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Charlotte Amalie
Friday, July 19, 2024


Book Review
"Open House"

Elizabeth Berg
Random House, 241 pp $23.95
No. 3 on the Sept. 3 New York Times Best Sellers Plus list for hardback fiction. It has been on the list for two weeks.
If this book were a Broadway play, it would be a monologue…and probably a hit. The fact that it is a book about a very sad subject, the break-up of a marriage , places the reader firmly in the personna of Samantha, the wife who has been jettisoned by her husband of a dozen years. It's tough work, putting yourself through what Sam is feeling and the jolts that are turning her life upside-down. It's almost impossible to feel sorry for her though, when in her telling of all her pain and suffering, she makes one laugh out loud. The employment agency, suggested to her by a friend, was a terrific organization; a local one would be a smash success.
When your loving husband (as you'd always believed) suddenly packs a bag and tells you that you aren't what he wants these days, the shock must be earth-moving. Samantha deals with it as best she can, with deeply sad lows and hilarious highs; one can get a bit weary traveling these extremes with her . There won't be many quitters though, how it all comes out keeps one reading, and laughing, until the end.
The cast of characters is small and somehow this is rather enjoyable. Each one becomes rounded and pretty much alive, contributing to the plot and to the complicated life Samantha is developing for herself as a single mother, one of the most popular roles in the world today. Sam's friends are fun to meet and get to know, just be prepared for your family to think you've popped your cork, laughing at a book.
Elizabeth Berg has a number of bestsellers under her belt, the latest one was "Talk Before Sleep." Add to that the prestige of a number of top awards, and the fact that "Open House" is an Oprah's Book Club novel, and here's another winner, for Mrs. Berg and her readers.
"Open House" is available at Dockside Bookshop at Havensight Mall. To check out other Dockside favorites click here.

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