The Year of Pleasures

Version: Unabridged
Author: Elizabeth Berg
Narrator: Sandra Burr
Genres: Fiction & Literature
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published In: April 2005
# of Units: 7 CDs
Length: 8 hours
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Betta Nolan moves to a small town after the death of her husband to try to begin life anew. Though still dealing with her sorrow, Betta nonetheless is determined to find pleasure in her simple 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 with whom she reconnects, a young man who is struggling to find his place in the world, and a handsome widower who is ready for love. Elizabeth Berg s The Year of Pleasures is about acknowledging the solace found in ordinary things: a warm bath, good food, the beauty of nature, music, and art. Above all, The Year of Pleasures is about the various kindnesses people can - and do - provide one another. Betta s journey from grief to joy is a meaningful reminder of what is available to us all, regardless of what fate has in store. This exquisite book suggests that no matter what we lose, life is ready to give bountifully to those who will receive."

Reviews (2)

Not as good as her other novels

Written by Angelika T on February 14th, 2010

  • Book Rating: 3/5

What I liked was how E Berg described the loss and the loneliness after becoming a widow. I liked the character and the idea of starting a new life. It does help to be financially set up like the book character, definitely would have been a different story if the widow would have been not so wealthy. However the story became unbelievable when she meets the widower, what she did then was very out of character for her and somehow seemed not very likely. Therefore only three stars.

Year of Pleasures

Written by Elizabeth Cook on November 26th, 2005

  • Book Rating: 2/5

I have read other books by Elizabeth Berg that I really liked and found to be moving and thoughtful (Talk Before Sleep, Durable Goods). Not so with this novel. While I found Berg's characters interesting, some of their actions were not believable. I wish the husband had lived. He was one of the most interesting characters. The plot was trite and predictable. I also found the narrator's voice to be annoying after several minutes of listening. I was very disappointed in this light weight novel.

Author Details

Author Details

Berg, Elizabeth

"I was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on December 2, 1948, in a hospital that has been torn down, which I’m pretty steamed about. When I was three years old, my father reenlisted in the Army, and I spent my growing up years moving around a lot—twice, I went to three schools in a single academic year. You can understand my dilemma when people ask me where I’m from. My usual answer is “Um…..nowhere?”

I’ve loved books and reading from the time my mother began reading to me, and I’ve loved writing ever since I could hold a pencil. I submitted my first poem to American Girl magazine when I was nine years old. It was rejected, and it took twenty-five years before I submitted anything again. Then, I entered a contest in a magazine and won. I wrote for magazines for ten years, then moved into novels and haven’t stopped yet. I usually do a book a year. But I have to tell you, the prospect of retiring is beginning to sound better and better. I really want to live on a hobby farm with lots of animals, including a chicken, I’m dying for a chicken.

Before I became a writer, I was a registered nurse for ten years, and that was my “school” for writing—taking care of patients taught me a lot about human nature, about hope and fear and love and loss and regret and triumph and especially about relationships--all things that I tend to focus on in my work. I worked as a waitress, which is also good training for a writer, and I sang in a rock band which was not good for anything except the money I made. I was a dramatic and dreamy child, given to living more inside my head than outside, something that persists up to today and makes me a terrible dining partner. I was married for over twenty years and am now divorced. I have two daughters and two grandchildren. I live with my partner Bill and my dog Homer outside of Chicago and in Wisconsin."