Sometimes you just want a warm bath of a book. Night of Miracles, in which Elizabeth Berg revisits the Midwestern setting of her bestselling The Story of Arthur Truluv, all but serves you a cup of cocoa and tucks you into bed ... This is not a challenging book; there are no confusing timelines or complex characters or last-minute twists. But there is simple, lovely prose and a sense of yearning that is contagious and comforting. You can almost smell the cinnamon from Lucille’s home-based bakery, and what better antidote to the stressful world?
How about a nice slice of cake? Caramel, maybe? Or yellow, with milk chocolate buttercream frosting? The characters in Elizabeth Berg's new novel, Night of Miracles, frequently sit down to lovingly described treats fresh from the oven. Lucille Howard, 88, is a master baker and baking teacher who begins every class with samples served on a cut-crystal pedestal. Lucille was introduced in the first volume of Berg's Mason, Missouri, series, The Story of Arthur Truluv, as a lifelong spinster who is given one brief chance at true love. In this second installment, she's alone again, but only for a moment, as her fate entwines with Lincoln, the little boy whose family buys the house next door, and Iris, a childless divorcee who has just moved to town from Boston. ... As the endearing, odd-lot characters of Mason, Missouri, coalesce into new families, dessert is served: a plateful of chocolate-and-vanilla pinwheel cookies for the soul.
Mason, Mo., is the enchanting setting for a series of small but life-changing events in Berg’s winning novel ... The story’s center, however, is Lucille, who doles out companionship to the friends and acquaintances who come and go through her kitchen. The language is smooth and the story moves along at a comfortable pace to a fitting, albeit easy, ending. This pleasant novel highlights the joys that can come from the little things in life.