A Writers Writer – Ann Patchett


“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

Buddhist Proverb Quote

Though I read and enjoyed Bel Canto, it was not until I read Run over this Thanksgiving holiday (2014) that I was READY for this brilliant writer. I know I have a tendency to write hyperbole when I get excited about a book/author. In my mind, however, this excess is always deserved. Ann Patchett has left me questioning the profundity-the deep insight- about my life as I have understood it before I reached the last page of Run.

Father Sullivan is one of the wonderful characters in the book. How can you not be touched by his thoughts….“It would be incorrect in every sense to say that so near the end of his life he had lost his faith, when in fact God seemed more abundant to him in the Regina Cleri home than any place he had been before. God was in the folds of his bathrobe, the ache of his knees…now that he should be sensing the after life like a sweet scent drifting in from the garden, he had started to wonder if there was in fact no afterlife at all….What could be greater than the armchair, the window, the snow? Life itself had been holy.”

This novel takes place over twenty-four hours. Set in Boston, two  ‘little boys’ are adopted by one time Boston mayor, Bernard Doyle, and his wife. Patchett weaves several stories into one suspenseful  narrative about secrets, duty, and responsibilities. A stunning story not easily forgotten.

PS: Ann Patchett has opened an independent bookstore in Nashville, TN. There is a interesting story about how and why that you will enjoy checking out. Visit http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/authorinterviews/10428506/Novelist-Ann-Patchett-on-opening-an-independent-bookshop-to-rival-Amazon.html


About Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin

Stepheny Forgue Houghtlin grew up in Evanston, IL. and is a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She is an author of two novels: The Greening of a Heart and Facing East. She lives, writes and gardens in NC. Visit her: Stephenyhoughtlin.com
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3 Responses to A Writers Writer – Ann Patchett

  1. Ann says:

    Couldn’t leave a message on your blog. Tried. Just said I identify with the priest: You can find God here: in my cat’s silky fur, in the fallen leaves, in the smiles on the faces of those around me.

  2. pbmgarden says:

    You chose a great author to feature. Thought I’d read all of her works but can’t remember Run. Wonderful to have another title to check out. State of Wonder is good too–read it for my book club last year, but Bel Canto remains my favorite.

  3. noelleg44 says:

    A very interesting review Stepheny. And surprising that the author opened an independent bookstore. That’s certainly good for selling one’s book!

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