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The Year of Pleasures Paperback – March 28, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
Betta Nolan is a fifty something woman who up until her husband's death enjoyed a good life. Madly in love with her husband, Betta lives in Boston where she enjoys an almost solitary profession as a writer of children's books. Able to travel and enjoy the companionship of her husband, both she and her husband, who was a psychiatrist, never thought their time would be cut so short when he became terminally ill. With no children or relatives and few friends, it is as if they lived unto themselves in the world around them. But life stood in their way and when Betta's husband realizes she will live out her days without him, he urges her to strike out and make a new life for herself elsewhere. So when her husband dies, Betta honors her promise to him and does exactly what he urged her to do. Locking the door of her home, she sets out in her car to find a new place to live in and to grow as a woman alone but hopefully never lonely. And in the first year of widowhood, with some bumps along the way, this is exactly what Betta does finding not only a home but friends and a business which is an inspiration not only to her but to other woman in the area.Read more ›
Within four months of her beloved husband's death, Betta had sold her Boston home for $1.9 million, serendipitously found and paid cash for another house she loved halfway across the country, been instantly befriended by people of all ages, summoned several long-neglected friends to her side, sailed with barely a ripple through her first holidays without her mate, whipped up countless elaborate meals, been interviewed on a radio program, started dating, and established the boutique of her dreams in the evidently WalMart-less town. By the same point in my own bereavement, I was still barely able to utter a coherent sentence, was subsisting on take-out food, and certainly was in no condition to purchase high-end real estate or start a business. In my experience, recovery from the loss of a spouse doesn't proceed so quickly or so sparklingly. I know widows' experiences vary greatly, but I've not yet heard the likes of this story in real life.
Elizabeth Berg is a sensitive and highly skilled writer who avoids falling prey to the ridiculous whims of commerical publishing. Berg refuses to season her story with gratuitous elements or outlandish situations. She relies instead on the poetry and gentle beauty of the ordinary. This is never easy to pull off in a novel -- yet this particular skill of Berg's brings true depth, intelligence, and a touch of domestic magic to "The Year of Pleasures."
After reading just a few pages of the novel, I found myself caring about the fate of the main character. It didn't take long for me to be pulled into her situation. I found myself asking, what would I do if I suddenly found myself in this character's shoes? Could I start over in a new place? I am so grateful that someone recommended this book, as I haven't had much luck finding a good novel centered around a middle-aged woman. I was very disappointed in the over-hyped "The Mermaid Chair," but this book rekindled my faith and made me grateful for Elizabeth Berg.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book really hit home for I lost the love I of my life, my soul mate and I know exactly how Betta is feeling!Published 1 month ago by Karen L MacFarland
I loved it! I do really like her books but this one was just wonderful.Published 1 month ago by janene evard
Wonderful, easy reading
Would love to read more from the same author
Easy to read, no twisted webs
Book is okay. I like Elizabeth Berg as a writer but this one is very slow moving.
I wouldn't recommend it at this time.
An enjoyable, easy read. Typical of Elizabeth Berg, parts made me thoughtful and reflective.Published 3 months ago by Gallia Vickery