Seems to me that the stupid bitch doesn't have anything to complain about. So she is getting older and is no longer fertile and doesn't turn men's heads anymore? So what? She seemed to me to be hugely self-indulgent and just plain wasteful and spendthrift. At one point she recounts how she spent $200 at the cosmetics counter and then when she got home she tossed it all in the garbage, all the lotions and potions she wasted her husband's hard earned money on. Why didn't she just take it back to the store if she changed her mind? Only someone with more money than they know what to do with would waste it like that. Later in the story, she decides to make herself a turkey dinner with all the fixins but when she gets back to the cabin she is staying in she changes her mind and, yes, throws it in the garbage, turkey, potatoes, dressing, pie and all. Hasn't she ever heard of a Food Pantry? If she didn't want it she could have certainly done better than just put it in the garbage. So weird.
But despite her spendthrift ways, she does have some interesting things to say about growing older and about marriage and how the years change our expectations of ourselves. So, over all, though I personally think the main character is more than just a little self-involved, I still enjoyed the book quite a lot.

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