Former children’s book author Betta Nolan has by all accounts a wonderful life. When her husband dies of cancer, she realizes that their amazing relationship with John had consumed most of her time. Betta has lost touch with most of her girlfriends and must re-create a network of support. Following a plan that she had made with her husband prior to his illness, Betta heads to the Mid-West following backroads until she hits Stewart, Illinois. She stops to buy an ice cream and a few hours later she puts an offer on a house. This is where she chooses to re-start her life. A host of quirky secondary characters liven up this emotionally introspective novel about the grieving process. Whether it’s her reunion with her fun-spirited college room-mates or her budding friendships with a 10 year-old boy and a down-on-his-luck college student and his Brazilian roommate, Betta reaches out to find the help she needs. Betta feels real as a character and many readers will be able to relate to her. A Year of Pleasures is beautifully written and reflects Betta’s need to be surrounded by lovely things.
Elizabeth Berg’s latest novel Home Safe about another widow, Helen Ames, will be out in April:
“Helen is shocked to discover that her mild-mannered and loyal husband had been leading a double life. The Ames’s had saved money for a happy retirement, planned in minute detail, but that money has disappeared in several big withdrawals—spent by Helen’s husband before he died. What could he possibly have been doing? And what is Helen to do now? Why does Helen’s daughter object to her mother’s applying for a job—and why doesn’t Tessa meet a nice man and get married?What Helen’s husband did with all their money turns out to be provocative, revelatory—and leads Helen and her daughter to embark on new adventures, and change.”
Home Safe is sure to please Elizabeth Berg’s many fans.