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The Art of Mending: A Novel Paperback – March 1, 2005
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"Maybe Freud didn’t know the answer to what women want, but Elizabeth Berg certainly does.”
“Elizabeth Berg writes with humor and a big heart about resilience, loneliness, love, and hope. And the transcendence that redeems.”—Andre Dubus
“Berg’s writing is to literature what Chopin’s études are to music—measured, delicate, and impossible to walk away from until they are completed.”
“Berg knows her characters intimately....She gets under their skin and leaves the reader with an indelible impression of lives challenged and changed.”
—The Seattle Times
“Elizabeth Berg is one of those rare souls who can play with truths as if swinging across the void from one trapeze to another.”
From the Hardcover edition.
From the Inside Flap
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 one 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.
Readers have come to love Elizabeth Berg for the "lucent beauty of [her] prose, the verity of her insights, and the tenderness of her regard for her fellow human" ("Booklist). In The Art of Mending, her most profound and emotionally satisfying novel to date, she confronts some of the deepest mysteries of life, as she explores how even the largest sins can be forgiven by the smallest gestures, and how grace can come to many through the trials of one.
"From the Hardcover edition.
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Acually, it is the first book (and I've read all of them) that Berg does not give completely of herself, or at least I felt this.
But...even so, I absolutely still love her, still read every page, still enjoyed it.
Two sisters coming to terms with abuse in the family...one would think we would blame the mother, but Berg does not turn her into a monster--- instead gives her a face, a history, even a tender soul.
Berg's gift is making the reader see through the eyes of somebody we may hate under normal circumstances, but she turns everything around, helps us understand why they did what they did....shows us their sins and weaknesses and we forgive them, we must, in the end.
In the last 3 or 4 chapters...Berg is back to her insightful, delicious self...and this is why i give the book 3 and a half stars.
I enjoyed the way this book was written---it's by Elizabeth Berg, after all. She has written with empathy and kindness. It seems to me that this book should have a wide readership because although it is fiction, so many people would be able to relate or, at the very least, learn how it can sometimes be, for some families.