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The beloved New York Times bestselling author tells the moving love story of caring for her parents in their final years in this beautifully written memoir. Elizabeth Berg's father was an Army veteran who was a tough man in every way but one: He showed a great deal of love and tenderness to his wife. Berg describes her parents' marriage as a romance that lasted for nearly s The beloved New York Times bestselling author tells the moving love story of caring for her parents in their final years in this beautifully written memoir. Elizabeth Berg's father was an Army veteran who was a tough man in every way but one: He showed a great deal of love and tenderness to his wife. Berg describes her parents' marriage as a romance that lasted for nearly seventy years; she grew up watching her father kiss her mother upon leaving home, and kiss her again the instant he came back. His idea of when he should spend time away from her was never. But then her father developed Alzheimer's disease, and her parents were forced to leave the home they loved and move into a facility that could offer them help. It was time for their children to offer practical advice, emotional support, and direction, to the best of their ability--to, in effect, parent the people who had for so long parented them. It was a hard transition, mitigated at least by flashes of humor and joy. But the mix of emotions on everyone's part could make every day feel like walking through a minefield. Then came redemption. I'll Be Seeing You charts the passage from the anguish of loss to the understanding that even in the most fractious times, love can heal, transform, and lead to graceful--and grateful--acceptance.


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The beloved New York Times bestselling author tells the moving love story of caring for her parents in their final years in this beautifully written memoir. Elizabeth Berg's father was an Army veteran who was a tough man in every way but one: He showed a great deal of love and tenderness to his wife. Berg describes her parents' marriage as a romance that lasted for nearly s The beloved New York Times bestselling author tells the moving love story of caring for her parents in their final years in this beautifully written memoir. Elizabeth Berg's father was an Army veteran who was a tough man in every way but one: He showed a great deal of love and tenderness to his wife. Berg describes her parents' marriage as a romance that lasted for nearly seventy years; she grew up watching her father kiss her mother upon leaving home, and kiss her again the instant he came back. His idea of when he should spend time away from her was never. But then her father developed Alzheimer's disease, and her parents were forced to leave the home they loved and move into a facility that could offer them help. It was time for their children to offer practical advice, emotional support, and direction, to the best of their ability--to, in effect, parent the people who had for so long parented them. It was a hard transition, mitigated at least by flashes of humor and joy. But the mix of emotions on everyone's part could make every day feel like walking through a minefield. Then came redemption. I'll Be Seeing You charts the passage from the anguish of loss to the understanding that even in the most fractious times, love can heal, transform, and lead to graceful--and grateful--acceptance.

30 review for I'll Be Seeing You: A Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Cheri

    4.5 Stars In the Prologue, the author - Elizabeth Berg - begins by saying that she is seventy years old, and is as astonished by this truth, as astonished as if she had just written ’I am a peacock.’ It made me laugh, and made me think not only of my own added up years, but how thoroughly true that has felt every year as my birthday rolled around - the difference being when we’re very young that we anxiously await being old enough to think we will be able to make our own decisions without critici 4.5 Stars In the Prologue, the author - Elizabeth Berg - begins by saying that she is seventy years old, and is as astonished by this truth, as astonished as if she had just written ’I am a peacock.’ It made me laugh, and made me think not only of my own added up years, but how thoroughly true that has felt every year as my birthday rolled around - the difference being when we’re very young that we anxiously await being old enough to think we will be able to make our own decisions without criticism from parents or teachers or even just ‘others.’ Then she adds a memory of passing a pair of two old ladies and heard one say ”I still feel like a girl inside.” This memoir shares her frustrations, fears, doubts and experiences as her parents declined, the anger that occasionally flared from parent to child, from parent to parent, and grown child to child-like parent. The emotions that follow watching parents decline, the slow acceptance of the new “normal” which will only be replaced too soon with more decline. And more, you see with a new appreciation those moments when they share moments you never knew about before, feelings you were never privy to before, and as your appreciation and understanding grow, so does your desire to continue to know more, to bear witness to it, along with an acceptance of what is to come. While the way there is occasionally humorous, there is plenty of anger, sorrow and frustration along the way. I appreciated all of her story, their story, it felt so honest and was shared with so much love. Published: 27 Oct 2020 Many thanks for the ARC provided by Random House Publishing Group / Random House

