Friday, November 23, 2007

Run - Ann Patchett

With her beautiful prose and magical story telling talent, Ann Patchett has created yet another wonderful work of fiction with her novel Run.

“Since their mother's death, Tip and Teddy Doyle have been raised by their loving, possessive, and ambitious father. As the former mayor of Boston, Bernard Doyle wants to see his sons in politics, a dream the boys have never shared. But when an argument in a blinding New England snowstorm inadvertently causes an accident that involves a stranger and her child, all Bernard Doyle cares about is his ability to keep his children—all his children—safe.”

I loved this book – was enthralled throughout. In the course of twenty-four hours, we meet and become immersed in the lives and stories of so many wonderful characters. Patchett captures the essence and emotional depth of each one.

Other novels produce fascinating characters, but Patchett introduced me to people I would love to know. They became real for me. They are flawed, human - and they evoked my sympathy, empathy and admiration. All of them.

Two seemingly disconnected families converge at the scene of an accident. And while the accident itself is definitely accidental, the convergence is not. These families are connected – through birth, love and an entangled past. The origins and ramifications of this connection are explored in that twenty-four hour period.

What constitutes a family? What is mother love and how powerful is it? How far will a loving devoted father go to have his children fulfill his dreams?

The story explores such themes as nature vs. nurture, wealth and poverty, race, religion, adoption, one’s place in a family and coping with loss.

What an amazing, talented author. And wonder of wonders, there are books of hers I have yet to read!

(Has anyone yet noticed my penchant for novels with a family based theme? I’ve been this way since I was a kid. I’ve had to stifle the urge to write a review of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie Series…)


Shari said...

Another book to add to the list of "Good Reads". :)

Again, great review. A family themed novel is always a good choice. Many can relate to that.

Sherry said...

You write such amazing reviews!! I've got this one on my list so I'm even more eager to read it now.

Write like Laura Ingalls Wilder..grow your hair a little longer, braid it and get in the never know what might happen!!

Speaking of is the new you?

Psychgrad said...

Sounds like a good book. Great job on the review.

oreneta said...

GO for the Laura Ingalls review, after my kids got through being read those books, I think I have the lot memorised. I'd love to here your review

Palm Springs Savant said...

wow! I found your blog from someone else's comments and have spent all sorts of time reading through it! you have a great blog. stop by and say hi sometime...I'll be back!

Gary said...

Thanks for the fine review. I love Ann Patchett, especially Bel Canto. I'll put this on my Christmas list.

I just bought a signed copy of Turtle Valley as a Christmas gift for my ex (I'll read it first, without damaging it of course!) Thanks for that review too.

I'm drawn to family stories also and love Anne Tyler for example, but I also like dark character stories and offbeat families, such as Ian McEwan and Barbara Gowdy write about. And the odd nicely written mystery too - Ian Rankin's a favourite.

Books! My friends.

Beth said...

I actually do read books not having to do with family but seem to end up reviewing so many family ones.
Hope you enjoy this one.

Grow my hair a little longer?? It would take years before I could get that long braid thing happening!

You're so busy right now, do you even get a chance to read any fiction?

Let your kids be guest bloggers and have them review those books! That would be fun to read. (My perspective has become jaded. I now appreciate toilets and running water...)

Glad you enjoyed the blog. I'll stop by yours sometime.

Your taste in books is impeccable - because it's so similar to mine...

Gary said...

Not directly related, but Anne Marie McDonald was my neighbour when we were children, living on the air force base CFB Centralia.

Her book As the Crow Flies takes place there. It was an uncanny capturing of the time and place. (I note this because I see on your profile that you like her.)

Barrie said...

Great review. I'm looking forward to reading this book. Love the Carol Shields' quotation on your sidebar, BTW

Mrs. G. said...

I am a huge Ann Patchett fan, so I bought this one right away. I agree. I thought it was wonderful. Her book The Magician's Assistant is on my top 100 list. If you haven't read it, you should. More good family stuff.

I love your reviews, Beth. Keep 'em coming.

Beth said...

I didn't live on an AFB but that book captured so much of my childhood as well.
And Margaret Atwood grew up in this area - one of the (many) reasons I love reading her work - I often recognize the landmarks she uses.

That quotation of Carol Shields' - so true. I could fill my sidebar with her words!

mrs. g:
The Magician's Assistant is now on my reading list - which is huge. But better that than wondering what to read next...

Seraphine said...

Nice review, noted for its simplicity. I haven't read it.

You say you write about family, but I wonder sometimes if family is "worth" it. Most people treat family differently, as if it were a sacred institution or almost like religion. Yes, there are definite bonds, but too there's the relationship aspect to consider. If someone in my family ill-uses or hurts me, I feel no obligation to associate with them.

Princess Pointful said...

I am going to have to print off a list of your reviews when the holidays officially hit, and I have time to read for fun again!

Anonymous said...

I did not know she had a new book out!! I will buy this one for sure. I love how she writes. I love how you review books! I love reading about families too. When I was a kid, I did too. My best friend from 5th grade gave me the book Under the Haystack. She said I told her to read it back in 5th grade and it changed her life. She found in on E-Bay, and wanted to surprise me. I had no memory of the book, but when I re-read it, to Hannah, it came back to me it bits. It is funny what an impact it made on her all those years ago. I also use to love (way back then) to write about other people's family lives in the stories I wrote. Weird.

Anyway, I would love to read your take on the Laura Ingalls Wilder books! I was obsessed with them as a kid.

You should do a recap blog of all or your reviews, before the holidays! Seriously, they are some of the best reviews I have read. When I have read some of the books, you have been right on the mark.

Have a good night!

Beth said...

Actually, I do consider family to be somewhat sacred - flawed or otherwise. And those family-themed books I read help me to understand my own family.
Thanks for your nice comment on my review.

princess pointful:
I hope you get a chance to read for fun over the holidays - nourish your soul!

How wonderful to find a cherished book from childhood. As for The Little House on the Prairie series, I was Laura...
Thanks so much for your very kind words about my reviews - made me feel great!

patricia said...

Well, you make the book sound very interesting, but that is because YOU write so well.

I must confess that I am somewhat cautious when it comes to Patchett's books, having LOATHED 'Bel Canto' with a passion.

But I know you've got great taste (hey you listen to me, don't you?) so I will take your recommendation under advisement! ;)