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Durable Goods

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Durable Goods.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Elizabeth Berg(Author)

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2.5 (3151)
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Book details

  • PDF | 958 pages
  • Elizabeth Berg(Author)
  • Avon Books (May 1, 1997)
  • English
  • 7
  • Literature & Fiction

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Review Text

  • By Cathryn Conroy on June 4, 2017

    Oh, the angst of growing up female! No matter how much things change, one thing stays the same: Being a 12-year-old girl is rife with the chaos of feelings. Author Elizabeth Berg tells the story of Katie Nash, who is on the cusp of adolescence, in such a compassionate and authentic way that every woman will recall that tender and emotionally-filled time of life.Living in the early 1960s on an Army base in Texas, Katie has an 18-year-old sister, a mother who has recently died of cancer and an Army father who abuses the girls. Her best friend lives next door. Told over a period of a few months, the book is a classic coming-of-age story with a heroine who is so genuine most readers will feel like they know her--or were her at one time.This is a very short book that is easy to read but filled with pithy observations about life. It will make you smile, it will make you sigh and it will make you cry--all hallmarks of a well-written book.

  • By Theresa Alan on July 17, 2015

    I loved this book. Great writing, enviable talent. I will read more of her books.In Durable Goods, twelve-year-old Katie’s mother has died, and we meet Katie when she’s hiding under her bed to avoid the wrath of her father. As an Army kid, moving around constantly, Katie has unique insights on saying goodbye to friends and a home she just started feeling comfortable in. Her friend Cherylanne, who is obsessed with fashion magazine’s tips for looking good, is a fun supporting character—timing her tan to flip over in twenty-minute increments, for example. Other well-drawn characters are Katie’s older sister and her boyfriend, and a father that doesn’t express himself well and sometimes his attempts to express himself devolve into violence.The writing is just great. At one point, when Katie is afraid to jump off the high dive, she says, “There are different kinds of time in the world. When you get called on and you don’t know the answer and the teacher waits, that is one kind of time and it is like this.”This is a quick read. I recommend it.

  • By Ratmammy on March 12, 2001

    Durable Goods is the story of young Katie, a pre-adolescent girl that is anxious to grow up and at the same time is dealing with things that the average teenager shouldn't have to go through. She's just lost her mother to cancer, her father beats both her and her sister Diane, and she feels often that she's all alone. She misses her mother terribly,and often envisions seeing and talking to her mother as if she had never passed away. The book is written from her point of view, so the reader learns about Katie from a more personal perspective.The plot line in Durable Goods is thin, I thought, but the author created a very likeable character in Katie. The first half of the book builds up the character and introduces her relationships with her father (abusive) and sister (sometimes friend, sometimes enemy) and her best friend CherylAnne, who is two years older and is very wise and womanly for her age.Katie is a strong person for her young years, and that is what makes her so likeable. Dealing with the death of her mother and her confrontations with her father show how strong she really is. Whereas Dianne tries to escape from her problems, katie tries to deal with them.This is Elizabeth Berg's first novel, but it was not the first novel of hers that I've read. I think it was an impressive first novel and would be a good place to start for anyone new to her books. Other books I'd highly recommend is Joy School, which continues the saga of katie, and What We Keep, a story about an older woman who is trying to deal with her past.

  • By jmh on January 13, 2003

    Elizabeth Berg has created a hero of young girls with Katie, the 12 year old army brat (a brat she is not). Katie and her 18 year old sister are trying to cope with their verbally and physically abusive father. All of them are recently reeling from the death of their mother from cancer .A difficult age at 12, Katie has befriended another army brat next door. Although somewhat submissive to this friend, Katie is happy to have the sophisticated advice from her slightly older friend about everything from how to do your nail to menstral issues. With her older sister distracted by a boyfriend, she does the best she can to fill in the blanks of surviving adolescence.Her older sister, Diane is not only taking blows from the father, but verbal abuse especially in regards to her relationship with her boyfriend Dickie. It is not an infrequent occurance for Diane to take physical punishment to protect Katie. Now 18, Diane makes up her mind to leave home with Dickie. She urges her little sister to come with her as she is afraid that when she leaves home, her father's bitter wrath will make Katie his next domestic victim.It is difficult for Katie. She alternates between loyalty for her father, anger and the angst of adolescent confusion. At the last minute, she elopes with Diane and Dickie.Two books take up where this one leaves off. Quick and rewarding reads, Katie becomes the unsung hero of young girls and Elizabeth Berg fans everywhere.

  • By Kindle Customer on September 20, 2015

    Interesting story written from a twelve year old female perspective. Mingled with normal growing up concerns are being with an emotionally distant father, grieving the loss of her mother and living with an older, somewhat rebellious sister. All in the backdrop a military family setting which presents its own issues.

  • By Kellie Collins on August 9, 2015

    I just recently came across Elizabeth Berg books. The first book I read was a more recent writing so I decided to go back and start from one of her earlier books and chose this one. The book was OK but I feel the story line would be more geared towards teenage girls not adult women.

  • By Shorsue on February 9, 2016

    I like Elizabeth Berg for her descriptions of ordinary life. There is definitely drama in this story, but you are adequately and unhurriedly put into the scene to witness it along with the main characters of the story. This is my 2nd reading of this book. I agree with the author's assessment that it was perhaps her best-written book to date.

  • By Silver Girl on September 25, 2015

    This is one of the best novels I have ever read. Elizabeth Berg captures the helplessness of transience in childhood with raw and poignant grace.


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