  2. 4 out of 5

    ☮Karen

    4.5 stars There's a line in here about how your parents took care of you when you were a baby so eventually it becomes your turn to take care of them. Only it's not the same because babys' butts are cute. This book is a diary of Elizabeth's parents' decline. During the months covered, her mom is 88 and her dad 90. They live in Minnesota near E.B.'s sister; E.B. lives in Chicago. They are to the point where they no longer can manage on their own so they'll be moved to an apartment building for seni 4.5 stars There's a line in here about how your parents took care of you when you were a baby so eventually it becomes your turn to take care of them. Only it's not the same because babys' butts are cute. This book is a diary of Elizabeth's parents' decline. During the months covered, her mom is 88 and her dad 90. They live in Minnesota near E.B.'s sister; E.B. lives in Chicago. They are to the point where they no longer can manage on their own so they'll be moved to an apartment building for seniors. The dad will be diagnosed with dementia and then Alzheimer's; the mom will become bitter over having to leave her home of 40 years and not fully understanding what the future holds for her. The mom's attitude was so similar to how my mother-in-law was with her husband's diagnosis, it felt like reliving those times again. E.B.'s interactions with her family will teach her many valuable lessons of love and understanding, but before it gets to that point, she experiences her own guilt, anger, confusion, and bitterness. These are times most of us will endure as our parents age, and again as we ourselves age. In the end it's about family and love, something everyone should be able to identify with. I love how expressively Elizabeth Berg writes, and here she lays out her own feelings and thoughts. It's not all pretty but she wants us to learn from her experiences, from her mistakes. Very touching. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Karen R

    This book hit close to home as I have experienced my parents’ descent into Alzheimers and ultimate death (3 years apart). Berg’s insightful comments touched my heart, reminded me of bittersweet memories. A heartbreaking memoir, beautiful and relatable.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    This is Elizabeth Berg’s first memoir. It is a love story to her parents as she bears witness to their final years. (So there’s a 100% guarantee of heartbreak.) Yet, she spins language so gracefully. You sink in to her words, nodding along to passages, with such knowing. This must have been incredibly difficult to write. But I’m betting there’s a legion of folks who are happy she did.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lynne

    A touching story about the author as a caregiver to her aging parents. She presented a very healthy and loving perspective. I appreciated her love and understanding of the situation. Thank you NetGalley for the ARC.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Haider

    I've read a number of Elizabeth Berg's novels over the years. They are always a bit of a comfort read. I'll Be Seeing You is her new memoir about her experiences with her aging parents who experience declining health in their 80s. Berg's father develops Alzheimer's disease and the family needs to make the decision of what their lives will be like now. How can the couple live where they can be independent yet he can still get the care he needs? Berg reflects on how her parents had a strong marria I've read a number of Elizabeth Berg's novels over the years. They are always a bit of a comfort read. I'll Be Seeing You is her new memoir about her experiences with her aging parents who experience declining health in their 80s. Berg's father develops Alzheimer's disease and the family needs to make the decision of what their lives will be like now. How can the couple live where they can be independent yet he can still get the care he needs? Berg reflects on how her parents had a strong marriage of over 60 years and how her father who was an Army veteran was very fond of his wife. There is love and sadness. Berg shares her frustration with her mother over what she perceives as her mother not being nice to her dad in his current state. This was a tough read, especially as myself and many of my friends now have parents who are senior citizens. But, throughout the book, we see the love that this family has for each other. Even through the turmoil of dealing with dementia and memory loss the family stays close. This book is a beautiful tribute by Berg to her parents. What to listen to while reading... Kathy's Song by Simon & Garfunkel Hallelujah by Rufus Wainwright Mercy by Duffy On and On and On by Wilco Landslide by Fleetwood Mac Morning Has Broken by Cat Stevens Thank you to the publisher for the review copy! This book counts towards the PopSugar 2021 Reading Challenge Task #50: A free book from your TBR

  7. 4 out of 5

    Frosty61

    An honest account of the emotional toll of caring for aging parents. The author is one of my favorites and this book doesn't disappoint. She calls it 'a dairy of my parents' decline.' Be prepared for a sad story with some bits of happiness thrown in. The stark reality of dealing with the aging process is described very well - as a roller coaster of emotions. There's despair, guilt, anger, love, and even a bit of humor in Berg's recounting of trying to find the best solutions to an ever-changing s An honest account of the emotional toll of caring for aging parents. The author is one of my favorites and this book doesn't disappoint. She calls it 'a dairy of my parents' decline.' Be prepared for a sad story with some bits of happiness thrown in. The stark reality of dealing with the aging process is described very well - as a roller coaster of emotions. There's despair, guilt, anger, love, and even a bit of humor in Berg's recounting of trying to find the best solutions to an ever-changing situation. Those who have suffered through the same dilemmas will empathize. Perhaps those who haven't yet experienced them will be better prepared. Suffice it to say, it is a difficult, heartbreaking phase of life - one that is made marginally easier with the support of friends and family. I loved the cover - a photograph of Berg's parents in their younger years. It served to remind the reader that her parents were once vibrant, strong, and in control of their lives. It also reminds us that there's beauty in the remembering. Some quotes: "I think as long as a parent is alive, it's easier to feel young." "You lose some things, growing older, but you gain other, more important things: tolerance, gratitude, perspective, the unexpected pleasure of doing things more slowly." "I still feel like a girl inside."

