Life...The Most Complicated Thought

The unexamined life is not worth living. ~Socrates

The Last Time I Saw You by Elizabeth Berg

This is one of those books where I want to jump up and down and say, "Read it." It was cutely good. The novel is about a 40th high school reunion. There are five main characters: Dorothy Shauman Ledbetter, Pete Decker, Mary Alice Mayhew, Candy Armstrong, and Lester Heseenpfeffer. There are other characters but the story mainly revolves around these characters.

The novel starts with each character discussing the reunion and the reason they are going. It is cute how some characters start acting like teenagers and decide to go to the reunion to "hook up with an old flame." The book then shifts toward the reunion, which starts with the arrival at the venue. The last part of the novel is about characters' lives after the reunion.

The story was cute. The reunion served as a self-awareness retreat for the characters. The characters are portrayed a certain way and the readers can see the development in the characters as the story progresses. I felt that at the end of the novel, the stories of the characters are also wrapped up nicely. I liked the ending. Overall, I enjoyed the entire novel and looked forward to listening to it every time I got in my car.

Secondly, the overall theme of a 40th reunion was an interesting topic. I graduated high school 5 years ago and a 10-year reunion sounds exciting to me. Imagine going back for 40th reunion. Nowadays, it is easier to keep in touch with friends through social networking websites like Facebook, Orkut, MySpace, etc.

Lastly, the book was read by the author. I am a fan of audio books that are read by the author. It gives the authors an opportunity to present the characters exactly how they imagined them. Same goes for Elizabeth Berg. I think she did an excellent job with the audio book, and I really enjoyed listening to it. Just from listening to Berg, I could make out that in the novel, Mary is the calm one, Peter is the impulsive one, Candy is lonely, Lester is satisfied with his life but he is missing something, and Dorothy is like a child.

I highly recommend this book and give it 9.5 out of 10.

This book qualifies for the Audio Book Challenge.