Wednesday, February 6, 2019

2 reviews - Tapestry of Fortunes; Elizabeth Berg and Morningstar: Growing Up With Books; Ann Hood

AUTHOR:  Elizabeth Berg
PUBLISHER: Recorded Books (7 hours)
PUB. YEAR: 2013
SETTING:  Minnesota
FORMAT:  - audio (library) - Barbara Caruso (narrator-just okay)
RATING: 2.5/5

Lately I've been looking for a few lighter reads so I'm catching up on Elizabeth Berg novels. 

In Tapestry of Fortunes, Cecilia (Cece) who never married was once a motivational speaker who traveled the country hoping to inspire others. However, when her close friend Penny dies after a brief illness, she's left lost and uninspired. She decides to declutter and sell her home in Minnesota and, in what seems like a strange move, she decides to move into a huge lovely home with three female house mates who couldn't be more different.  Each woman has a past to be reconciled with so the women embark on a road trip to try and deal with unfinished business.

This particular book was unimpressive overall.  I felt like I never really got to know the characters and even though there was a good dose of wisdom to be found along the way, something about this felt like a rough draft that needed more work.  I just couldn't connect to the characters.  This audio performance by Barbara Caruso was just okay.

AUTHOR:  Ann Hood
PUBLISHER: HighBridge Audio  (3 hours 44 min)
PUB. YEAR: 2017
SETTING:  Rhode Island
FORMAT:  - audio (library) - Donna Postel (narrator-excellent)

Ann Hood has always been a go-to author and her memoir about her fascination with book from a very early age spoke to me.

The author grew up in Rhode Island in the 60's and early 70's and from the age of 4 developed a love for books and reading.  By the second grade she was reading fourth grade level books.  Neither her Italian immigrant grandparents nor her parents were readers and books were not part of their home. Her mother felt books were a waste of time. Books for Ann made her lonely childhood less lonely and, escaping into books made her happy.

This is a relatively short memoir. I loved that she discusses, in depth, some 10 books published at very different time periods that transformed her life, taught her about sex and love and made her want to be a writer. This book is a real gem that book lovers will enjoy. The audio was fabulous.


  1. It's been a long time since I read a book by Berg. Probably won't try this one. Morningstar, on the other hand, I do want to read. I'll try to get to it this year. I've certainly liked other books by Ann Hood and her reading journey sounds very poignant to me.

  2. A not so good and a really good is they way it goes sometimes!

  3. Sorry you didn't like the Berg book. Glad you enjoyed the Hood book.

  4. I have not read Berg in a long time either, but I guess she has a recent one that some readers say is great. Any book about being a reader is a good thing.

  5. I love memoirs so I'm adding Morningstar to my wish list.

  6. A book about the influences of books sounds like it could be really interesting!

  7. The Morningstar memoir sounds wonderful! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Diane.

  8. I loved Morningstar and plan to read it again and again! What a shame about the Berg book, though. I used to love her novels, but it's been a long time since she's written anything I've loved.

  9. I have only read one book by Elizabeth Berg, namely The Dream Lover, a historical fiction based on the life of French writer George Sand; it had glimmers of brilliance, but I had mixed feelings about it. This one you mention sounds a lot like The Golden Girls. Too bad it didn't work out. I'm glad you found the memoir worth your time.

  10. Excellent to hear about the Ann Hood book. Sounds like a great audio .... I will look for it at the library.

  11. I've been wanting to try Elizabeth Berg's books. They look good. I'm sorry this one didn't work for you. The Ann Hood book sounds like a good one.

  12. Thanks for the review of Morningstar. I borrowed the audio from the library and finished it a day or two ago.... loved it!

  13. Morningstar is new to me and it looks good.


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