THE YEAR OF PLEASURES

Elizabeth Berg, Author . Random $24.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6160-0

The familiar protagonist of Berg's 13th novel (after The Art of Mending ) is a Boston widow of several months, 55-year-old Betta Nolan, who fulfills her dying husband's dream of moving out to the Midwest and starting a new life. "It will give me peace to know that what you will do is exactly what we talked about," says John commandingly before dying of liver cancer; Betta, an author of children's books, sells their Beacon Hill brownstone and takes off, buying an oversized Victorian in the small town of Stewart, Ill., 49 miles from Chicago. Lonely, she finds herself tracking down three former college roommates from the late 1960s, Lorraine, Maddy and Susanna, whom she ditched once she met John. The women reappear one by one and help give her the courage to open a shop called What a Woman Wants (it'll sell "all different stuff that women loved. Beautiful things, but unusual too. Like antique birdcages with orchids growing in them"). Meanwhile, she begins to make friends in town, notably with attractive young handyman Matthew and natty oldster Tom Bartlett. Berg is a pro at putting together an affecting saga of interest to women of a certain age, yet here she seems to be writing in her sleep. There is little effort at cohesion—rather, a kind of serendipitous plot that goes every which way and a series of tentative, aborted romances. The impression readers will be left with is of a woman endlessly nurturing and rarely satisfied. Agent, Lisa Bankoff at ICM. 12-city author tour. (Apr. 12)

Reviewed on: 02/21/2005
Release date: 04/01/2005
Paperback - 206 pages - 978-0-09-947647-4
Hardcover - 352 pages - 978-0-375-43456-3
MP3 CD - 978-1-59335-755-9
Paperback - 225 pages - 978-0-8129-7099-9
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-59355-771-3
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4418-2847-7
Ebook - 181 pages - 978-1-58836-456-2
Compact Disc - 7 pages - 978-1-59355-773-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-5012-7284-4
MP3 CD - 978-1-5113-3278-1
Show other formats
FORMATS
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X