  8. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Pole

    I'll Be Seeing You by Elizabeth Berg is a memoir chronicling the author's continued love and devotion to her parents as they age. When her father is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, Elizabeth sees the strain that this new reality places on her eighty-eight year old mother, and the difficult decision to sell the house that her parents have shared for over forty-five years is made. During the transition, there are frustrations and tears, but also happy memories, and a renewed and fierce love th I'll Be Seeing You by Elizabeth Berg is a memoir chronicling the author's continued love and devotion to her parents as they age. When her father is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, Elizabeth sees the strain that this new reality places on her eighty-eight year old mother, and the difficult decision to sell the house that her parents have shared for over forty-five years is made. During the transition, there are frustrations and tears, but also happy memories, and a renewed and fierce love that will always be an anchor to one's parents. Throughout the process, Ms Berg also reflects on her own future as she ages. This is a heartfelt, honest, and deeply personal tribute that honours a relationship that is paramount in life, that of a child and parent. Many of the author's musings and observations will resonate quite deeply. Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Random House for this ARC.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Darla

    The creator of memorable characters like Arthur Truluv shares a time of struggle from her own life with us. Her parents have been married for nearly 70 years. For the past 45 years they have been in the same house. Now that her father is showing signs of dementia and both parents are nearing 90, it is time to move them into a place that will have some amenities; where they have access to transportation and can socialize with others their age. Berg documents the bittersweet struggle of making tha The creator of memorable characters like Arthur Truluv shares a time of struggle from her own life with us. Her parents have been married for nearly 70 years. For the past 45 years they have been in the same house. Now that her father is showing signs of dementia and both parents are nearing 90, it is time to move them into a place that will have some amenities; where they have access to transportation and can socialize with others their age. Berg documents the bittersweet struggle of making that final decision, making the move, deciding to sell the house, and all the other details that have to be taken care of. Along the way, there it tension and everyone gets frustrated. What Berg realizes is that expectations, realistic or not, are not being met for any of them. With some help and patience, things will get better. Berg's parents have much to teach all of us about what it takes to remain faithful and committed to that person who you vowed to love "for better or worse." I hope that in understanding more about my parents, even though--or perhaps because--they're gone, I'll learn lessons about faith and endurance and trust and forgiveness. About putting I aside for the sake of we. About how love circles back on itself over and over to create deeper definitions of itself. And I hope I'll learn the value of that hardest thing of all: seeing it through. Thank you to Random House and Edelweiss+ for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Toni

    Elizabeth Berg writes with unique wisdom and beauty. As she recounts her parents' lives during their last years, she ends each chapter with a sentence or two with a thought or adage I found so mindful of what her parents had experienced in their long lives, combined with where they were now, at 90 and 88 years old. I'm struggling to explain this profound, yet simple and beautiful book. I may need to come back and edit this first pass. Just know it's great! Elizabeth’s writing here reminds of Anne Elizabeth Berg writes with unique wisdom and beauty. As she recounts her parents' lives during their last years, she ends each chapter with a sentence or two with a thought or adage I found so mindful of what her parents had experienced in their long lives, combined with where they were now, at 90 and 88 years old. I'm struggling to explain this profound, yet simple and beautiful book. I may need to come back and edit this first pass. Just know it's great! Elizabeth’s writing here reminds of Anne Tyler, that simple but wondrous beauty.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review. At 70 years old, author Elizabeth Berg reflects on the decline in her aging parents back in 2010. Her 89 year old father begins to show signs of Alzheimer’s disease which is heartbreaking. She remembers him as a strict, militant Army “lifer” who slowly starts to “lose” it. During that time Elizabeth and her siblings try to support and ensure their parents are safe with her bro I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review. At 70 years old, author Elizabeth Berg reflects on the decline in her aging parents back in 2010. Her 89 year old father begins to show signs of Alzheimer’s disease which is heartbreaking. She remembers him as a strict, militant Army “lifer” who slowly starts to “lose” it. During that time Elizabeth and her siblings try to support and ensure their parents are safe with her brother living in Hawaii and her living in Chicago, the major responsibilities fall on her sister Vicki who lives nearby. This is ultimately the year or so before the death of her father and eventually her mother. Her parents had married in January 1943 at an Army base in TX. They always lived a modest life relying on each other throughout their years together. They would take her father to visit his brother Frank in a nursing home where they could reminisce on their past military days. It was her mother Jeanne who seemed to struggle the most with the all changes of aging and declining health. She was resistant and resentful about the curveball life has thrown at her refusing to resign to the life of an “old” person. It is not a sappy love story about parents who “lived happily ever after” fairytale. She describes a history to which most can probably relate with imperfect parents whose lives slowly change in ways they never anticipated. The independent father soon becomes the frail confused man in need of constant surveillance and reliance on his wife. The mother who becomes angry and resentful when having to resign to selling their family home. It’s a touching story of endurance and support as well as the frustrations that arise with aging. I think most people would prefer to age gracefully with our pride and dignity intact. It’s a delicate and precarious balance to ensure that happens while maintaining the safety and support that is essential.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Vickie

