Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Art of Mending by Elizabeth Berg

This book was lent to me with a stack of books, so I didn’t “pick it,” but I’m glad I had the chance to read it. I am interested in other books by this author now.

Laura Bartone, a quilt artist, and her husband Pete reconnect each evening by sharing an experience from the day and a memory from the past. (I love that) The story does the same kind of thing, mixing memories from Laura's present-day life and those of her childhood.

Laura is excited about the annual family reunion in Minnesota. When they arrive, her sister Caroline insists on a meeting of just the 3 siblings, including their brother Steve. She wants to talk about how they grew up, suggesting that she was physically and emotionally abused by their mother. Steve and Laura do not have the same memories and struggle with this concept. Caroline has always been different and overly dramatic, are they sure she is being truthful? Then their father is hospitalized. Laura tries to deal with that grief while continuing her business and raising her two teenagers. Whether she believes Caroline or not, Laura must take the time to reach out to her sister and learn ways to mend the family.

Laura says "There is an art to mending. If you're careful, the repair can actually add to the beauty of the thing, because it is testimony of its worth."

I liked this book. It dealt with some tough questions. In a family we all remember things differently. We all have hurts from the past. What if we don’t agree or can’t accept their memories, how do we push on. I liked also how the book dealt with daily living and parenting the teens too.


Julie said...

I also like sharing experiences and memories too. My family seems to remember things differently also. I like the idea that we heal and "mend" over time which "adds to the beauty" of how each have our own experiences. This sounds realistic.

Carrie said...

thanks for your comment Jules