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Open House (Oprah's Book Club) [Paperback]

Elizabeth Berg
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (276 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Barely there May 10 2007
The author's skillful use of the language (some of the metaphors read like borderline poetry) hardly compensates for the clumsy plot (or the lack of it). Some scenes are totally unnecessary (like Sam's attempt to seduce her husband to regain his affection).

The not-so-subtle overriding theme of overcoming personal insecurities by learning to love your cellulite is hardly new, and, frankly, becoming a bit annoying.

Had this book been any longer, it would be seriously irritating.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Would give it zero stars if I could July 5 2004
This book was horrible. I couldn't finish reading it, which is saying a lot because I hate to waste my hard earned money on a book that I can't read. I can't believe this was an Oprah choice. Not that I read books or do anything else because Oprah suggests it. I read another one of her book choices and found it to be an entertaining read. But not this one.
The characters in this book seemed shallow. Sam seemed to be more of a ditz than a woman crushed by an estranged husband. The son seemed very immature for his age. Maybe this was just from the way he was written.
OK, I can't say much more because I didn't read the whole book. I will say I tried though, it just wasn't worth my time. The only reason I'm writing the review is to advise others to not even waste their time on this poorly written book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Just OK June 11 2004
By Joleen
Expected more from this book than what I got. It's a quick read, and Berg's style is brilliant, but the storyline leaves something to be desired.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A 4.5 June 2 2004
By dicey23
I really enjoyed this book. It was my first Elizabeth Berg book that I read. I loved the flow of the book and the characters and the plot. This book was well written and kept my interest.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Take a Pass if you want...anything May 27 2004
By A Customer
Slow...kept waiting for something to happen and it never did. The end should ahve been in the middle and a whole other ending created. Likable characters keep you reading, but worth a pass. Read with a book club - average rating for 6 people was 2.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Open House April 28 2004
By A.E.B.
"Open House" is a delightful summer read. It approaches the devastating, sudden abandonment of a spouse with heartfelt sympathy and courage. Sam is a strong, well-developed character, who Ms. Berg depicts in a way that you will root for throughout her ordeal. The other characters add depth and colorful dialog to the story. The book is humorous and serious at the same time. Well done.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Spouse Walked Out April 26 2004
By A Customer
The most recent book I read was Open House by Elizabeth Berg.
The story was about forty-two year old Samantha Morrow. After twenty years of marriage her husband, David, walked out on her and their 11-year-old son, Travis. In order to keep living in her house, Samantha, had to take in boarders to make the mortgage payments.
The best part about Samantha, was that Berg didn't make the character feel sorry for herself. In my eyes, the character of Samantha seemed like a strong woman determined to make it on her own.
This is the type of book recommended for someone going through a marriage separation.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A Bit Too Tidy April 7 2004
By Allyn
In this story about middle-aged Samantha Morrow's coping with divorce, Elizabeth Berg definitely shows evidence of her literary strengths. In "Open House," Berg has once again created a realistic main character whose story is easily readable. Also, she has retained the asset of using "light" and almost simple writing to convey wisdom and insight. And I've got to say it-"Open House" had a way of being just naturally charming and funny.
But somehow, when you thought about it, the story of Samantha's dealings with and recovery from her divorce seemed to be a little too cutesy and perfect. First of all, it appeared that the novel took place over about half a year. Sam's sadness, rage, and erractic behavior in the novel's beginning were VERY realistic emotions for a divorced woman to experience. But honestly, by the end of the novel, it seemed like Sam was just totally fine and thought life was charming and every minute of it was worth living. Put simply, you just can't recover from divorce that fast.
And what about Sam's method of employment-taking a different menial job each day? Um, hello. First of all, it made Sam look lazy and stupid-wouldn't she want to establish a decent, permanent career? And although she took in "roomates" as well to make money, couldn't she have used a little more than $5.15 an hour on a day job?
Finally, the love story of sorts between Sam and King was hard to swallow. King supposedly has a degree from MIT yet, like Sam, picks a different minimum-wage job every day. The reason? To be able to enjoy life and have variety in each day. I don't know about you, but that sort of characterization/reasoning just makes me want to roll my eyes.
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