Talk Before Sleep by Elizabeth Berg.
In the beginning of Talk Before Sleep, at a party, Ann Stanley tells her husband, “I hate that woman.” She points to a “raven-haired, blue-eyed, neatly petite” woman.
Her husband asks, “How do you know her?”
Ann answers, “I don’t. But I know about her. Can’t stand her.”
And then Ann meets The Woman, Ruth, in the tiny downstairs bathroom and everything changes.
“I knew we had a lot to talk about. I could forgive her good looks. She was capable of a scary kind of honesty I was ready for, although until that moment, I hadn’t realized how much I’d been needing to meet someone I might be able to say everything to.”
And so, they become best friends. Ann, a former nurse, takes care of Ruth, navigating her last days through the maze of cancer.
Elizabeth Berg : “I lost a very important friend to breast cancer. I wanted to write about my experience in a fictional way, to create characters and events that, although imagined, would testify to the emotional truth of all that happened. My purpose was two-fold: I wanted to demonstrate the strength and salvation of women’s friendships; and I wanted to personalize the devastating effects of losing someone to this disease.”
Elizabeth takes us on a contemplative journey of friendship, honesty, and fighting a disease in an absorbing and thoughtful way, in Elizabeth’s signature style of writing deep and meaningful stories.