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The Resource Open house : a novel, Elizabeth Berg

Open house : a novel, Elizabeth Berg

Label
Open house : a novel
Title
Open house
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Elizabeth Berg
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Samantha Morrow's husband has left her, and now she must strive to reconstruct a life for herself and her 11-year-old son. Her eccentric mother tries to help by fixing her up with dates, but a more pressing problem is money. To meet her mortgage payments, Sam decides to take in boarders. A new friend suggests Samantha get out, get going, get to work. But her real work is this: in order to emerge from grief and the past, she has to learn how to make her own happiness. And in order to know who she is, she has to remember--and reclaim--the person she used to be, long before she became someone else in an effort to save her marriage
Storyline
Tone
Character
Review
  • At the center of Berg's eighth novel is Samantha Morrow, a woman who knows her marriage is far from perfect and feels helpless as she watches it fall apart in front of her. When her husband, David, walks out on her, it seems as though the rest of her world is falling apart as well. Her eleven-year-old son, Travis, is sullen and withdrawn; her mother keeps trying to set her up on dates; and she has to find a way to keep her house. Soon she is advertising for roommates and, at the advice of a new friend, King, taking on temporary jobs. As Sam begins to take charge of her own life, she gains a new confidence in herself. There's love in Sam's future but not until she finds out who she is on her own. Sam is an engaging character, and so are the rest of the supporting cast, making this an enjoyable, uplifting read. ((Reviewed June 1 & 15, 2000)) -- Kristine Huntley
  • A middle-aged woman asks herself if there's life after divorce, then answers with a resounding yes in another of Berg's gentle tales of female self-discovery. When Samantha Morrow's husband, David, bails out after almost 20 years of marriage, Sam first goes into denial, then heads for Tiffany's and blows $12,000 on a Limoges tea set, a silver flatware service for 10 and a diamond bracelet--which she gives away to a poor black woman she passes on the drive home. The one-time hippie has not built much of a life for herself outside marriage. As a stay-at-home mother, she cares for her 11-year-old son, Travis, and her relationships are mostly of the love-hate variety: with her ex-husband, her mother, Martha Stewart (who actually calls her on the phone) and herself. Forced to take in lodgers to pay the mortgage on her large suburban house--eventually there are three: 78-year-old Lydia; Edward, a gay hairdresser; and an eccentric girl named Lavender Blue--Sam finds a new friend in King, an MIT graduate-turned-laborer who helps Lydia move in. Though he is overweight, inexperienced and underemployed, King looks surprisingly appealing when compared to the disastrous men Sam's mother sets her up with. As King cooks, babysits and helps Travis with his math homework, gradually he wins Samantha's trust. And when David suggests that he and Samantha get back together, Samantha finally knows who she is, who she has become and what she wants. Berg (Durable Goods) once again refreshes a well-worn plot with knowing domestic detail, an understanding of familiar--sometimes conflicting--female emotions and an infectious sentimental optimism. Neither deep nor complex, Sam charms the reader as she learns to stand up for herself. It is hard not to root for her. 11-city author tour with Laura Catherine Brown. (July) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
  • Samantha (Sam) Morrow doesn't understand why her husband, David, wants a divorce. Suddenly, she finds herself with a mortgage to pay, job skills that extend only to lead singer in a rock band, a preteen son, and overwhelming grief. So she maxes out David's credit cards and calls Martha Stewart for help. Sam listens to advice from her mother and her best friend but doesn't necessarily take it; for the first time in her life, she is thinking for herself. The boarders she decides to take in give her a new viewpoint; she gets a job as a temp and sees the world differently after each assignment. Finally, she meets a man named King, who is completely different from her ex-husband, and she slowly realizes how different men can be. By the time Sam has regained her equilibrium, she is a new person. When David decides he wants to "come home," she does not hesitate to tell him that it is too late. Berg writes with clarity, accurately capturing the aftermath of an adjustment of the heart. Her characters are true to life, with diverse and complex emotional reactions to real-life situations. Recommended for all collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 3/1/00.]--Joanna Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island Coll. of Continuing Education Lib., Providence Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
  • The eighth effortless novel from soft-pedaling specialist Berg (Until the Real Thing Comes Along, 1999, etc.) is an emotional slurpee/comedy featuring the newly separated mother of a near-teenaged son who finds the man of her dreams in spite of herself.What's a woman to do after her husband of 20 years packs a bag and walks out? Take a page from Martha Stewart's book, apparently, by getting dressed to the nines, making an elegant breakfast, and then trying to make the kid go along with the charade. Unfortunately for Samantha Morrow, she isn't Martha Stewart, and her son Travis is unflinchingly frank. So Sam goes to Tiffany's and writes a $12,000 check for silver flatware instead, whereupon her husband, David, takes all the money out of their joint account, and she has to start renting out rooms. The first boarder to move in is the mother of her grocery store's cashier, a sweet, capable lady who comes complete with a devoted boyfriend—and the hulk named King who moved her in is a sweetie, too. So what if the woman snores and keeps Travis awake? He and Sam adjust, and everything would be fine if she didn't keep hoping David would come back. But he has the good life and a girlfriend, while she's started temping (on King's recommendation) and dating (at her mother's insistence), the latter with disastrous results. The little old lady marries her boyfriend, another renter proves clinically depressed, and Sam has trouble adjusting to the working life. Even a distress call to Martha Stewart's 800 number doesn't help. Then, when she least expects it, love is in the air. Skillfully crafted, with a fluidity and snap that will delight Berg's fans but, when all is said and done, a distressingly familiar story. (Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2000)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
015249
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Berg, Elizabeth
Index
no index present
Intended audience
RL3.8 AR
Interest level
UG
Literary form
fiction
Reading level
3.8
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Study program name
Accelerated Reader AR
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Divorced women
  • Mothers and sons
  • Loss (Psychology)
  • Boardinghouses
Target audience
adult
Label
Open house : a novel, Elizabeth Berg
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier.
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent.
Dimensions
25 cm.
Extent
241 pages
Isbn
9780375501005
Isbn Type
(acid free paper)
Lccn
99054258
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia.
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (OCoLC)ocm42752706
  • (OCoLC)ocm46922097
Label
Open house : a novel, Elizabeth Berg
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier.
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent.
Dimensions
25 cm.
Extent
241 pages
Isbn
9780375501005
Isbn Type
(acid free paper)
Lccn
99054258
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia.
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (OCoLC)ocm42752706
  • (OCoLC)ocm46922097

Library Locations

  • Delaware Main LibraryBorrow it
    84 East Winter Street, Delaware, OH, 43015, US
    40.299672 -83.064923
  • Orange BranchBorrow it
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    40.190037 -83.027387
  • Ostrander BranchBorrow it
    75 North Fourth Street, Ostrander, OH, 43061, US
    40.267330 -83.216989
  • Powell BranchBorrow it
    460 South Liberty Street, Powell, OH, 43065, US
    40.149379 -83.073659
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