Hi Reading Friends– I wonder if you’ve read Ann Patchett’s books. I’ve fallen deep into several of them. Bel Canto, the unlikely story of an opera singer held hostage in a South American palace, is one of my top ten novel favorites. And Truth and Beauty, a memoir of her loyalty to a brilliant but difficult friend was true and compelling.
So I was thrilled to find that Patchett, before she found fame and fortune as a novelist, supported herself through freelancing essays for the likes of Vogue, Gourmet and the Wall Street Journal… This book is a collection of those essays– addressing her aging grandmother, her surprising enjoyment in a Winnebago road trip, her torturous. meandering courtship with Karl, now her husband, her wresting a first novel out of a solitary year in a study fellowship, her opening a friendly old fashioned book store in Nashville… Patchett’s writing is lively and thoughtful candid and engaging. The book is topical, but at the same time autobiographical and in the end you’re left wishing Ann could be your friend. If, like me, you enjoy reading stories of a life and especially if you’re already an Ann Patchett fan, I would recommend you track down a copy of This is the Story of a Marriage.