Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tapestry of Fortunes - Elizabeth Berg (Audio)

This is not the kind of book I immediately grab.  It has a flower, a butterfly and a teacup on the cover!  Ugh!  Really???  But a couple of trusted souls told me it was good for what ailed me.  And up to the point I cranked this one up on the iPod, I'd listened to TWO Mo Hayder books back-to-back and my heart was feeling black and murky.  (Honestly, Hayder is AMAZING but you don't really feel jubilant after you are done with her books.)  So did this book fix me up?  It sure did.

Synopsis:  Cecelia Ross is a middle-aged, unmarried motivational speaker who does not always follow her own advice.  She has recently lost her best friend to cancer, and is at odds with what comes next.  One day she gets a postcard from "the one that got away", saying he still thinks of her.  Hmmm.  Who doesn't have a fantasy of the old boyfriend that was just in your life at the wrong time?  Using this as a catalyst, Cecelia puts her career on hold, volunteers at a hospice facility, sells her house and rents a room in a house with three other women (a sous-chef, a doctor, and a lesbian advice columnist).

Cecelia has a certain way about her...she is warm, she is likable, she is a friend.  Because of this, she bonds with a very sick young man at hospice and brings him out of his shell of depression.  She is instantly friends with her roommates, and soon they are all planning a road trip that is intended to reinvent or resolve an issue that each of them have.  This includes tracking down that love from long ago.

My thoughts:  While I was reading this book, I kept thinking about that commercial where there is an "Easy" button you push when you need thinks to resolve with little fuss.  I think it is Staples?  Anyway, while the characters in this book each have their own struggles - a messy divorce, an angry daughter, a crappy job, a long-ago child given up for adoption, etc. - ultimately things work out perfectly.  As in, a fantasy kind of perfect.

Not that I minded.  I kept asking myself "what if Joni had gotten run over by a car?" or "what if Lise was sued by a patient and lost the house?".  It wouldn't have worked.  This was a book to soothe your ragged heart.

Cecelia was a wonderful main character, and there was chemistry with everyone that came into her life.  Not every author can pull that off.  Each player had so much personality and charisma, I wanted to be a part of their lives.  In that way, this story so reminded me of a Marisa de los Santos or Erica Bauermeister book.  It was precious.  By the end, I didn't really care if things were too good to be true.

A few words about the audio production:  Barbara Caruso was the narrator for this book, and while she was new to me, she has been around the block a time or two in this field (including the narrator for "Anne of Green Gables").  She had the perfect voice for Cecelia.  She was obviously the right age, and she mirrored the warmth and easy nature of Cecelia's character.  Wonderful performance.

Listening length:   7 hours and 5 minutes (240 pages)

4.5 out of 5 stars
    


10 comments:

Beth F said...

Hummmm. Not sure this one would be a good match for me. But I'll keep it in mind for when I need something really light.

JoAnn said...

Sounds like he perfect antidote to Mo Hayder ;-)

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Seriously, I'm so glad the book was better than the cover. It's just awful!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I love the cover! LOL!

bermudaonion said...

I love the cover too and enjoyed the book when I read it but have to admit that it hasn't really stuck with me.

Iliana said...

Ha,ha... I probably would have picked it up because of the cover! :)

I've read several of her books and some have been good and others not so much. I think this one definitely has potential so I may have to add it to my list!

Anita LeBeau said...

I liked this book, it wasn't as deep as some of the older Berg books I've read, but it was good.

Darlene said...

I loved this one on audio ass well. I've listened to Caruso a few times now and really enjoyed her narration each time.

Literary Feline said...

Sometimes a book like this is just what the doctor ordered.

I have yet to read anything by Elizabeth Berg, but I've heard wonderful things about her books. Maybe someday . . .

stacybuckeye said...

I love Elizabeth Berg, but so many of he novels seem the same. Although I haven't read this one, it sounds like a few of her others that I've read and loved. I still hope to read them all someday, but it's best to leave some time between.