Talk Before Sleep

Elizabeth Berg


Why Talk Before Sleep and Chicago

Chicago is such a key bucket list item that I decided to included a book pick for this stop. I picked my favorite book from the Chicago based writer Elizabeth Berg. I first read Talk Before Sleep over twenty years ago right before I moved to Los Angeles. It’s a sweet story about friendship and a heartbreaking story about breast cancer. I’m a big fan of Berg because she writes from the heart and does so much to make a connection with her readers. She used to send out letters each month to her readers in the mail. She now keeps readers updated by her website. It’s unique how much she shares of her life and how you feel you are one of her friends by what she shares. Check it out – Her books are an easy read and she has written a number of books if you like this one.

More About Talk Before Sleep

This is the summary of this book from Elizabeth Berg from her website: Ann and Ruth, women in their mid-forties, are unlikely friends. Ann is conservative, doubtful of herself, afraid to take chances. Ruth is a wild woman in the best sense of the word, an artist who speaks her mind and goes where her heart leads her. When Ruth is diagnosed with breast cancer, her disparate group of friends gather around her to care for her in her last days. This is a book that will make you cry, but it will also make you laugh. It sounds the alarm about breast cancer, but mostly is a testimonial to the power and joy of female friendship. Inspired by this book, Oprah did a show on breast cancer, and one segment was of her getting a mammogram. I was on the show with women who had terminal diagnoses, and was so moved by their candor and strength.

Berg says this was her inspiration: I lost a very good friend to breast cancer. And although I never intended to write about the experience, I found I needed to do something with all the feelings I had while she was dying and afterward. How could there have been so much laughter when someone was dying? How could a woman who was losing everything never lose the generosity she had to give to others? The book is very much fictionalized, but the emotions are true. I learned how important good female friends are. I learned the value of respecting differences in people. I learned how, even if you are dying, you can still remain yourself. How, in fact, dying can make you your truest yourself. In that ultimate act of claiming yourself, there is great beauty and solace and joy.

Elizabeth Berg is an American nurse turned writer. Her writing career started when she won an essay contest in Parents magazine. Since her debut novel in 1993, her novels have sold in large numbers and have received several awards and nominations, even though some critics have tagged them as sentimental She won the New England Book Awards in 1997.