This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage

Monday, April 28, 2014

This is the Story of a Happy Marriage
by Ann Patchett
★★★★★
 
This collection of essays from one of my favorite authors covers a wide variety of topics, everything from working at TGIFridays to dogs. The way Patchett writes makes any topic interesting. She is truthful and blunt at times, even when discussing sensitive subjects like grief, censorship, and divorce, but it’s this honesty that makes it easy for a reader to feel connected. Her passion for different things come through in her writing and you find yourself getting sucked into stories about seeing MET opera productions in her local theatre, taking a book tour or staying in a hotel and doing nothing.
 
Most of these articles were published in various magazines (Atlantic Monthly, Wall Street Journal, etc.) over the years, but all of them were new to me. She also included a few new pieces to round out the book. She spent years making ends meet with her freelance work for magazine and that experience is evident in the structure of the essays. They flow smoothly, each one a self-contained piece that stands on its own, but also adds to the neat arch through her life that the book traces.
 
One of my favorites was a piece on her bookstore Parnassus in Nashville. I had the opportunity to visit it last year and I loved hearing more about the history of its creation. I also loved her pieces about her dog Rose. As a dog lover it’s easy to immediately relate to those.
 
BOTTOM LINE: Each essay offered the reader another glimpse into the writer’s world. I don’t know if I would have loved it so much if I wasn’t already a huge fan, but I am, so this was a treat all the way through.
 
“Sometimes love does not have the most honorable beginnings, and the endings, the endings will break you in half. It’s everything in between we live for."
 
“I think the best vacation is the one that relieves me of my own life for a while and then makes me long for it again."

8 comments:

Sandy Nawrot said...

She is such an amazing writer. I'd never tire of reading her, even if she is writing about random things. I do have this loaded on my iPod...it is fighting for my attention with about 30 other things but I'm going to get to it soon!

JoAnn said...

I'm a huge fan, too, and loved the audio version of this book. Patchett reads it herself!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Sandy - I think you'll enjoy this one, but it's definitely not time sensitive. You've got so many other great things going on right now!

JoAnn - I listen to the audio as well! It was so good!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I love Anne Patchett's work and am anxiously waiting for my turn with the audio version at my library.

Lindsey said...

I loved this one too! I think we are all anxiously awaiting another novel...

bkclubcare said...

I want to read this!!!!! (Can you tell?) Anyway, that last quote? could almost be said about a great book but a great book is one that saddens me when it is over because I have to return attention back to life once again... (happened today. I had 'better' things to do but kept letting myself have 15 minutes more until - ooops! only 20 pages left, might as well finish.

nomadreader said...

I adored this one too! I need to get back on finishing Patchett's backlist too:-)

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Diane - It's great on audio!

Lindey - She's one author that I will buy whatever she writes.

bkclubcare - That could absolutely be said about a great book! I love that!

nomadreader - I rationed her books so I didn't run out too quickly. I've read all but Taft and Patron Saint.