Thursday, January 24, 2008

THE ART OF MENDING by Elizabeth Berg

Laura, the narrator of Elizabeth Berg's The Art of Mending, is a professional quiltmaker. I'm sure this is a metaphor for something, but I don't know what. Nevertheless, I loved this book. Among the many bits of wisdom, I especially liked the description of mending as being indicative of the worth of the object being mended and resulting in a scar to prove its value. I did get that this applies to the mending of relationships as well. This is a short, easy read about family secrets, and Berg tells the story in a way that keeps the reader in suspense. Steve, Caroline, and Laura are middle-aged siblings. At their annual fall get-together, Caroline shocks the other two with a story about how their mother mistreated her. This tale does not jive with Steve's and Laura's childhood memories, leaving them disturbed and skeptical about the truth of Caroline's accusations. Just as in real life, everyone in the book is flawed in some way. This is one of those books where you wince when the characters make mistakes and cheer when they make you proud of them.

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