Once Upon A Time There Was You

Once Upon A Time There Was You, by Elizabeth Berg.  Well.  I finished this loser of a book yesterday on my drive home from work.   First let me say that the narrator of this novel was excellent, no complaints there.   I used to love books by Elizabeth Berg… and in some ways I still do.  What I think I like most about her novels is that many of them are “starring” middle aged women, not some cute young model or actress trying to sleep her way to the top (I wouldn’t read anything like that anyway).  But I can actually relate to middle aged women (Ha! I wonder why?!).  Anyway, this book featured a basic, everyday, divorced, middle aged mother of an 18 year old girl.  Also in the picture were the girl’s father (the ex husband), her employer (a gay caterer), and her BFF, Val.  So.  What was this book about?  Well, can you remember back to the ’90s when “Seinfeld” the TV show came out?  When people asked “what is the show about”, the answer was…. “it’s a show about nothing!”  I might add that it was a hilarious  show about nothing!!   This book was also about nothing.  It was a bunch of irrelevant drivel!!  If I had been actually reading this novel, I would have put it down long ago.  But, since it was all I had to listen to on my long drive home, I finished it.  Sheesh.  I should have put in the “Dixie Chicks” CD sooner than I did!  After finishing this idiotic book, I grabbed the closest music CD (Dixie Chicks) and had more fun singing along to that than I did listening to 8 long CD’s of this unabridged novel about NOTHING!

I’ve scanned the internet, reading other people’s book blogs that reviewed this book.  Most of the reviewers “loved it”.  Gag.  HOW COULD THEY LOVE IT???  It was a story about nothing that was also very poorly edited.  I think maybe Elizabeth Berg’s books are simply NOT edited, because there were some things in here that even an idiot editor wouldn’t miss!  The biggest one was in regards to the 18 year old being abducted.  She was gone for 3 days and her mother called the cops and filed a missing persons report.  The cops took all the information and tried to assure the mother that 18 year olds usually run away of their own accord and are not abducted…. yadda, yadda, yadda.  The next day, the 18 year old is suddenly (and very lamely) found by the cops.  They bring her into “the station” so she can explain all about her abduction and her abductor.  Excuse me, but if the family has filed a missing persons report, AND said missing person is FOUND, I’m absolutely positive the cops would inform the people who filed the report.  In this novel, they didn’t.  There were other blatant instances of horribly improbable circumstances… totally unbelievable…. and the ending, well, it’s like Ms Berg got tired one night and typed “the end”.  Nothing was “wrapped up”, it was just over.   Upon reading reviews on Amazon, most are not terribly thrilled with this book.  Not surprised, not at all.  The bloggers I read must have very low standards in what good reading entertainment is to them….because this was far from good reading.

Will I ever read Elizabeth Berg again?  Yeah.  I’ll give her one more try.  She has written some GREAT stuff in the past.  I’m clinging to the hope that she can do it again!

Open House by Elizabeth Berg

I just finished reading this lovely book yesterday.  As I’ve said before, I have read a lot of Elizabeth Berg’s novels.  Some have been brilliant, some have been just so-so.  While I can’t say this book was “brilliant”, I can say it was very, very good.  It was a quick and easy read – which is exactly what I needed as I have sort of bogged down on the heavy stuff in Ken Follett’s “Fall of Giants”.  This book is essentially about a woman in the process of a divorce, how her life changes, and how new and interesting people enter her life.  I found what I think is a very good review of this book on this blog.   Check it out for the full details.   As a coincidence, I’m currently listening to a new book by the same author titled “Once Upon a Time There Was You”.  This is a brand new book for her, just released in April of this year.  I’m happy to report that so far — I’m finding it quite engrossing.

The Bride’s House by Sandra Dallas

I recently finished listening to “The Bride’s House” the most recent novel by Sandra Dallas.  I believe this was the 4th book of hers I’ve read, and honestly, I’ve enjoyed them all.  Her books are always set in Colorado and most always back in the 1800’s.  I’m a sucker for a good historical novel.  I used to love romantic historical novels, but now I’m more into the story than the romance.  Not that a little romance is a problem… I don’t mind a little romance.  However nowadays the romance must be part of a story, not THE story.  I digress.  This was a pleasant enough book about a family of women and covers about a hundred years.  It kept my interest and was very well narrated/read but there were parts that were just too wordy or silly and added nothing at all to the book.  I’ll admit I fast forwarded past one entire chapter about “snipe hunting”.  I just didn’t want to hear it all.  I knew what the author was going to say!  Most everyone  already knows that there is no such thing as a “snipe” and it’s just a ruse.  Anyway, I’m rambling here…. this wasn’t my favorite Sandra Dallas novel.  However it DID keep my interest most of the way through and I will indeed read more by this author in the future.  In fact, I have two more by her on my huge “to read” pile.  “The Persian Pickle Club” is one, and the other – “The Diary of Mattie Spenser”.

I am still reading Ken Follett’s latest “Fall of Giants”.  I am on page 720 of 1000 or so.  This book is good, but it’s physically HUGE and HEAVY and therefore not very portable.  It’s hard to read in bed!  It’s so bulky that I can see this book making a big argument for buying a Kindle or a Nook!  We recently took a trip that involved a 2 hour plane ride.  I had to find a nice paperback book to take along as there was NO WAY I was toting that giant book by Mr Follett!  So, I am also currently reading “Open House” by Elizabeth Berg.  My review on that one will be forthcoming shortly.  By the way, I’m loving it!!