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We Are All Welcome Here: A Novel Paperback – Apr 17 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (April 17 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812971000
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812971002
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 13 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #511,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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By Carol Paterson on May 14 2007
Format: Paperback
This is not one of Elizabeth Bergs best books. The characters really were
not that likable and I think she could have developed the Civil Rights
problems of that time a bit more. Elvis coming in to save the day was a
bit of a stretch!!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 88 reviews
42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
You won't be able to put it down ~ excellent!!! April 23 2006
By mamareadssomuch - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
If you are a fan of Elizabeth Berg books, then you know you are in for an emotional ride. This novel doesn't disappoint ~ I wasn't able to put it down. It opened up with a note from the author, how a fan had written to her an requested she write the story of her mother's life. Berg immediately didn't want to commit to such a task, but after learning more about this amazing woman's mother, she agreed and said it would be a fictional account. The result is amazing.

Paige Dunn is married and pregnant. She is diagnosed with Polio and delivers her baby, Diana, in an iron lung. Paige lives in the lung for three years; her husband leaves her and after that time in the hospital, she is able to return home to the care of two caregivers in order to raise her daughter, as best as she is able. The time is 1964 and the story is set in Tupelo, MS. The plot is woven with civil rights, sweepstakes and an Elvis surprise in the ending is a twist!

Diana is thirteen when the story opens and in her forties by the end of the book. The novel is a testament to a lovely, beautiful woman, Paige Dunn, and her strong will to live her life as it is (she can only move her head) and raise her daughter, whom she loves so much.

The title is significant because it touches on several characters in the book. WE ARE ALL WELCOME HERE had me absorbed from page one. I urge you to read it and be moved too!
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Couldn't put it down! Oct. 6 2006
By J. B. Morian - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This was a wonderful book! Elizabeth Berg has done it again with a fascinating story about a an adult woman polio survivor, her adolescent daughter, and her housekeeper/friend. She provided some thought provoking issues regarding the difficulties encountered by a single mother that is handicapped, the responsibilities of a child to a parent and vice versa, and how sometimes "family" comes in the form of someone not related by blood.

This was one of those books that made you feel that you know the characters. I was sorry when the book came to an end. I highly recommend it!
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
I loved it! April 14 2006
By A. Hansen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
A heartwarming story. I learned interesting things in this book. For example, one of the main characters had polio and can only move her head...however, she can feel everything! I didn't know that was possible! So, not only do you learn a little, you are entertained by a wonderful story about friendship, parenting, the race problems of the 60's, and of coarse...growing up. What's not to love? This is a book that's rather short, but not short in it's story. Sometimes just as you learn about the characters the story ends. Not in this case. Berg did a good job letting us know the characters and finishing the book up in a way we feel content. I don't think you'll waste your time at all!!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
An emotional story! April 15 2006
By Armchair Interviews - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
It's not often that a fan letter can prompt a book, but such is the case in Elizabeth Berg's fifteenth novel, We Are All Welcome Here. The story has its roots in real life but the characters and the plot are purely from Berg's imagination and the story is as richly developed as her other works.

In 1951, Paige Dunn is a vibrant young woman, twenty-two years old, nine months pregnant, and happily married. Then she contracts polio. The fact that she was able to deliver a healthy baby girl while in an iron lung is an amazing feat all in itself. Paige is a strong-willed and, despite her husband leaving her, is determined to raise Diana. She hires caregivers, moves into a small, two-bedroom home in Tupelo, Mississippi, and moves on with life. She spends the next three years in that dreaded machine and the rest of her life on a respirator.

The story picks up in 1964. Thirteen-year-old Diana's best friend is neighbor Suralee Holloway. The two put on plays they've written, go into town for an ice cream cone, dream about boys, and collect Sweetnuf box tops.

While the story is told from Diana's point of view, the overpowering presence of Paige and her self-determination take center stage. She may only be able to move her head, but she is a mother first and foremost, guiding and disciplining her growing daughter.

In the background is the Civil Rights Movement. The daytime caregiver, Peacie, and her boyfriend, LaRue, become actively involved. Then there are the social workers who monitor Paige and Diana's caregivers. The reader soon realizes that little had changed in that arena. And of course, there is the shadow of Elvis. You cannot have a story set in the sixties in Tupelo, Mississippi, without mentioning the King.

Without a doubt, Berg captures the feminine voice and mind in We Are All Welcome Here. She always does. But not since her third novel, Talk Before Sleep, has Berg been so poignant and eloquent, turning trouble into laughter, tears into smiles and longings into realities.

Armchair Interviews says: An emotional story of a time of great turmoil and change in our country, how polio affected so many, and of course, civil rights issues.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Come back to us, Elizabeth! May 13 2007
By Kim Robinson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I absolutely love Elizabeth Berg--and I've read everything by her, but I am still waiting for her "Talk Before Sleep," "Pull of the Moon," and "When the Real Thing Comes Along," voice. I will wait forever if I must--because I know 'that voice' is dying to emerge: That voice with insight, charm, wisdom, and wit; that voice that goes directly to the heart and holds it between the teeth.

"We Are All Welcome Here" has its moments, but those moments are few and in between. For example, Peacie is a brilliant, diamond like character. She is the reason I continued reading. I mean, we all know somebody like Peacie--one who is externally hard, but internally beautiful. This one characterzation of Peacie cannot make this book work, though. The other characters, even the mother, Paige, are flat and non-demensional.

But I loved the part about Elvis Presley. This added suprise and excitement. But it still wasn't enough to help the book.

I am waiting, Elizabeth---Come back! Come back! Bring your readers that old, gorgeous voice; the one where you never held back, the one that made us love you from the very beginning.

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