Run

Friday, January 7, 2011


Run
by Ann Patchett

★★★★
After trying for years to create a large family Bernadette and Bernard Doyle have only had one child. They decide to adopt two black boys, Tip and Teddy, to add to their small family of three. Then Bernadette dies and the newly widowed Bernard is left to raise his three young sons on his own. The book really kicks into gear when the two adopted sons are in college. One night a stranger shoves Tip out of the way of an oncoming car and he narrowly escapes disaster. This act forces the Doyle family’s world to intersect with the strangers in some unexpected ways.

The majority of the action takes place in a single 24 hour period, though it feels like a much longer stretch of time. Patchett really manages to develop each of her characters, allowing the reader to become invested in their lives. Out of everyone, Tip’s story really resonated with me the most. He’s intelligent and intense while his brother Teddy is endearing and easy to get along with.

This book was all about family to me. It questions what makes someone family and what you’re willing to do for family. It made me think about what creates the bonds between people and how experience or even coincidence sometimes makes strangers become family. It was interesting to read an interview with the author saying that to her the book was about politics. It’s fascinating that books manage to take on lives of their own after they’re written and can mean different things to each reader.

Side Note: If you’re looking for a Patchett book to start with, Bel Canto is my absolute favorite of hers.


12 comments:

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I liked this book too when I read it several years back. Think she has a new book coming out in 2011.

Kathy said...

I've read this one and really enjoyed it--it's the only Patchett I've read so far, but I do intend to read more! Bel Canto is on my list, as well as The Patron Saint of Liars and The Magician's Assistant.

Avid Reader said...

Diane - Thanks for the heads up! I didn't know that and it will immediately go on my wishlist.

Kathy - Both of those last two are on my list as well. I've read her nonfiction book, Truth & Beauty, and that one was really interesting.

Care said...

I forget that she wrote Bel Canto . Which I enjoyed, if I remember right. funny how some books I can recall the plot but not what I thought and others that I know How I felt it but not what it was about!

Charley said...

I made it only a short way into Bel Canto before setting it aside. Perhaps I should give it another chance?

bookmagic said...

I loved this one. I have Bel Canto but have not gotten around to reading it yet. This is the year though!

BookQuoter said...

Bel Canto is one of my top favorites of all time. But as much as I love it, I have to confess I have not read all of Patchett's books. I read one (Patron Saint of Liars) and didn't like it as much. But after this review, I might give this one a try. Thanks.

Avid Reader said...

Care - With Bel Canto I feel like the importance of the book lies in the feeling and not the plot, so you remembered the best part!

Charley - The writing in Bel Canto was truly beautiful. Give it another chance if you feel like it, it's worth it!

BookQuoter - I haven't read them all either. I read Bel Canto in 2007 and have since been rationing her books so I don't run out. I only read one a year so I can savor them.

Heather said...

Wow, this sounds quite good. I haven't tried Patchett yet...need to add her to my list!

Eva said...

Wait...the husband & wife are named Bernard and Bernadette?! That's crazy! LOL

Alexandra said...

This was on my TBR for ages and then I decided to give it away! I loved Bel Canto and The Patron Saint of Liars, but somehow just couldn't bring myself to pick up this one.

Avid Reader said...

Heather - Start with Bel Canto!

Eva - I know! It seemed like a joke... but then she died.

Alexandra - It sat on my TBR longer than I'd like to admit.