my take: The story of two families, six kids total, and how their lives intersect through divorce and remarriage.
I’d read a blip of a review before reading – which I generally avoid – that said this was her most autobiographical novel to date. Because I read This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, I knew a little of her life story and that added to my enjoyment of the book. It was fun to think about what she fabricated and what she pulled from her own life.
It seems to me each of her books is different – locations, development of the plot, cultures, eras … so after our discussion of Commonwealth (see below) I found an NPR interview where she says all her books are about the same thing: plucking characters out of their natural habitat and plopping them into a new situation. Yes! AND her works still seem different enough to enjoy each one.
my source: For a trip to Italy & France with BFF and her SIL we decided a book club-ish read would be fun … including our hubbies, who have been shut out of book club for the last 20+ years (except for my hubby’s desserts) had a lovely discussion in a VW minivan zooming along the Autostrada on the French/Italian coast packed in like sardines.
my verdict: Good read…not my favorite of hers, but worth a read. See also State of Wonder, The Magician’s Assistant, Bel Canto
photo courtesy of Beatrice VanWinkle
Just got my library copy – knew nothing about the topic before starting, but of course I'm going to read any new Ann Patchett! Had everyone else read the Story of a Happy Marriage? Curious how that might have changed people's takes on it.
It's hard for me to separate time and place of reading from opinion of books. I'm the sil and reading this book alongside traveling buddies in stunning locations (stunning pool in vineyard in Italy as one of those) will make this book a HAPPY memory always. And i book club in a moving sardine can't be beat. Oh yeah, the book. Very interesting and compelling. I am the third in an intact family of six children. Life is just a bit wild when you are surrounded by siblings. I recommend the book whole-heartedly.