I just finished The Year of Pleasures, a novel by Elizabeth Berg, and true to the title, the book was a pleasure in itself. Berg has a beautiful, descriptive way of writing that brings her scenes to life and paints a rich picture of her characters. The storyline is very much for the female crowd, as the main character Betta deals with the loss of her husband by moving to small town in Illinois and learning how to live without him. There are moments of empowerment and helplessness along the way, but never without the simple joys that make life worth the struggle. It’s the perfect read for a wintry day by the fireplace; recommended for your grandmother and grown daughter alike.
Berg’s descriptions had me picturing every little detail in the book so vividly I was ready to run off and move to the Midwest myself. Here are a few pleasures I’ve been dreaming about since flipping the back cover…
Betta is always cooking or baking something for someone, relishing in her nurturing instinct. Even though I’m not one for baking myself, she seemed to find such joy in the process I entertained the thought.
Photo via Lennoxx
Betta has her bedroom painted pale blue to make the space more relaxing, and I love the idea of a matching the shade with a sunny yellow and bright white.
Photo via Houzz
There are several mentions of antique birdcages in the book, and what could be a more fun and beautiful decoration? My gram has had a large birdcage on her mantel for years, filled with little figurines and treasures. I like the idea of hanging a couple from the ceiling, wound with white twinkle lights like lanterns.
Photo via Hugo Naturals
Even bathing takes on an air of luxury in Berg’s novel. Betta would make a production of it, putting on an old album and taking a slow bath, lingering in the warm water. It made me want to do the same, so I promptly picked up a sliver of Hugo Naturals handmade soap and got to it! I have to put in a word for this delightfully scented, all-natural brand that left me skin soft and lush, no moisturizer needed.