Thursday, February 17, 2011

Open House

I think this might be my second Elizabeth Berg book? I feel the same about all her books though. I'm also pretty sure I came upon both in the same manner. Every year, my mother-in-law helps with a big book sale for charity (I think that's what it is at least). I'm not sure, but I think all the leftover books get divided up and somehow I always end up getting a giant box of free books at Christmas. The box of books is always addressed to my sister-in-law Kathleen and me - both of us are avid readers. We typically just pull a book out each and as long as we haven't read them, keep the one we happened to have pulled out, then keep going until the box is empty. We both end up with something like 10 new books per year in this manner. It's great. But it can make for a weird, mixed bag of books.

Well, clearly someone who donates to this sale every year really likes Elizabeth Berg because I think I get at least one of her books every year. Someone else also clearly likes trashy chic lit too because I almost always get one of those in the mix. But I can't complain because this year I also got a few real winners. And Kathleen and I haven't even switched books yet!

Anyways, I think Elizabeth Berg's books are maybe for a generation above me, or at least being over 40 would be helpful. They are very much books about a certain time in your life, and I think I just haven't reached that time yet. I'm just not quiet ready to relate to mothers of middle schoolers, in fact I'm not really ready to admit that I will ever be one. And I'm definitely not able to relate to the fall-out of divorce, which is what this book is all about.

All of that trash talk aside - she's a good writer. She really captures the essence of being lonely, sad and what it means to struggle with the question "What am I doing with my life?" I liked her descriptions of the main character wandering through the house and the funny/weird things you do when you know that no one is watching (like take off all your clothes and examine your body in the mirror). It only took me a day to read, but I can't say I'd really recommend it. Unless you're over 40, are a parent to a middle school aged child, and/or are going through a divorce. In which case, I definitely recommend it.

1 comment:

lindsey said...

I agree. I have read many of Elizabeth Berg's books and they all seem to cater to the crowd you described. I enjoyed them for what they were - a light, easy read - but I finally stopped reading them.

Jealous! I want a huge box of books at Christmas time!