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Life in Seven Mistakes
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Life in Seven Mistakes

3.23 of 5 stars 3.23  ·  rating details  ·  35 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Life in Seven Mistakes follows the fortunes of the Barton family. Beginning with a fractious and disagreeable family Christmas in an apartment on the Gold Coast, we then step half a century into the past to follow the budding romance and early career of the attractive, idealistic young couple who are destined to become the cantankerous, domineering grandparents who own the ...more
Paperback, 346 pages
Published 2008 by William Heinemann
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I liked this book. It is an honest insight into the intricate fabric of family relationships. There are more questions than answers. Why this family can not find happiness in its closest links, why children blame their parents for everything, while parents don’t know how to talk to children, how to express love. It is a story of a family that bursting with love but can not express it and the consequences of their emotional disability. It is beautiful, sad and very warm book.
Life in Seven Mistakes by Susan Johnson is a delicious black comedy, woven around the phenomenon inflicted on all of us whose parents have retired to the so-called Sunshine State: the Dreaded Family Christmas at Surfers Paradise. Elizabeth Barton, the central character, is a baby boomer wracked by guilt, resentment, self-imposed martyrdom and suppressed anger: she’s got a commission to finish for the very first solo international exhibition of her ceramics - but instead of preparing for it, she’ ...more
Svetlana Khaykina
Loved it. It reminded me of Aussie movies: normal dysfunctional families dealing with their dysfunctions in a non-Hollywood way. So, no big heroes, no big villains, just like there aren't many in life.
I thought the end was a bit rushed. But I think this may have been done on purpose.
Families can be dysfunctional and messy, especially when it comes to spending the holiday season together.

Life in Seven Mistakes by Susan Johnson is a humorist look at what happens to three generations of the Barton family when they get together over a 10-day period to celebrate Christmas and the golden wedding anniversary of the elderly Bartons.

This is a fly-on-the-wall look at the struggle to get on, to build bridges and take some joy in being together. While the setting is beautiful – the sun
Johnson nicely captures the tensions, insecurities and frustrations of family relationships in this book. She draws out the difficulties and complexities of the relationship between older adults, their siblings and their parents. The picture she presents is a somewhat exaggerated example, but it comes uncomfortably close to many people's lived experiences.
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