    If you are looking for a book to give you happy feelings, this one isn’t it. But it did leave me reflecting on my life, the legacy I will leave and what will happen to me as I get older. This is a memoir of Elizabeth Berg and her parents as they get too old to stay in a home by themselves and have to move to an adult living apartment that will give them activities to do and friends to make. Since Berg’s father was suffering from Alzheimer’s, he was barely aware of his environment, so the interac If you are looking for a book to give you happy feelings, this one isn’t it. But it did leave me reflecting on my life, the legacy I will leave and what will happen to me as I get older. This is a memoir of Elizabeth Berg and her parents as they get too old to stay in a home by themselves and have to move to an adult living apartment that will give them activities to do and friends to make. Since Berg’s father was suffering from Alzheimer’s, he was barely aware of his environment, so the interactions with him were bittersweet and sad. Berg’s mom, on the other hand, was angry about having to move because she was still mobile and able to take care of herself, but she has to leave their home in order to help take care of her husband. Berg explicitly describes how the changes in her parents’ lives affect everyone in the family. I can’t say that this was a book that I enjoyed reading since I am getting older myself. But it is one that the children of elderly parents should read in order to get ideas for how to deal with the attitudes, the angst and the changes that are coming. Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sam Sattler

    Elizabeth Berg’s I’ll Be Seeing You is, I can tell you from recent experience, an accurate reflection of what it feels like to watch a parent become less and less capable of taking care of themself over a number of years. If you are lucky enough to have a parent live into their late eighties and beyond, what Berg describes in this heartfelt memoir is inevitable. It is only a matter of time before child and parent are required to switch roles, and the formerly-protected becomes the protector. My Elizabeth Berg’s I’ll Be Seeing You is, I can tell you from recent experience, an accurate reflection of what it feels like to watch a parent become less and less capable of taking care of themself over a number of years. If you are lucky enough to have a parent live into their late eighties and beyond, what Berg describes in this heartfelt memoir is inevitable. It is only a matter of time before child and parent are required to switch roles, and the formerly-protected becomes the protector. My favorite quotation, in fact, from I’ll Be Seeing You comes from the book’s prologue: “I think as long as a parent is alive, it’s easier to feel young. It’s easy to feel that in some respects you are still being taken care of, even when it becomes more you who takes care of them.” Berg takes the reader through almost a year of transition for her parents, October 2010-July 2011, during which they were forced to come to the realization that they could no longer live in the family home they had enjoyed together for four decades. As Berg and her siblings learned, however, realization comes a good bit before acceptance, and even after her parents have moved into an assisted living arrangement, they refuse to sell the family home because they still hope to return there someday. The experience that Berg describes is a very emotional one that was not helped by her father’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis. The author was, I think, somewhat surprised by her mother’s resentment that if not for her husband’s mental problems, she, at least, would still be living at home. As her mother found it harder and harder to hide her feelings from her children, they began to resent the way she was treating their father - even, it seems, to worry about whether she was taking proper care of their father. Things were said, feelings hurt, and relationships damaged. The sad part is that all of it was perfectly normal, maybe even healthy in the long run. Those who have not experienced this situation yet with their own parents - and those in that situation right now - can benefit from a memoir like I’ll Be Seeing You because they will see that what they are feeling, but may be reluctant to say out loud, is all very normal. It is part of the cycle of life that none of us like to think about, but it is something that more and more of us are going to experience. So why not listen to what those who have already been there have to say? I would have liked to have heard more from Berg’s sister, the child who lived close enough to their parents to be their day-to-day caretaker. The author is quick - and she does it several times - to credit her sister as being the one who went the extra mile for their parents. And that is good to see. Having been the “local” in my father’s case, I know that that experience is a completely different one from the one those who live hours away have. And I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, because the years I spent in that role brought me closer, and to a better understanding, of my parents than I would have otherwise ever managed. If you see this coming into your own life soon, do read I’ll Be Seeing You. It will help.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Janet Dahl

