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The Year of Pleasures (2005)

by Elizabeth Berg

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1,4586812,663 (3.6)28
Betta Nolan moves to a small town after the death of her husband to try to begin anew. Pursuing a dream of a different kind of life, she is determined to find pleasure in her simply daily routines. Among those who help her in both expected and unexpected ways are the ten-year-old boy next door, three wild women friends from her college days, a twenty-year-old who is struggling to find his place in the world, and a handsome man who is ready for love.… (more)
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» See also 28 mentions

English (66)  Swedish (1)  All languages (67)
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
I'm not going to lie: This book may have spoken to me because the events in the character's life very much reflect a lot of the things going on in my own...But then again, it is quite possible that the themes throughout are universal and speak to everyone no matter what point in their lives!

My opinion leans toward the latter: That anybody, at any stage in their life may appreciate the messages of hope, disappointment, uncertainty, frailty of life, friendship, comfort, discomfort...

Elizabeth Berg has an extremely fluid yet substantial way of writing that made this book a very quick and satisfying read. I appreciate the preciseness of her words and the very real descriptions of the thoughts, emotions, and people in the life of a woman who has lost some direction.

For those of you who are looking for someone to empathize with, tragic life events (and the emotions that come with them) to mirror your own, solace and hope in a story of friendship and hope, Berg will give you a graceful, yet real and honest, text you can absorb in a weekend. This will be a compact, compassionate, and evocative book that I highly recommend! ( )
  keikoc | Aug 11, 2023 |
Ahhh. This book was so full. So full of recognizing the importance of connecting with people. With knowing and being aware of basic daily pleasures. Of holding onto what is important. Letting go what is not. And taking risks. A beautiful tribute to grief. ( )
  Tosta | Jul 9, 2021 |
After Bette is widowed, she moves to a small Midwestern town to start a new life. ( )
  terran | Jan 18, 2021 |
It was okay, but unbelievable. Good writing style. ( )
  Chica3000 | Dec 11, 2020 |
What a beautifully written story! **NOT to be read right after losing a spouse, or loved one!
I love everything about this book. Berg has the power to make you feel everything Betta was feeling, and it was so beautiful and delicately painful, I had to drop my book at one point, and go hug my husband!! I now miss the main characters, and wish I could go back and see them again.. and maybe stay for dinner... So many profound passages! It really makes you think about things, and want to experience life like Betta is. I wish life would fall into place so easily, like this!! ( )
  stephanie_M | Apr 30, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
"You get the hovering gray of early morning, or late afternoon-the hours of yearning." -Regina Schrambling, New York Times, June 27, 2001

"Again the pyrocanthus berries redden in rain, As if return were return. It is not. The familiar is not the thing it reminds of."-Jane Hirshfield,"Red Berries"

"Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened. Don't open the door to the study and begin reading. Take down the dulcimer." -Rumi
Dedication
For those who have gone before us
First words
"I had been right to want to drive to the Midwest, taking only the back roads."
Quotations
There is a story about a Navajo grandfather who once told his grandson, "Two wolves live inside me. One is the bad wolf, full of greed and laziness, full of anger and jealousy and regret. The other is the good wolf, full of joy and compassion and willingness and a great love for the world. All the time, these wolves are fighting inside me." "But grandfather," the boy said. "which wolf will win?" The grandfather answered, "The one I feed."
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Betta Nolan moves to a small town after the death of her husband to try to begin anew. Pursuing a dream of a different kind of life, she is determined to find pleasure in her simply daily routines. Among those who help her in both expected and unexpected ways are the ten-year-old boy next door, three wild women friends from her college days, a twenty-year-old who is struggling to find his place in the world, and a handsome man who is ready for love.

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