The Art of Mending by Elizabeth Berg

I’m not participating in any memes this week, because my “It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?” would look exactly the same as last week’s did, the needle has moved that little, and I did not have any “finds” last week because I simply wasn’t looking.

Last week, I did finish The Art of Mending via audiobook, and I have to say, I think my enjoyment of literature is probably tarnished by hearing someone else read it to me. I like to hear the voice in my head narrate the words as I am scanning the pages. I don’t appreciate or enjoy when the narrator changes his/her voice to represent a character’s voice, particularly if it is of the opposite sex and they are speaking higher or lower.

So, I think I would have liked this book better had I not listened to someone else read it to me. I have read and enjoyed some of Berg’s other work, though I couldn’t tell you at the moment which titles of hers I’ve read – which is kind of why I started this blog, so I would remember. Berg stands just north of some of the chick-lit writers who I despise so much. I think some might classify her as borderline chick-lit, because I honestly couldn’t see a manly man sit down with this book and really dig it.

Main character Laura has dealt with her quirky sister, Caroline, all her life, but as adults, Caroline wants to divulge a big secret she’s been holding in all these years. It revolves around their mother, and it’s a she said/she said kind of thing. When a family tragedy brings them all together, Caroline still tries to put the spotlight on her, and Laura is left to make sense of it all.

This drama builds and builds, and I really wanted to know the secret, and the secret is pretty juicy. But then, not to reveal the ending,  Caroline confronts her mother about the secret and it’s kind of like, yeah, ok, sorry about that, hey wanna go shopping? Uh ok sure! And I was all “REALLY???” Thankfully, so is our protagonist, Laura. But to build a whole book around that, I expected a bigger payoff at the end. Blood, gore, explosions! Ok, maybe not in an Elizabeth Berg novel.

I’d give this novel a chance if you are a fan of the literary chick-lit genre, but don’t get the audio version. I will be steering clear of the audio section in my library for some time to come. Though it’s convenient for me, as I have a 20+ minute commute to work, I think I’d rather just plug in my iPod from now on.

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