    Touching and heartbreaking We will all be impacted by the consequences of aging, particularly cognitive decline. To see it happen to loved ones is a journey that forces us to say goodbye before we are ready. Elizabeth Berg is a writer I admire, and I appreciate her generosity in sharing her Mom and Dad’s path. It is a challenge to change our expectations and accept the glimmers of joy, and to create little pockets of peace in an untenable situation. She and her sister are unparalleled in their co Touching and heartbreaking We will all be impacted by the consequences of aging, particularly cognitive decline. To see it happen to loved ones is a journey that forces us to say goodbye before we are ready. Elizabeth Berg is a writer I admire, and I appreciate her generosity in sharing her Mom and Dad’s path. It is a challenge to change our expectations and accept the glimmers of joy, and to create little pockets of peace in an untenable situation. She and her sister are unparalleled in their conscientious care and love.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    This memoir is about the author's aging parents and how her family copes with the changes that nearly all families must deal with: the realization that you can no longer cope with living alone, unassisted; the understanding of how a neurological condition can change a person and that they aren't doing something on purpose; and how children deal with their parents' failing. This deeply affected me. Three years ago, my mother died from Parkinson's Disease. And just 3 weeks ago my father died of a m This memoir is about the author's aging parents and how her family copes with the changes that nearly all families must deal with: the realization that you can no longer cope with living alone, unassisted; the understanding of how a neurological condition can change a person and that they aren't doing something on purpose; and how children deal with their parents' failing. This deeply affected me. Three years ago, my mother died from Parkinson's Disease. And just 3 weeks ago my father died of a myriad of diseases that overcame his 90-year old body. The book is beautifully written, but that's what I expect from Elizabeth Berg. It is brutally honest. I'm sure she needed time and perspective to write it as honestly as she did. And she took it, as most of these events happened nearly 10 years ago. One thing that really struck me was how we all get "stuck" in our own thinking. An example of this is that Berg's mother was annoyed with her husband's shuffling and would walk in front of him, much more quickly than he could and be exasperated with him for not keeping up. And Berg wanted her father to give her mother some space because she could see that her mother needed time to recharge a bit from being the caretaker. What Berg could not understand is her mother's attitude about the walking. At one point a medical professional tells Berg's mother that her husband simply cannot walk faster or without shuffling. Berg feels vindicated. But then Berg mentions the request to have her father not follow her mother around all the time, and she is kind of shocked when the medical professional tells Berg the same thing. "He can't." With my own parents I saw this dynamic play out. My father tried to care for my mother until it simply became too much. Later, he tried to live alone until there was an episode one night that proved to him that he could not. It's hard to face reality. I wonder if I will do the same when it is my turn. Berg understands the emotional struggle of giving up the home her parents lived in for 45 years. I am feeling that myself as the home I grew up in will be sold and I will have no physical tie to the town I grew up in, and dearly love. "You can't go home again" is becoming more and more real to me. This is a book that I will keep because I think it has lessons for me in it that I will more fully understand as time goes on.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kris - My Novelesque Life

    RATING: 4 STARS 2020; Random House I will read anything by Elizabeth Berg, and have loved her since I read Durable Goods. Katie is one of my favourite characters in literature. Berg is a wonderful writer that has such endearing and realistic characters and stories. No matter the age of the characters or gender, you can really feel their emotions and are invested from the first page. I'll Be Seeing You, is Berg's memoir on her parents aging. Berg is in her 70s at this point, and her parents in thei RATING: 4 STARS 2020; Random House I will read anything by Elizabeth Berg, and have loved her since I read Durable Goods. Katie is one of my favourite characters in literature. Berg is a wonderful writer that has such endearing and realistic characters and stories. No matter the age of the characters or gender, you can really feel their emotions and are invested from the first page. I'll Be Seeing You, is Berg's memoir on her parents aging. Berg is in her 70s at this point, and her parents in their 90s. Her father is suffering memory loss and relying too heavily on his wife. Berg's mother is finding it hard to be his caretaker, and cannot get a moment to herself. She is stressed, and that also effects her father's moods. They still live in the home they bought as their forever home, and the thought of leaving it for am assisted care facility adds more pressure to the couple. Berg's sister lives closer to their parents, but has a job and her own family. Berg's brother is far away, and Berg, herself tries to come out there as much as she can. I feel for Berg, and her siblings, and her parents, but even more so as my own parents are requiring more help. In the last year and so, I have been attending more medical appointment with my parents, and I've started to think about the "what happens when...". I am an only child so many of the decisions will fall on me. I am close to my parents and know what they would want, yet the thought of them getting older is scary. When my late grandmother had dementia it was more difficult trying to get through it emotionally than anything physical. Berg weaves stories from the past, growing up and what her parents were like. As I listened to the author tell her story, I shared some of it with my parents. It brought up good conversations. I would recommend I'll Be Seeing You to everyone. At some point, most of us will be going through this as children or aging parents, and aging parents ourself (or however your family works). It makes you feel less alone, and makes the situation (at least for me) seem more doable. You can only take one chunk at a time. It is a book I will revisit a few more times in my life. As the book ended, I knew this was going to save my sanity in the future, and have notes in it to remind myself of certain passages. ***I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.***

