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The Pull of the Moon

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The Pull of the Moon

Current Status:
In Season
Elizabeth Berg

We gave it a B

Elizabeth Berg is a women’s magazine writer (Ladies’ Home Journal, Good Housekeeping). She keeps her readers squarely in mind, which gives her novels (Talk Before Sleep, Range of Motion) an urgent intimacy. Her heroine in The Pull of the Moon is Nan, a traditional mom who runs away from her overbearing husband and the prospect of old age. Her cross-country travel diary and letters home form a sweetly domesticated road novel. Berg slips sharp feminist insights about men and women, power and deference, into homey episodes at the supermarket, where Nan can’t remember what it is she likes to eat, and at the beauty parlor, where she stages a memorable revolt against hair dye. The downside to the women’s mag approach is bland, generic writing: ”Women are just so interesting, so full of color and life.” In this novel, alas, that’s only intermittently the case. B