The Art of Mending
by Elizabeth Berg
Unknown Binding- N/A

A BookPage Notable Title
Secrets have been long-buried in a family where cruelty, love and loss have been dramatically interwoven in complex ...

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  "Story of how differently siblings can experience the same family life" by swells (see profile) 10/22/05

Anyone who has ever discussed their childhood with their siblings and found they have totally different perspectives on growing up in the same household will be able to relate to this story. The book also addresses the human desire to remain ignorant of those painful things we really don't want to face up to in our lives. I especially enjoyed the description of the deep friendship the protagonist has with her best friend. Everyone needs a Maggie in her life!

  "the part and the whole" by imain (see profile) 11/25/05

Wow. It's a really thought provoking book. Everything is as subjective and open to interpretation as the photos that the author describes b/w chapters, but everything is also as clear as the images captured in film.

Sibling relationships are certainly a focus in this book, but so is reality and the myths we construct to make sense of our lifetimes. What is truth? How honest are we really, with ourselves and with others? How do the memories we choose to retain and re-tell change the shape of the reality we actually experienced?

Everything circles back into itself, the narrator's past weaves into her present and even influences the lives of her own children. I found this disorienting and yet so true of real life. Despite the fact that this is a novel with a distinct plot, it also has the messiness of life as we actually live it. Somehow in the neat chapters, Berg has smeared in all the shades of gray and unresolved qualities of real life.

What really amazed me about this book is how often I could feel loathing, compassion, bewilderment and recognition all at the same time while getting acquainted with Laura. I just finished reading it and I'm still spinning. There's a lot to digest in there. It's definitely a good book club pick.

  "Not my favorite Berg" by dmc1230 (see profile) 02/14/07

I love, love, love Elizabeth Berg's books. This wasn't my favorite but was still a good read. She develops great, realistic characters and really gets under the skin. Other great Berg books are True To Form, Joy School, and Talk Before Sleep.

  "Tha Art of Mending" by lkmknits (see profile) 02/02/10

This book is thought-provoking--makes one look at family life through different eyes.

  "Another disfunctional family" by msharry (see profile) 12/13/11

Three siblings find their memory of their joint childhood are very different-was it just benign neglect, not-particularly-affectionate parenting,or malignant abuse. Which character has the most accurate version and how could three children have such different experiences in the same home? Very disturbing

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