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Open House Paperback – 9 Jun 2001

4.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Paperback, 9 Jun 2001
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Product details

  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow Books Ltd; New edition edition (9 Jun. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099416573
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099416579
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 13 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,919,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

The narrator of Elizabeth Berg's Open House calls divorce "a series of internal earthquakes ... one after the other." She ought to know. Samantha is abandoned by her husband in the opening pages of this three-handkerchief special, and the resultant tremors keep her off-balance for most of the novel. There are practical problems aplenty, of course, including a shortage of money and an 11-year-old son to raise. But Sam's sense of emotional bereavement is far worse, despite the fact that her husband had been giving her the conjugal cold shoulder for years:

I miss David so much, yes I do, I miss the presence of another person in my bed at night, even if he doesn't touch me; the reliability of someone else being there in the morning, even if they only shave and stare straight ahead into the mirror while you lean against the bathroom doorjamb with your cup of coffee, chatting hopefully.
The loneliness in her "as constant and as irrefutable" as circulating blood, Sam begins to rebuild her life. She finds herself a job and takes in a couple of boarders to help meet her mortgage payments. (One of them, a depressed student named Lavender Blue, informs her that "life was nothing but one major disappointment after the other"--the sort of homily that Sam is understandably reluctant to hear these days.) She also starts dating, with disastrous results. Yet this comically grumbling heroine does manage to find love in the ruins, and by the time Open House winds down, it's hard not to believe that she's much better off. Throughout, Berg alternates her snappy and sappy registers like a real pro. And the conclusion, which most readers will be able to spot a mile off, seems just right--the light at the end of the post-matrimonial tunnel. --Anita Urquhart

Review

"Berg's narrative is agile and freshly observed." (New York Times Book Review)

"Berg has an ability to capture the way women think, feel and speak - With her quirky characters and precise observations, Berg sits somewhere between Anne Tyler and Alice Hoffman - The details and emotions in Open House are sometimes heartwrenching, sometimes hilarious." (Chicago Sun Times) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I loved the start of this book - the domestic details interspersed with the pain Samantha experiences when her husband leaves, is really touching. As the book went on though, I began to find it too light, the pain and hardships are glossed over in favour of the various amusing experiences of Samantha's life. The fact that the end is so happy does not ring true for me, especially considering her son. Overall, a reasonably enjoyable read, but not as indepth as Oprah's other choices, most of which I enjoyed more.
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Format: Paperback
Open House is a light read trying to look at the funny side of finding yourself on your own after so many years of marriage. The story is light reading that can be finished in a day but it without a doubt, make you strike a connection with Samantha. A very good read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this as it was an Oprah booklist title - it was a good read but it didn't change my life. It did introduce me to a new (to me) author with a large back catalogue though and I always appreciate that.
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Format: Paperback
A short story you will start in the morning and will have it read by evening. Read and share the exeriences Samantha is delt with when she and her husband decide to live separately. The funny stories of all she is faced. You will feel as though you have lived in her house yourself. The book is amusing and very charming.
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