The Art Of Mending by Elizabeth Berg

Laura Baratone is a master with material.  She can create masterpieces with her quilting skills.  As she looks forward to her annual family reunion with her parents, her brother Steve, and her sister Caroline, the reunion turns out to be more than anyone bargained for.

When Caroline takes her brother and sister aside and tells them that she was abused by their mother as a child, a whole new door is open to the past – and to the future.  As Laura tried to piece together all of this  she wonders, if Caroline being over dramatic?  She does have a flare for drama… or is there truth behind this accusation.


mending - the act of putting something in working order again



As I continue my way through Elizabeth Berg’s works I am continuously impressed with the diversity of her books.  The Art Of Mending is indeed a book about mending.  What does a family do when a tear in its very fabric of who they thought were is found to be frayed?  How does one move on from something that seems to have happened so long ago yet exploring this history could change everything that you were.

Laura was the perfect main character for this read… she was the eldest sibling and the one that had it most together.  Elizabeth Berg put much on this characters shoulders as Laura worked to separate the mother she knew and the memories she had of growing up to what was actual fact.  As she sorts through her memories she starts to see things differently through these new eyes and what had appeared to be a saddened. melancholy of a sister she had in Caroline- turned out to be something much bigger.

I found the beginning of this read to drag out and take a while to get to the heart of the matter.  One there, it sparked into a flame that held throughout the rest of the read.  I felt much like Laura myself, trying to sort out what would eventually turn out to be truth or fiction.

A read that is on a very hard subject.  Emotional abuse is every bit as damaging as physical abuse.  Tearing away at a persons self-worth can damage them for life, and Elizabeth Berg sets an extraordinary example of that here when we have siblings now in their 50’s dealing with something that happened when they were between the ages of 3 -14.

Not my favorite of the Elizabeth Berg books that I have read but a worthy opponent.

Amazon Rating

The 2011 WHERE Are You reading Map has been updated to include The Art Of Mending

Rented this in audio format from my local library

16 thoughts on “The Art Of Mending by Elizabeth Berg

  1. I’ve loved every book I’ve ever read by Elizabeth Berg, so not sure why I haven’t read her entire catalog. Enjoyed your review, and think I need to catch up!

    Have a fun new award for you on my blog! I’ll think you’ll get a kick out of it! 🙂

  2. I loved this one…perhaps because of the work I did (child protective services) for many years.

    One of the recurring themes in abusive families is that there is usually one child who is “scapegoated,” while other children experience many different events.

    Which is why they often do not believe the child who “tells” of the abuse.

    Thanks for sharing….

  3. I’m glad you posted about this book. It’s been quite a long time since I read anything by Elizabeth Berg, and although this particular book sounds difficult in some ways, I’m glad to be reminded of this author.

    1. This one did not seem to “get to the point” as quickly as many of her others Shari – it may have been because I was listening to it on audio in my car in short bursts but I believe I was on disc 3 when it finally started moving….

      We are doing a read a long on this author and a book festival to read her books as well if you are interested in joining let me know Shari 🙂

  4. My thoughts matched yours for this one. I have read almost, if not all, of Berg’s novels. I actually put down the last one I started (will pick it up again to see how it ends but the book became unbelievable and pathetic for 60+ women age group).

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