openhouseTitle: Open House

Author: Elizabeth Berg
Publisher: Random Hosue
Year: 2001 (Ballantine Book Edition)
Pages: 241

It took a long while for me to finish this book. Can’t remember when I started to read it, but I remember I got this from the Big Bad Wolf Book Fair last year. So, it should be months already…

The reason of the slow read, not due to the book itself, just that, life got in the way. Today, I finally finished it amidst of doing laundry and caring for my little princess (she’s very demanding these days…).

The Seattle Times called the book “Compelling… a story of triumph”. This book also belongs to the long list of Oprah’s Book Club.

It’s a story of life.

There is no fairy tale to be spoken here. Just real life.

Samantha was in her forties, early forties, with a little boy to bring up. The story was about her picking up the pieces after her husband left her for a younger woman (what else…?). The story line is cliché but you can’t get tired reading a story of a woman who through confusion,  self doubt and disappointment, build her life back, although surprisingly not to her expectation of “normal”.

Therein lies the strength of the book. The author did not fall into the same pattern where the heroin met a man who is more well off and more stable than the ex. And yet, this turns out to be the best choice and most suitable partner to the main character. The author managed to capture the essence of the relationship without resorting to a graphic detail of any love scene, for a healthy relationship is so much more than a great roll in the sack, right?

This is a great leisure reading. It makes you ask yourself what would you do should you face the same situation and challenges that Samantha experienced. You find yourself asking whether you’re brave enough like Samantha to change or accept the idea of “normal” might be different than the “normal” that you’re so used to.


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