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    Elizabeth Berg is one of my favorite authors and this touching and personal memoir helps to firmly cement her place as one. "I'll Be Seeing You" is a touching story of love, loss, and change. The author's writing is so honest and she holds nothing back, even when her frustrations with her elderly parents make her look less than ideal. Memories of her childhood and of the romantic nature of her parents' long marriage are intertwined with the present troubles of dealing with her father's continuin Elizabeth Berg is one of my favorite authors and this touching and personal memoir helps to firmly cement her place as one. "I'll Be Seeing You" is a touching story of love, loss, and change. The author's writing is so honest and she holds nothing back, even when her frustrations with her elderly parents make her look less than ideal. Memories of her childhood and of the romantic nature of her parents' long marriage are intertwined with the present troubles of dealing with her father's continuing mental decline and her mother's unhappiness, making this a truly rich reading experience. This book will hit close to home for anyone who is dealing with elderly parents or grandparents. It shows how difficult getting older can be, but also how we don't have to stop loving and caring for each other during those difficulties. Many thanks to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for the privilege of reading an advanced digital copy of this beautiful book in exchange for my honest review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Barb Martin

    I overly identified with Elizabeth Berg's memoir, "I'll Be Seeing You," which chronicles her father's decline into dementia and her mother's descent into crabbiness as they prepared to leave their home of 45-plus years and to move into an assisted-living facility. My parents died earlier this year. Mom in March. Dad in May. Before they died, my parents mirrored Berg's to a certain extent. My father was essentially immobile and dealing with dementia. Mom still thought it was her job to take care of I overly identified with Elizabeth Berg's memoir, "I'll Be Seeing You," which chronicles her father's decline into dementia and her mother's descent into crabbiness as they prepared to leave their home of 45-plus years and to move into an assisted-living facility. My parents died earlier this year. Mom in March. Dad in May. Before they died, my parents mirrored Berg's to a certain extent. My father was essentially immobile and dealing with dementia. Mom still thought it was her job to take care of him despite her own frail health. By all accounts, she was pretty crabby, too. I live hours away, so their care was left to my many siblings. Disputes over what was best for my parents led to irreparable factions among the siblings. The family isn't going to heal. So, anyway, I identified with Berg entirely too much as she chronicled the decisions, arguments and visits that led to moving her parents into a facility. I'm not one for memoirs, but this one obviously spoke to me.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Diane Yannick

    Elizabeth Berg let her parents’ words and actions tell their own story. She did not give us ‘lessons’ learned or deep analysis. Instead, she recounted the details and decisions of the year her mom was 88 and her dad was 90. Elizabeth and her sister had to balance their patents’ safety with their happiness. Many of the assisted living challenges are universal. However, there was one thing about this book that made it very special. As children, we often feel that it is our job is to solve each prob Elizabeth Berg let her parents’ words and actions tell their own story. She did not give us ‘lessons’ learned or deep analysis. Instead, she recounted the details and decisions of the year her mom was 88 and her dad was 90. Elizabeth and her sister had to balance their patents’ safety with their happiness. Many of the assisted living challenges are universal. However, there was one thing about this book that made it very special. As children, we often feel that it is our job is to solve each problem that crops up. We try to insist that our parents treat each other with respect. What we need to do is listen to their voices but then make the best decisions available. THEN we need to take a step back and give them the space they need to adjust. They may temporarily turn against each other and their family but in the end their love and history together will often smooth the transitions. With time and the patience of family members, many elders can often figure out how to acclimate to their new limitations and surroundings. I hope that I might be so lucky.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    A bit of a tough read for me because my parents are going through this right now with my almost 98 year old grandmother, and in doing so, starting to think of the required planning for their end of life. I hope that I go through the later years of my life with “courage and grace and faith, and even with a sense of humor.” The quote before the book opens truly says it all: “Or it might be, she thought, having lived long enough, she’d come to think of everyone close to her with a helpless tendernes A bit of a tough read for me because my parents are going through this right now with my almost 98 year old grandmother, and in doing so, starting to think of the required planning for their end of life. I hope that I go through the later years of my life with “courage and grace and faith, and even with a sense of humor.” The quote before the book opens truly says it all: “Or it might be, she thought, having lived long enough, she’d come to think of everyone close to her with a helpless tenderness, accepting that life was hard and people did their best.” ~Stewart O’Nan

