This is the Story of a Happy Marriage

Contrary to the title, this isn’t actually a story about marriage at all. Rather, it is a collection of stories, about lots of things–marriage is only one of them.


In this collection, one of my very favorite authors, Ann Patchett, shares pieces of her life–friends, family, loves and losses, books. It is a window into her mind.

I told you yesterday that I mostly find biographies boring. However, I love memoirs. I always find it interesting to hear first-person narratives about a person’s life, to hear them share the things that are most important to them, and the little details too. I like to know the things that made them them.

This is especially true of the authors I love. It helps me to understand their books, when I can go into their background, and hear what formed their psyche. Patchett talks a lot about her books and the path she took to write them:  her love of opera formed Bel Canto, a trip to Brazil inspired State of Wonder.  I got to hear about her friendship with Lucy Grealy, which will be helpful later, since I have not yet read Truth and Beauty.

It’s next to impossible to be unbiased in this review, because I love her work so much. There was no chance I wouldn’t love hearing something in her own voice. If you haven’t read anything by Ann Patchett, you should. My favorite is Bel Canto. I need to reread that soon, I think.

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter weekend. You probably won’t see a post from me tomorrow as we are having company, but I’ll be back to our regular broadcasted program on Monday.


3 thoughts on “This is the Story of a Happy Marriage

  1. I LOVED this book! I borrowed it from the library, but I know that I’ll be buying my own copy eventually because I’ll want to re-read some of these essays again. The piece about her beloved dog had me crying–we’re talking ugly crying face here–and I adored the essay about her journey towards owning her own bookstore. Who am I kidding. . . I liked them all!
    You’re in for a treat when you read “Truth & Beauty”. It’s a skillful account of a very complicated friendship, and it’ll be even more meaningful to you after reading her essay about the fallout in this book.

    • Oh I KNOW! When that old man was telling her about his dog, I just kept thinking, “Crap. She’s going to die like tomorrow.” And then she did. And it was awful.

      • Completely agree–I just had to stop reading for awhile after that one. But–to me that’s the sign of a truly great writer.
        I’ve never really been able to get into her fiction as much, but I do love her NF works. I need to give Bel Canto a try again. . .

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