Do you ever read something in a book that makes you pause, back up, read it again, and eventually fold the edge of the paper down so you can revisit it over and over? I can’t count how many times I’ve done that while reading Elizabeth Berg.
I thought, how can it be that two strangers are exchanging such intimate things? Well, most women are full to the brim, that’s all. That’s what I think. I think we are most of us ready to explode, especially when our children are small and we are so weary with the demands for love and attention and the kind of service that makes you feel you should be wearing a uniform with “Mommy” embroidered over the left breast, over the heart. I (used to sit) half watching Ruthie and half dreaming—trying, I think, to recall my former self. If a stranger had come up to me and said, “Do you want to talk about it? I have time to listen,” I think I might have burst into tears at the relief of it. It wasn’t that I was really unhappy. It was the constancy of my load and the awesome importance of it; and it was my isolation.
—Elizabeth Berg, The Pull of the Moon