Elizabeth Berg has done it again---told the story of Everywoman, or at the least, a story every woman can identify with. This moving book, about the disintegration of a marriage and its aftermath, will touch all who read it. Sam deals with the end of her marriage in a scattershot way: looking for reasons, spending lots of money, trying to figure out what to do, and generally flailing about, emotionally. But the reader comes to understand why, thanks to Berg's wonderful writing. This was the reaction of a woman has no idea what will happen next, when all the things she has thought would come to pass suddenly are no longer a part of her future.The reader observes Sam as she takes in boarders to help pay the mortgage, has a succession of temp jobs, and begins dating again. At the same time, Sam is going through the grief process, trying to heal herself emotionally in order to get herself to a better place. I found Berg's humor much more apparent in this book than... read more
A Quick, Light Read, But No Masterpiece
By Jennifer Hall - October 9, 2000
I enjoyed 'Open House', don't get me wrong. I have read several of Elizabeth Berg's works, and am used to her simple style. It's quite easy to sit down with one of her books and finish it in a few hours. In other words, it keeps you engrossed, but doesn't ask much more from you.Berg's strong point is making you care for her characters, as much as she can from how little she gives you. Sam seems to be a bit needy, pathetic and lost at the beginning, but soon learns and finds strength and resilience where she least expects it. She has her son, growing older and away from her; her best friend, so close at heart but so far away; her new friend, King, who we all have to adore; her new housemates, who open her up to the world. Reading through their lives for a short time is interesting and enjoyable.That said, I don't see why this was picked as an Oprah Book Club selection. I'm glad to see Elizabeth Berg getting more attention, since her past works certainly deserve it. But... read more
By Toni - August 29, 2000
I loved reading this book just as I have loved reading all of Berg's other books (I was especially moved by Talk Before Sleep). Berg creates characters who are loveable and real, but in Open House, I was disappointed by the lack of depth she allowed her heroine and her compatriots. That aside, there are genuinely poignant moments in the novel that capture your heart as well as moments that are so amusing you'll laugh out loud. I was especially appreciative of Berg's easy, straight-forward writing style - I read Open House start to finish in one evening over a cafe latte. In a complex world, it's a complete delight to have the opportunity to drop into someone else's world for an evening and then leave it feeling satiated. I would highly recommend Open House as a "feel good" read. PS. I'll never think of Martha Stewart in the same way ever again! Thank you Elizabeth Berg.
From the author of A Gathering of Old Men and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman comes a deep and compassionate novel. A young man who returns to 1940s Cajun country to teach visits a black youth ...
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