Open House by Elizabeth Berg

Divorce is a series of internal earthquakes…. “one after the other”.  Samantha ought to know.  At the age of 42, Samantha’s husband Dave decides that he needs to move on leaving Samantha shocked.  Sure they had their arguments, but didn’t everyone?

Finding herself left with a home, a mortgage, and their 11 year-old-son and learning in short time David has had no problem moving on not only to another woman, but also a cute apartment – AND the white couch that she had wanted for years but he told her was impractical…. “Sam” knows she has to pull it together.

When a decision is made to take in boarders to help with the house payment, a host of colorful characters come into play.  And ultimately a decision that has a life long impact on Sam and those in her life.

There are many layers to Elizabeth Berg and I have enjoyed experiencing her many ways of writing characters who come to life on the pages of her books.  Samantha was one of those characters I came to know and enjoy.

Samantha, “Sam” was not wishy-washy and I liked that.  Although she grieved for the loss of her husband in her life, she did not lay down and die.. she seen what she needed to do and she did it.  Samantha’s pain of losing David, and the emotions and decisions that followed felt real to me and I appreciated that Samantha was written as a strong female character, but was not too strong too hurt and to make poor decisions along the way to finding herself again. 

Something about this particular Berg book appealed to me… I liked the way Samantha opened up the house to boarders and imagine that had to be both an important and hard thing to do as you let strangers into the home where you lived a marriage and raised a son.  I laughed at times, and felt the tinge of pain at others as I can imagine Samantha did as well.

Perhaps this one notches it way up towards the top of the Elizabeth Berg books I have read, not taking hold of the number one position, but floating around the top there as a well written story on a topic that unfortunately many women know all too well. 

I applaud Elizabeth Berg’s ability to take a character like Sam and build her into someone stronger than even she had realized.  While not a perfect read, one that left me thinking long after the final page was turned.

Amazon Rating

The 2011 WHERE Are You Reading Map has been updated to include Open House

I listened to this book on audio, borrowed from my local library

19 thoughts on “Open House by Elizabeth Berg

  1. This is the only Elizabeth Berg books I;ve read, but I recall enjoying it. I even watched the TV movie but it was no where near as good as the book.

  2. stacybuckeye

    I liked the idea of the boarders, but thought it was dangerous to do with an 11 year old daughter. Other than that I likedthis book.

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