Saturday, May 28, 2011

Review: The Art of Mending by Elizabeth Berg (audio book)

From the back of the audio case: It begins with the sudden revelation of astonishing secrets - secrets that have shaped the personalities and fates of three siblings, and now threaten to tear them apart. In renowned author Elizabeth Berg's moving new novel, unearthed truths force on seemingly ordinary family to reexamine their disparate lives and to ask themselves: Is it too late to mend the hurts of the past?

Laura Bartone anticipates her annual family reunion in Minnesota with a mixture of excitement and wariness. Yet this year's gathering will prove to be much more trying than either she or her siblings imagined. As soon as she arrives, Laura realizes that something is not right with her sister. Forever wrapped up in events of long ago, Caroline is the family's restless black sheep. When Caroline confronts Laura and their brother, Steve, with devastating allegations about their mother, the three have a difficult time reconciling their varying experiences in the same house. But a sudden misfortune will lead them all to face the past, their own culpability, and their common need for love and forgiveness.

Read by: Joyce Bean

Favorite quote: "There is an art to mending. If you're careful, the repair can actually add to the beauty of the thing, because it is testimony of its worth."

My thoughts: I have really come to enjoy Elizabeth Berg's books. I love how she tackles the deeper issues in life in her books, describing them in a way that makes you think about what's going on in your own life. In The Art of Mending, she explores the secrets of a Midwestern family, centering around the troubled relationship between the mother and her daughter, Caroline. The book touches on alleged abuse, the makeup of families and even death. It is about a family's decision whether or not to repair (mend) their relationships after there has been a great tear through the fabric of their lives. It makes you think about whether there are relationships in your life that need mending. I found it interesting that this book is not told from the point of view of the abuser or the abused, but rather from a sibling's point of view. In so doing, once the issue of abuse is brought up, both the narrator and her other sibling start to re-think their own memories and realize that things were not always as they appeared to be. Elizabeth Berg deals with this issue both sensitively and humorously, and even manages to have some suspense built in as bit by bit the entire story of the abuse comes out. I look forward to both reading and/or listening to more of her work, as she is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.

(I borrowed this audio book from the library.)

1 comment

  1. I have only just recently discovered Berg, but I enjoy her writing. And this book sounds especially good. I just love the title. I find I am really drawn to books that explore family dynamics. So interesting!


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