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Publisher's Summary

Samantha Morrow's husband has left her, and now she must strive to reconstruct a life for herself and her 11-year-old son. Her eccentric mother tries to help by fixing her up with dates, but a more pressing problem is money. To meet her mortgage payments, Sam decides to take in boarders. A new friend suggests that Samantha get out, get going, get work. But her real work is this: In order to emerge from grief and the past, she has to learn how to make her own happiness. And in order to know who she is, she has to remember - and reclaim - the person she used to be, long before she became someone else in an effort to save her marriage.

Open House is the unforgettable story of how a woman re-creates her life after divorce by opening her house to strangers and her heart to the simple miracle of possibility.

©2000 Elizabeth Berg (P)2000 HighBridge Company

Critic Reviews

  • An Oprah Book Club Selection

"Savvy, wry, and sharply observant." (The Denver Post) "Smart, funny, and satisfying...a fine literary novel." (The Baltimore Sun)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Iris
  • Southport, NC, USA
  • 11-11-03

Open House

I loved this book. It was light, funny, serious and ended just the way the reader wanted it to end. Bravo!

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Patti
  • Chittenango, NY, United States
  • 07-04-05

I want to hear more from this author

No one could ever consider this book a literary masterpiece, but I thoroughyl enjoyed it. To find a comedy these days that isn't so silly and unreal is difficult. But this book had it. The narrator did a wonderful job. The ability to distinguish between male, female, young, old ...what talent that takes that not all have.

The characters were real and believeable. Take the young son. Who wouldn't be embarressed by what his mother was trying to do to start a new life? But in the end (maybe a little too young for total reality), he has more fun with her life than his Dad's. Hooray!! (Sorry if I spoiled the story for anyone.)

Maybe the ending was too "happily ever after" for some people, but there was a struggle to get there and some enlightenment on everyone's part. There were mistakes this woman made that she discovered and learned from in this story. How much more can we expect?

Again, I want to hear more from this author.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Fran
  • Northridge, CA USA
  • 10-28-05

Witty and Resourceful Survivor

Samantha, the main character, goes through a metamorphasis with grace and humor, from pampered housewife to resourceful survivor. There were a lot of funny moments and absolutely no whinning or complaining even though this woman's husband of many years walked out without any warning and left her financially as well as emotionally strapped. Instead, she rebuilt her life bit by bit and opened herself as well as her home to new people. It was a fun read and the narrator was a good match for the tone of the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jeanine
  • New York, NY, USA
  • 09-23-04


The guests in the house were more enjoyable than the main character...but still it was a nice listen.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not up to par for an O book

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

More character development. I would have loved to read more about Lavender Blue, Rita and Edward.

What was most disappointing about Elizabeth Berg’s story?

She skipped over all the great story development opportunities and just got to the end where King and Sam end up in a bathtub (so very predictable).

Would you be willing to try another one of Becky Baker’s performances?

I am not sure.

What character would you cut from Open House?

Liked each character and just wanted to know more about them and to figure out why they were being introduced in the story.

Any additional comments?

I purchased it because I liked the premise of the book and still do (recovering and continuing a fulfilling life after a devastating split). I also like the characters and wish she developed them more to help the reader understand why they were the way they were. Even the quick introduction to the characters she met due to her temp jobs was frustrating. Overall, the story had lots of potential for providing more substance and inspiration. For me, it was predictable and disappointing.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Heartfelt and relatable

I've listened to this a few times because its very realistic. The changes that separation and divorce bring to a family can be scary but liberating. The author really captures one woman's journey as she faces a major life change. The people she meets add a spice to her previous life. Loved it!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story


Would you listen to Open House again? Why?

I would certainly recommend the book but I wouldn't listen again because I generally don't reread books.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Open House?

There were many memorable moments in Open House, but the best one is when Sam has a chance to go back but moves forward.

Have you listened to any of Becky Baker’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, I haven't listened to any of Becky Baker's other performances, but I plan to look her up on Audible's narrator search and select another book she has narrated because I really liked her voice. I think she fit the character of Sam very well.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I didn't have an extreme reaction, but I did chuckle at some of the parts and get a few tears in my eyes in other parts. It was just a very satisfying book.

Any additional comments?

I really liked Sam, because she was able to accept people for who they are and find the good in people without negative judgment. Her initial assessment of people focused on the positive rather than the negative. She was a very optimistic person, although I don't think she saw herself that way.

  • Overall

Open House

I totally enjoyed my drive back and forth from New Hampshire. I actually became engrossed in the story and had to wait another 15 minutes watching the sun set over my meadow, just so I could finish listening.
I KNOW that this story seems unreal ... but it happened to me. There is nothing like an open mind and an open house.
She did not even remotely touch upon the nastiness of divorce, she could have, but that is not what this story is about.
Very interesting "listen" I enjoyed it. Very positive message.

  • Overall
  • Christine
  • Ramsey, NJ, United States
  • 08-27-05

I loved this book

I really enjoyed the way the author wrote. The character was so real, it was like I actually knew her. A good story of how to take a bad situation and make it into a good one, having a few tears and laughs along the way. I recommend this book.

  • Overall
  • Cid
  • LAGUNA BEACH, CA, United States
  • 01-10-05

A Terrific Read

I really enjoyed this book. The narration was wonderful, and the story was poignant, relevant and entertaining. I laughed outloud and felt the sting of all too familiar emotions.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful