Elizabeth Berg – The Art of Mending: A Novel

46. The Art of Mending: A Novel by Elizabeth Berg (2004)

Length: 237 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 8 July 2015
Finished: 9 July 2015
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 1 June 2015
Why do I have it? I like contemporary fiction and Elizabeth Berg is a new author for me.

Laura Bartone always anticipates her annual family reunion with the usual amount of excitement and wariness. Traveling all the way to Minnesota to see her family each year is certainly wonderful, yet Laura also can’t deny that in a small portion of her heart, she secretly dreads going to the family reunion each year. Laura loves her family deeply – yet somehow, whenever she is around her sister Caroline and her brother Steve – Laura can feel the mutual tension building between them, as well as the mutual desire to get away. Yet this year’s gathering will prove to be even more trying than either she or her siblings could have imagined.

It all begins when Laura receives a cryptic phone call from her younger sister Caroline. Caroline has always been regarded as the family’s restless black sheep; forever wrapped up in her memories of the past, so for her to make a desperate phone call in the middle of the night is typical behavior. As much as Laura tries to be the understanding, supportive sister, she knows that Caroline has always had a dramatic flair when remembering certain events from the past, so Laura takes what she hears with a pinch of salt.

However, as soon as Laura arrives in Minnesota, she realizes that something is definitely wrong with her sister. Caroline’s entire demeanor just doesn’t seem right. When she eventually confronts Laura and their brother, Steve, with devastating allegations about their mother, the three have a difficult time reconciling their varying experiences while living in the same house. And it is the sudden revelation of such astounding secrets – secrets that have subsequently shaped the personalities and fates of all three siblings, that now threaten to tear them apart.

Yet a sudden misfortune will lead them all to face the past, their own culpability, and their common need for love and forgiveness. In The Art of Mending a novel which is her most profound and emotionally satisfying story to date – Elizabeth Berg confronts some of the deepest mysteries of life, as she explores how even the largest sins can be forgiven by the smallest gestures, and how grace can come to many through the trials of one.

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. In my opinion, this was a fast-paced, well-developed story; filled with vibrant and brilliantly nuanced characters that really resonated with me emotionally. I give this book a definite A+! and will be eagerly awaiting Ms. Berg’s next novel with baited breath.

A+! – (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

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