  21. 4 out of 5

    Leeann

    Wow. Kudos, Elizabeth Berg, on a really fine book. Sometimes a book just comes along at the right time and it resonates so deeply. That happened with me while reading "I'll Be Seeing You." Elizabeth and her sister's experiences with her parents parallel in many, many ways what is happening with my family circle right now. It was incredibly helpful to read about the feelings that she and her sister were having, her take on each of her parents' emotions, trials and responses. I will absolutely be Wow. Kudos, Elizabeth Berg, on a really fine book. Sometimes a book just comes along at the right time and it resonates so deeply. That happened with me while reading "I'll Be Seeing You." Elizabeth and her sister's experiences with her parents parallel in many, many ways what is happening with my family circle right now. It was incredibly helpful to read about the feelings that she and her sister were having, her take on each of her parents' emotions, trials and responses. I will absolutely be sending a copy of this book to my sisters-in-law. I think the men might be too close to see it/read about it but it will help us to help them talk it through and navigate it.. and sooner or later we will be doing the same. My deepest thanks to Ms Berg for writing this book. It is indeed helpful to others. This has been the most impactful book I have read in 2020 and I will be actively recommending it! Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Marsha Herman

    Elizabeth Berg is absolutely one of my favorite authors merely because she so eloquently and beautifully and perfectly puts into words the way I feel and describes experiences I've had in a way I never ever could. I'll Be Seeing You is about her relationship with her parents as they transition from living independently to moving to a care facility. I felt like she was telling my story--how could our lives be so similar and our reactions so in sync? It's the magic of Elizabeth Berg. If you haven' Elizabeth Berg is absolutely one of my favorite authors merely because she so eloquently and beautifully and perfectly puts into words the way I feel and describes experiences I've had in a way I never ever could. I'll Be Seeing You is about her relationship with her parents as they transition from living independently to moving to a care facility. I felt like she was telling my story--how could our lives be so similar and our reactions so in sync? It's the magic of Elizabeth Berg. If you haven't read her books, please give them a try. You won't be disappointed. ( I gave this book a four because although I loved it, I don't feel it was her best writing--several of her other books are high 5s in my mind.)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    The honesty and depth of this memoir is one I will not soon forget. Observing one's parent's health in decline and becoming their caregiver and advocate is a harsh reality for many of us. Remembering they are our parents is a balance Elizabeth Berg along with her sister and brother continually strived to remember. This book is a loving look at the author's final years. She writes with clarity and love. The honesty and depth of this memoir is one I will not soon forget. Observing one's parent's health in decline and becoming their caregiver and advocate is a harsh reality for many of us. Remembering they are our parents is a balance Elizabeth Berg along with her sister and brother continually strived to remember. This book is a loving look at the author's final years. She writes with clarity and love.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    This is a poignant memoir about the changing relationships between the author and her parents as they all grow older and move into new phases and stages of life.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    This was a sad and beautiful book. A love story on many levels.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    An honest account of moving her parents from their home into an assisted living apartment when their health began to fail. Her mother’s struggle to accept the move from the house she had lived in for 45 years was so sad. Reinventing your life when your friends are dying and your life is thrown into turmoil takes a lot of bravery.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Anita

    Elizabeth Berg shares a beautiful and honest memoir of her aging parents and the transition from independent living to acknowledging the need for help. Still reluctant as many older people are, her parents move and it is fraught with emotions. Having lived this with my own parents this book gave me comfort in that my family was not alone and also compassion as she writes about this difficult time so beautifully. I recommend this book to anyone entering this phase or just in preparation and to al Elizabeth Berg shares a beautiful and honest memoir of her aging parents and the transition from independent living to acknowledging the need for help. Still reluctant as many older people are, her parents move and it is fraught with emotions. Having lived this with my own parents this book gave me comfort in that my family was not alone and also compassion as she writes about this difficult time so beautifully. I recommend this book to anyone entering this phase or just in preparation and to all who love a love story.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    Quite a few years ago I picked up a copy of Open House by Elizabeth Berg. It just so happened it came out at almost exactly the same time I was in a similar situation as Sam, the main character. Her voice was like reading my own story right in front of me, and I was smitten from those first few pages; her story was mine. From that time I have read nearly every word Elizabeth Berg has written, including her current Facebook posts. She speaks to me, through me in her writings. In this latest story, Quite a few years ago I picked up a copy of Open House by Elizabeth Berg. It just so happened it came out at almost exactly the same time I was in a similar situation as Sam, the main character. Her voice was like reading my own story right in front of me, and I was smitten from those first few pages; her story was mine. From that time I have read nearly every word Elizabeth Berg has written, including her current Facebook posts. She speaks to me, through me in her writings. In this latest story, a memoir, she tells a different story, but her words create the same kind of mood and emotions that always strike me as my own. This story, I'll Be Seeing You, is the story of Elizabeth and her sibling's journey through role reversal with their aging parents. Father is a retired WWII and Korean veteran. He was always stern and rigid until one day Elizabeth was able to reconcile with his demeanor, and he to soften his militant ways. He has always adored their mother. his wife, and put her first in every manner. Mom was the classic suburban housewife of the 50s and following decades; always putting her family first before her own needs, but also always knowing her husband adored her. Mom and dad are now elderly; dad has memory issues and mom is tired and to the breaking point. Suddenly, or maybe gradually, the task of having her adoring husband following her every step has become too much. This is the story of siblings moving their parents from their home of 45 years into smaller assisted living quarters, and the battles which ensued. I think of my mothers, both gone now before these type of decisions needed to be made. It makes me consider my own father; still youthful, yet aging. It makes me think of what it will be like for me, myself, when that time comes - who will help me settle in as Elizabeth and her siblings did their parents? I find myself looking around my own home - I have lived here on this property for 38 years now. The time will come, yet it is hard to imagine, much like as a child it is hard to comprehend getting to teen aged years. It is unfathomable, as it is to a teen, how to arrive at that place where no one tells you where to go, how to act, what to do. This story is about the phases of life each of us go through, and that there is no perfect one solution to any situation. In the end acknowledgements; to those readers who said "this will help so many people." That is so true. Thank you, Random House, for the opportunity to read it. Thank you, Elizabeth Berg, for writing it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Laurel-Rain

