The Year of Pleasures – Elizabeth Berg | A Guest Review


My friend found this book for me one day while browsing the library shelves. She thought the cover looked calming, and like something I’d enjoy. And I did! Though the cover didn’t match the story at all, lol.

I give this book maybe a 6 out of 10 because there were some very positive attributes to it, and there were also a few major flaws.


Betta ~ semi-likeable, it’s frequently hard to relate to her, though easy to feel sympathetic for her…she is a newly-made widow who moves across the country to start a new life

John ~ very likeable, he was kind, thoughtful and generous…he is Betta’s deceased husband

Benny ~ likeable, he is the boy who lives next door who becomes an unlikely friend to Betta

Matthew ~ very likeable, he is a financially-struggling young man who helps Betta with projects in her new home and also becomes her friend

Jovani ~ very likeable, he is Matthew’s Brazilian roommate who ends up going into business with Betta

Lorraine, Susanna, and Maddy ~ likeable, they are Betta’s old friends from college who come back into her life


Betta has just lost her husband to cancer and doesn’t know how she’ll carry on without him. She (quite literally) moves on with the plan they’d had to relocate to a town that was totally new to them and start over. And start over she does! New home, new (and old?) friends, and new challenges await her.


What I Liked:

The whole concept of moving to a new place, rekindling old friendships, and meeting new people was intriguing, although she was grieving so it was bittersweet.

What I Didn’t Like:

I didn’t care too much for Betta once I reached the book’s midway point. Before that point, I felt sympathy for her and I enjoyed the narrative format, but then her true personality (or, her newly acquired personality?) began showing and I didn’t like her much.

Favorite Parts:

When Betta spends time at Matthew and Jovani’s apartment for moral support, company, and even physical security (at night), there is a sense that she belongs there. It made me feel cozy to picture them there watching movies and eating what little food the guys had to offer.

Do I Recommend It? Yes!

…if you like reflective, introspective narratives

…if you like realistic fiction

…if you don’t mind moments of sorrow and solemnness

…if recovering from the death of a loved one and starting over are of interest to you

Check this book out:



Author’s Website


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