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The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted

A short story collection by Elizabeth Berg

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  • Jul 3, 2009
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Elizabeth Berg's charming collection of stories, The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted: And Other Small Acts of Liberation, is all about real-life experiences, focusing on those anecdotal moments that women can relate to.

In the title story, we can identify completely with the woman who is totally frustrated by following her Weight Watchers diet and takes a day off to eat just everything imaginable—all of the donuts she wants, cream in her coffee, real butter and syrup—and when she isn't eating all of these forbidden foods, she is fantasizing about them. In her experiment, though, she finds that she doesn't eat quite as much as she would have thought—her habit of self-control is entrenched—but just being able to eat some of what she wants is truly pleasurable.

In another story—"Truth or Dare"—three women who have only recently met in a yoga class have become good friends. They are all divorced and middle-aged. They meet weekly for lunch. On one such occasion, they all decide to look somebody up from the past—from when they were young— perhaps an old boyfriend; then when they meet again, they will tell each other all about it. The key is to do something that's a little bit risky—maybe even frightening.

Like her novels, Berg's stories reflect real-life experiences in such a down-to-earth way that the reader is totally engrossed in the moments she describes.

Recommended for anyone who is a Berg fan, along with those who enjoy a collection of memorable stories that remind the reader of something in her own life; moments that describe events that make us uniquely human, and perhaps flawed.

Laurel-Rain Snow
Author of: Miles to Go, etc.
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July 13, 2009
Thanks for your comments. I often forget to check out story collections, believing (erroneously) that I won't connect as much to the characters as I do in a novel. But when I do investigate further, I find out how wrong I am to assume such a thing.
July 13, 2009
Sounds like a very interesting book. I like the concept of short, non-fiction stories that portray women living in the moment. Fantastic book title. Thanks for the review!
About the reviewer
Lorraine Frost Sandone ()
Ranked #312
A retired social worker, specializing in child welfare services, I have brought my professional and personal experiences to my five novels and assorted short stories.      On Amazon.com, … more
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About this book


 A compelling anthology of short fiction, including eleven never-before-published pieces, explores the lives of women breaking free of the convention that controls their lives, in a collection that includes "Returns and Exchanges," "Over the Hill and Into the Woods," and the title story, about a woman who goes on a happiness binge after ditching Weight Watchers.

Table of Contents: 

The day I ate whatever I wanted -- Returns and exchanges -- The party -- Over the hill and into the woods -- Full count -- Rain -- The day I ate nothing I even remotely wanted -- Mrs. Ethel Menafee and Mrs. Birdie Stoltz -- Double diet -- The only one of millions just like him -- Truth or dare -- How to make an apple pie -- Sin City.
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ISBN-10: 1400065097 (hbk.)
ISBN-13: 9781400065097 (hbk.)
Author: Elizabeth Berg
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Random House
Date Published: April 15, 2008
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