The Art of Mending by Elizabeth Berg Buy book: $14.48
Secrets have been long-buried in a family where cruelty, love and loss have been dramatically interwoven in complex layers. In this powerful novel, Berg introduces readers to Laura Bartone, who returns home for an annual family reunion. There, both she and her brother Steve are confronted by their sister Caroline, with allegations of shocking behavior by their mother.
looks good , but i like a good mystery . just trying to read all my books is a real chore. i can read but coprending it is really hard , its like school , i;ve struggled trying to graduate but with no sucess im not going to make the june 15th deadline . i think i became over welmed andi think i got scared. and time is running out for me tocontinue with all my homework suzanne . i feel like a failure because i didnt finish , im continue reading your books in the club . im just down.
This book starts out reminding me of how I saw things as a child, how I saw my mother. I don't know how children see things now, but then the adult world was so impressive. I loved rummaging through my mother's closet and trying on her high heels--2 and 3 inches high. She had so many shoes and they were glittery. Saturday mornings were wonderful rituals: waking up early to watch cartoons and making a tent in the bedroom with our blankets. Then my mother would send us down the street to the bakery to buy a chocolate cake with a pecan on top in the middle of it. She would sit at the kitchen table and drink her coffee black. We would beg her to make pancakes. Those childhood days were magical times. I wonder if children today sense the world in a similar way?
I love Elizabeth Berg's books and this one starts off beautifully triggering all kinds of lovely memories! What great evocative description! I remember doing little jobs, mostly picking berries for my mother to make jam and pies with...I had a little blue box that held my riches which I saved to go to the annual exhibition! Life is more organized for kids now I think and things come more easily and quickly than they used to. This ties in with the business book selection for this week.
I'm SURE our kids will have fond memories of weekend mornings, but I doubt they will be anything like ours.
Sat and Suns are so hectic nowadays. Kids are shuttled to soccer, baseball, ballet, karate, games and classes. And the poor dual working parents are scrambling to do all the household errands on Sat/Sun.
The lazy Saturday ritual seems, to me, to be a thing of the past. Is this just me? (all I know are military families)
Angela, you're completely right. As being a "Child of today" you're either on your way to a soccer game or out the door somewhere else. So far I'm really enjoying this book, it's got good character devolpment and it's neat getting a look on what life was like way back when.
My husband is a Navy reservist who LOVES what he does. It's not his full-time job, but he tries to pick up extra AT when he can. Many times he is away on the weekends. I stay at home with the 3 kids. Things are tight financially, but I feel it is my duty to be home with the kids. I sometimes make pancakes on Saturday mornings (chocolate chip!). On Sunday morning we go to church. I try not to do housework on Sunday.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that life is what you make it. You set your priorities and then everything else falls into place according to what you've decided is most important in your life and what can be postponed until later. Live and learn, I guess.
I absolutely think my three children see life like that, at least a good part of the time. I hope they do. I did, and I still do when I spend quality time with them. It's a beautiful way to see the world. I think God meant for us to see it like that--full of wonder and joy. Thank you for sharing your memories. They sound beautiful!
Elizabeth Berg is one of my favorite authors, so I was thrilled to see this book was this week's fiction selection. I have read all her books up to this one, and now that it is out in paperback, I will be getting it shortly. She also has a new one, still in hardback, which I'll eagerly anticipate. I was 11 in 1960, so I'm sure I'll find much to relate to here. She did seem to have an awful lot of money to spend at the fair for 1960, though. I can't imagine spending more than $60 at the fair at that time, when my weekly allowance was a mere quarter. But I'll let that slide and just enjoy Berg's wonderful story-weaving.
Karol, keep hanging in there and keep reading. Good books can change your life.
Reading today made me relate the speaker to my grandmother. My grandmother loves to iron. I don't completely understand it, because I hate it myself, but whenever my grandmother comes to visit my aunt or my mom she seems to always end up ironing something. Last time she visited us she took down my curtains, washed them, and ironed them. It probably bugged her that this hadn't been done since we put them up back in 1998.
I can identify with Laura,the narrator of the story,when she says that she enjoyed domesticity as a child.My grandmother taught me the basics of cooking when I was about 10 years old ,and when I was in my teens,I often used to spend Saturday afternoons in my mother's kitchen, baking batches of scones,or chocolate cakes.
