Tapestry of Fortunes by Elizabeth Berg

tapestryI think Elizabeth Berg is a wonderful writer, and she always manages to tug at my heartstrings (some of her books are downright weepy) and make me cry a little at the sadness of life, and then at the resilience of human nature and the hopefulness and humor of life.  So I can’t believe I have to say this about her newest book, which I was super excited to get-it wasn’t that great. I didn’t cry. Didn’t feel that connected to the characters.  It felt very much like an outline of one of her books, rather than the actual book.

It started out with great promise-Cecilia is a motivational speaker whose very best friend died a few months ago. That, combined with the memory of her friend telling her to take a break from work and get out there and do stuff, is the catalyst she needs to stop work and sell her house.  She spontaneously moves in to a house that has 3 women living in it.  The next thing you know they are all off on a road trip for their own personal closure type adventures. Renie to meet the daughter she gave up for adoption, Cecilia to connect with the love of her youth, another to meet up with her ex-husband, and I don’t even remember the last.  It all felt so sketched out and not fully realized. I didn’t feel invested in the characters’ stories at all or believe in any kind of relationship between the four women.. Also, I literally could not tell how old Cece was supposed to be. You might think that doesn’t make a difference, but it does. Was she elderly? Her own mother was still living so she couldn’t have been that old. But was she of another generation than the women she was living with? Was she in her 40s or 70s? It was strange to not know, and also then I wasn’t sure how much of an urgency she felt to get out there and do things.

I hate to say that I wouldn’t recommend an Elizabeth Berg book, but she has so many better books you could spend your time reading. This fell really short for me.

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