    Elizabeth Berg’s father was an Army veteran who was a tough man in every way but one: He showed a great deal of love and tenderness to his wife. Berg describes her parents’ marriage as a romance that lasted for nearly seventy years; she grew up watching her father kiss her mother upon leaving home, and kiss her again the instant he came back. His idea of when he should spend time away from her was never. But then Berg’s father developed Alzheimer’s disease, and her parents were forced to leave th Elizabeth Berg’s father was an Army veteran who was a tough man in every way but one: He showed a great deal of love and tenderness to his wife. Berg describes her parents’ marriage as a romance that lasted for nearly seventy years; she grew up watching her father kiss her mother upon leaving home, and kiss her again the instant he came back. His idea of when he should spend time away from her was never. But then Berg’s father developed Alzheimer’s disease, and her parents were forced to leave the home they loved and move into a facility that could offer them help. It was time for the couple’s children to offer, to the best of their abilities, practical advice, emotional support, and direction—to, in effect, parent the people who had for so long parented them. It was a hard transition, mitigated at least by flashes of humor and joy. The mix of emotions on everyone’s part could make every day feel like walking through a minefield. Then came redemption. I’ll Be Seeing You charts the passage from the anguish of loss to the understanding that even in the most fractious times, love can heal, transform, and lead to graceful—and grateful—acceptance. My Thoughts: I’ll Be Seeing You was a tender tale of a family journey. From youth to the end of life and all of the wonderful and sometimes painful moments in between, I felt connected to the very real characters in the story. I could relate to some of my own travels along the way, from the excitement and joy of first love to the losses of aging that seem to be endless, as one leaves behind one way of life via a series of mini-losses that feel deeply sad and lonely. But also offer the kinds of new beginnings that take adjustment but can feel like more opportunities for growth. The beautifully written memoir kept me engaged completely as I could almost feel myself going along for the ride. A poignant story with very real lessons to be learned about what lies ahead. 5 stars.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Julie Failla Earhart

    I read Elizabeth Berg books. I usually don’t care what they are about. With the exception of two or three (out of 30), I’ve always loved her books. I did not even notice “A Memoir,” on this book’s cover. And she has never written a book that has hit so close to home as this one did: aging parents. In my case, it’s Momma. Until the Coronavirus pandemic hit, my 88-year-old mother was living alone, taking care of herself, and still driving (only to the beauty parlor and the grocery store). But as th I read Elizabeth Berg books. I usually don’t care what they are about. With the exception of two or three (out of 30), I’ve always loved her books. I did not even notice “A Memoir,” on this book’s cover. And she has never written a book that has hit so close to home as this one did: aging parents. In my case, it’s Momma. Until the Coronavirus pandemic hit, my 88-year-old mother was living alone, taking care of herself, and still driving (only to the beauty parlor and the grocery store). But as the weeks and months started to drag by, I could tell that something was wrong---even 500 miles away and over the phone. Long story short…in the last month she has had to go into a nursing home…and that has almost shattered me. But on the positive side, I can at least call her five or six times a day as I have since Daddy passed twelve years ago. Reading this book, I would swear that Berg looked into my mind and my heart, as we have been going through some of the same things: guilt that we out of state, trying to get used to a new home, dementia, and the aches and pains of growing old. Once I started this book, I was afraid that I would be devastating to read. And it is, in some ways. But as humans live longer, more and more people will have to live the realities that Berg describes. She comes across as handling is rather nobly; I cannot say the same. But I’m sure that she has spent as much time crying as I have. Thanks, Ms. Berg! This really helped! I’ll Be Seeing You receives 6 out of 5 stars in Julie’s world.

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