Title: Home Repair
Author: Liz Rosenberg
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Review copy from the author
First line: As garage sales go, this was a disaster from the start.
Eve is the kind of woman who is continually reeling from the things that happen to her. Her first husband died, leaving her to raise their son Marcus. Her second husband, Chuck, walked out on her and Marcus and his own daughter, Noni, in the middle of a yard sale. Eve is left to pick up – not only the detritus of the yard sale, but the wreckage of their family, their home.
To make things even more difficult, Eve’s mother, Charlotte, has decided to stay in Binghamton and “help,” when in reality, she has gotten to the age when she needs Eve’s assistance more than the other way around. With the help of some Korean students, an African-American parks worker, and her irascible, difficult mother, Eve must find a way to make their newly structured family work – all while maintaining her sanity.
Rosenberg’s novel is the kind that makes you laugh – not just because it’s funny, but because sometimes life is so darn hard that if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry. Eve doesn’t expect things to happen in threes – she believes that, at times, life can be flooded with one crisis after another, and during these times, even the smallest event can become the straw that broke the camel’s back.
I very much enjoyed the time I spent with Eve and her children. I admired her patience with her mother – I don’t think I could have handled that woman with as much grace as she did. The characters that Rosenberg peopled this book with were wonderfully quirky and real, and each of them had a hand in helping Eve change from a woman to whom things happen, to a woman who has taken charge of her own life, acting instead of reacting.
After the summer we’ve had, I was perfectly positioned to appreciate a book that demonstrates how we can survive all that life throws at us, and that in the midst of the worst of times, there are little moments of humor, beauty, and grace that help see us through.