I also started making some of my own clothes ,and knitting my own sweaters;I remember my friends making fun of me,as they thought I was being most " un-cool"!
I forgot how much I love Elizabeth Berg's writing. I've only read a couple of her books, one was short stories, but once again I am really enjoying this book. Naturally I am very curious to find out what in the world was going on between Caroline and her mother(????) so will have to get this book ASAP. Great selection, thanks Susanne!
Pam - cloth diapers?!? - you are dating yourself - and me -
just finished a Berg book my daughter recommended - can't think of the name the -------- year , I believe - about a recently widowed middle aged woman who takes off to find a new life - really enjoyed most of the writing but it got a little off-putting after a while of so much daily minute by minute descriptive tho' good writing - which proves to me at least - yes there can even be too much of a good thing - this one sounds more like a little mystery involved and from all the comments, may have to seek it out -
I've been out of the loop for awhile but what a great book to come back in on. I read her book that was an Oprah pick and LOVED it. I am also very curious about what is going on between that mother and daughter. AND you can still use cloth diapers today, of course, but I myself was too overwhelmed and used disposables!
Yes, I'm fast approaching my best-before date! I remember the invention of disposable diapers! Flushabyes that you used with rubber pants. I love this book. Everything sounds so lovely but there is this mysterious undercurrent of some kind of tension and yes, what is it with Caroline and her mother! Just got it from the library & it's going to rain all weekend.
I missed the daily selections, but requested the book from the library after reading some of your comments. I'm totally intrigued by it, a quick read.
As for ironing, BLAAH! I grew up in the South where we always wore cotton or linen (before the days of perma-press) and my mother insisted that we always face the world with tight creases and pleats. Even the sheets and table cloths got the treatment. Standing over that hot ironing board on a hot day was the worst. Now, I still feel the need to iron those cotton shirts and blouses and press the pleats and creases into the khaki pants and shorts, but I always have a "book on tape" to help the time pass. Same with preparing big guest meals. Nothing makes chopping onions more fun than listening to a good book.
Thanks, Suzanne for this selection! If any of you finish the book I'd love to hear your comments.
for some reason I didn't get the #5 reading of the Art of Mending. Actually I received 2 other readings (both the same even though one was titled CORRECTED). Guess I'll HAVE to get the book now!!!!! Love this book, so far.
I didn't see your email address so unfortunately I was not able to send you the corrected read. I'm sorry that you did not receive the it. Yes, we did have an OOPS and accidentally send out the wrong read. I have included a link where you can go to receive missed reads in an instant. We want to make sure that you never have to be without your daily read!! Here is the link:
I loved it too...I finished it in the car going to Munich this weekend.
I can't stop thinking about a part in the book where Laura's describing the couple on the plane arguing about world peace. The man doesn't think WP is possible and the woman thinks it is...then the husband asks her if she can start speaking to her mother again...It hit home...very hard!
Finally got this book from library after being on waiting list for long period of time - I mentioned before that I had read a previous book by her "The year of pleasure" I believe was the name - this one I have not really gotten into but it has a completely different feel - am hoping it will not be too depressing but that is the impression I am getting from just the small bit I've read - but I am getting the vibes of good writing -
PLEASE stick with it Doris! I want to hear your comments about the ending. I enjoyed this book so much that I checked out another by Elizabeth Berg, DURABLE GOODS. Completely different, and a very compelling read. It's very short, I finished it in an evening. I recommend it highly. (For what that's worth!)
Quite a good read - tho' at times felt there were holes that were not completely filled in - perhaps that's the way she intended it to be - as things were told from different perspectives - and do feel I need to read again when I'm more rested - read for a really long time last nite as I was having difficulty sleeping but my eyes were beginning to bother me after a while - do think (for me) a good book is one that leaves me pondering and reflecting on different aspects of whatever issues the subject matter brought to mind -
Pam and Ann - as I responded yesterday did finish the book and did enjoy it very much - think I will check out some of her other books - this one was much meatier than the one I mentioned earlier - will check on "Durable Goods" -
The Art of Mending by Elizabeth Berg I believe sends a message -- that children are harmed by eruptions of an adult -- And while these eruptions are understandable from the point of view of the adult (fatigue, exasperation, simmering anger) have extremely long term consequences on the child's emotional development. Two of the siblings were out of harm's way when these explosive moments occurred but one sibling bore the brunt. Her entire psyche took a hit. I think parents should be made to understand this.