SugarHouse Mama

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Open House by Elizabeth Berg

Actually, I finished this one a while ago, but never got around to posting about it. (Adoption consumed my life and blog there for a month or so).

I picked Open House up for two reasons: I enjoyed The Art of Mending and I liked the bathtub on the cover. I've said this before, and I'll say it again, I'm sure - you totally can judge a book by it's cover. Besides, if you've heard it's a good book and you don't like the cover, just look for a different edition. That's what I do. Even at the library. Honest.

Books are so much more enjoyable when they are pretty. (I'm not sure I even have to vocalize this but I will - people look at what you are reading, I promise. You don't want to be caught with an ugly book in your hands. You don't want people wondering why on earth you are reading that horrid book.)

I digress. Sorry.

I enjoy the lightness of Berg's writing. It's still quality writing, just light. I love that her characters are so real - you feel like you could know them. She (the character) might not be you but she seems familiar - like your neighbor or the woman you stood behind in line at the store today. Berg's stories could be anyone's stories. That's the bulk of their appeal.

Comparing the two, I think I liked The Art of Mending more. But that could be strictly because the woman in that one likes to sew - quilts, to be specific. I loved the mending theme.

Open House is still worth the read. The only drawback I had was that there was no real drama. You got the feeling, throughout the entire book, that everything would be ok for Sam, the protagonist. The heroine would prevail. That mystery was never there (I'm the type of reader that thrives on the will she? won't she? mystic in novels) . You keep reading for other reasons: the humor, mostly, and to see just how she will prevail.

I think the best lesson I learned from the book was that when life starts feeling small, when you begin to become consumed by your problems, the best remedy is to open up - open your heart, your mind, and maybe even your house.

No comments: