This is the first time I’ve set a reading goal since the days of BOOK IT. I just finished my 20th book this year (click HERE for a review of that one). I know some people who have read 40 books and others who will read three. We all go at our own pace, but my goal was to hit 20 for the year. Mostly because I thought it was a good solid number after which I could finally start cracking open those New Yorkers I’ve let pile up. (Who knew a six week subscription would somehow just…never…stop?)
Since I just recently started sharing book reviews, I thought I’d share the review of the one book of those 20 (most of which were quite good) that lingered, the one that I still feel emotionally tied to. The older I get, the more fascinated I am by the family dynamic, specifically when it’s flawed.
“He is fifteen and ten and five. He is an instant. He is flying back to her. He is hers again. She feels the weight of him in her chest as he comes into her arms. He is her son, her beloved child, and she takes him back.”
^ You’ll have to read it for the context. But it made me cry. And, admittedly, it triggered some personal feelings. “He is an instant.” Perfect.
I didn’t want it to end. I didn’t want to leave the warmth of the characters, their dysfunctional yet endearing family(ies). I’d say this is a 4.5, but let’s round up. Ann Patchett’s emotional intelligence is palpable. This was my first of her fiction books, after having read and loved Truth and Beauty and This is the Story of a Happy Marriage. She tells stories with an unassuming voice and an awareness and depth that is unique to her and her experiences, many of which this book are based on. So many of us are influenced and marred by our childhoods, by relationships, by loss. Patchett’s understanding of basic human principles and motives is what makes her a generous author, one that brings more than asked for, and for whom I am so grateful.