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Saturday, October 16, 2010 8:03 am
Reading in Pink
Posted by: Kaite Stover

In October, have your book group celebrate twice over with Talk Before Sleep by Elizabeth Berg.

This perennial book group favorite is a natural fit for National Reading Group Month and National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. berg

Berg’s compact, moving story is never maudlin or preachy. A group of friends gather to help one of their own at the end of her battle with breast cancer. Quiet, nurturing Ann is drawn to spirited, now cancer-stricken, Ruth and neglects her own family to indulge in every last moment she can spend with Ruth. Other friends, Helen, Sarah, L.D., also share in Ruth’s experiences with the various stages of breast cancer, from diagnosis to last days.

Unlike some other books about women fighting breast cancer, Talk Before Sleep is never overwrought or pious. Berg writes about women and their relationships with each other honestly. She isn’t afraid to show how women talk, gossip, lose tempers, cry, and snap at each other while still supporting one another. Berg’s characters are as familiar to readers as a warm cup of coffee and offer the same comfort and energetic zing.

Pair Talk Before Sleep with Cancer Vixen by Marisa Acocella Marchetto or Cancer is a Bitch by Gail Konop Baker. Here’s a reading guide for Talk Before Sleep and if you really want your book group to celebrate both “awarenesses” then have the gang do their discussing while marching in any one of the dozens of Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks going on this month.

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