BookBrowse Reviews The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg

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The Year of Pleasures

by Elizabeth Berg

The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2005, 224 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2006, 225 pages

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Poignant, intimate, and hopeful - a novel to read, treasure, and share. Novel

From the book jacket: The Year of Pleasures is about acknowledging the solace found in ordinary things: a warm bath, good food, the beauty of nature, music, friends, and art.

Betta Nolan moves to a small town after the death of her husband to try to begin anew. Pursuing a dream of a different kind of life, she is determined to find pleasure in her simply daily routines. Among those who help her in both expected and unexpected ways are the ten-year-old boy next door, three wild women friends from her college days, a twenty-year-old who is struggling to find his place in the world, and a handsome man who is ready for love.

Comment:
Berg's first novel, Durable Goods, was named a Best Book of the Year by the American Library Association. Since then she has written a novel a year which have always been well received by readers but not always by critics who, from time to time, have used words such as 'sentimental' and 'predictable' when describing her books. Her latest is no different, in that the hardcover was well received by readers but received mixed reviews from the media; for example:

'Berg's talents grow richer with each book....Poignant, intimate, and hopeful, this is a novel to read, treasure, and share. Highly recommended.' -- Library Journal

'The prolific Berg champions middle-aged craziness in an impossibly sunny soap opera.' -- Kirkus Reviews.

Her latest, We Are All Welcome Here, about a polio victim and her 13-year-old daughter living in 1960s Mississippi, was published in hardcover a couple of days ago. Reviewers describe it variously as "a little too much melodrama for one book" (Booklist), "over-the-top, heartrending" (PW), and "a feathery feel-good story" (Kirkus); but Berg fans know what they like - on the day of publication it was one of the top 200 bestsellers at Amazon, and likely to rise!

This review was originally published in April 2005, and has been updated for the March 2006 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.



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