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The Resource The year of pleasures : a novel, Elizabeth Berg

The year of pleasures : a novel, Elizabeth Berg

Label
The year of pleasures : a novel
Title
The year of pleasures
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Elizabeth Berg
Title variation
Year of pleasures
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
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 simple 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-one-year-old who is struggling to find his place in the world, and a handsome man who is ready for love
Storyline
Tone
Review
  • 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) --Staff (Reviewed February 21, 2005) (Publishers Weekly, vol 252, issue 8, p154)
  • As evidenced by this 14th novel (after The Art of Mending ), Berg's talents grow richer with each book. Her heroine is Betta Nolan, whose marriage boasts such strength and intimacy that she is left completely bereft at husband John's death. Seeking to begin again and following a dream that she and John had shared to move to the Midwest, Betta impulsively purchases a house in a small town. Each day is difficult, and yet by finding and celebrating the simple pleasures of life, Betta catches hope and begins to heal. Berg's unerring sense of the beauties of daily life bursts forth on every page, from her description of "barns faded to the soft red of tomato soup," through cryptic one-word notes that John has left for Betta to find and unravel, to a green bowl, eggs, and a sparrow. Poignant, intimate, and hopeful, this is a novel to read, treasure, and share. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 12/04.]—Caroline M. Hallsworth, City of Greater Sudbury, Ont. --Caroline M. Hallsworth (Reviewed March 1, 2005) (Library Journal, vol 130, issue 4, p74)
  • The prolific Berg (The Art of Mending, 2004, etc.) champions middle-aged craziness in an impossibly sunny soap opera.Betta Nolan, 55 and a former children's book author, sells her Boston townhouse after her beloved husband John dies of cancer—and sets out for the center of the country to see what happens next. It's not purely whim that draws Betta to the Midwest; she and John had once dreamed of moving to that part of the country. "We had always been charmed by the people we'd met from there, and it seemed the right place to start a new life: exotic, at least to us, but not as difficult as, say, Prague." Her Boston house sells for $1.9 million, so she won't have to take a waitress job to make ends meet, and she eagerly plunks down a ridiculously low sum for a Victorian treasure in Stewart, Ill. There's still the matter of filling up a life, however, and between bouts of grieving, Betta does just that by looking up three old friends from college, befriending a handsome college student with a bitchy, unworthy girlfriend, and opening the store John once suggested she call "What a Woman Wants." Meanwhile, Betta tries to decipher the scrawled notes her psychiatrist husband left behind. The answer to their mystery, like all the other not-so-very complicated roadblocks in the way of Betta's starting over, is expressed in a platitude ("There is love in holding. And there is love in letting go") that only soapy characters could fathom or follow. "We're all just here, blinking in the light like kittens," Betta's friend Maddy confides. "The older I get, the more I see that nothing makes sense but to try to learn true compassion." What a woman wants, Betta discovers, is to have perfect things in a perfect place, shared with perfect—or at least perfectly interesting—friends. "You don't dishonor the one you loved by being happy," Betta learns.Unhappiness, in Berg's world, isn't an option. (Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2005)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
132397
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Berg, Elizabeth
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Widows
  • Loss (Psychology)
  • Female friendship
  • City and town life
  • Man-woman relationships
  • Middle West
Target audience
adult
Label
The year of pleasures : a novel, Elizabeth Berg
Instantiates
Publication
Dimensions
25 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
206 p.
Isbn
9780812970999
Isbn Type
(pbk.)
Lccn
2004051471
System control number
  • (OCoLC)56840975
  • (OCoLC)ocm56840975
  • 4202-73860
  • (OCoLC)ocm65333944
  • 4438-66660
  • (OCoLC)65333944
  • (OCoLC)ocm56840975
  • (Pol)77968
  • 050404001
  • (OUa)vtls000595176
  • (OCoLC)ocm56840975
Label
The year of pleasures : a novel, Elizabeth Berg
Publication
Dimensions
25 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
206 p.
Isbn
9780812970999
Isbn Type
(pbk.)
Lccn
2004051471
System control number
  • (OCoLC)56840975
  • (OCoLC)ocm56840975
  • 4202-73860
  • (OCoLC)ocm65333944
  • 4438-66660
  • (OCoLC)65333944
  • (OCoLC)ocm56840975
  • (Pol)77968
  • 050404001
  • (OUa)vtls000595176
  • (OCoLC)ocm56840975

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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