"No one can be lonely who has a book for company." ~ Nelle Reagan

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett

This is the Story of a Happy Marriage
Author:  Ann Patchett
Published:  November 2013
Publisher:  Harper
Genre:  memoir
Source:  A complimentary ARC was provided for the purpose of preparing this review.  Receipt thereof bears no influence on my opinion nor this review.

This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage is both wide-ranging and deeply personal, overflowing with close observation and emotional wisdom. Stretching from her tumultuous childhood, from a disastrous early marriage and a later happy one, she charts the hard work and joy of writing, and the unexpected thrill of opening a bookstore. Patchett shares stories of the people, places, ideals, and art to which she has remained indelibly committed. Brimming with thoughtful advice and emotional wisdom, this collection brings into focus the large experiences and small moments that have shaped her as a daughter, wife, writer, and friend.
An irresistible blend of literature and memoir, This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage is a unique examination of the heart, mind, and soul of one of our most revered and gifted writers.

My thoughts:
Ann Patchett, in This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, reveals through a compilation of essays, her inner workings and imaginations as she pursued that dream which she was predisposed to fulfill at the tender young age of six or earlier, as memory fails to ascertain just how early destiny revealed itself to her.  Of course, this memoir is not only about the writing process, it is about life and those things precious, learned and understood. It is about a young Catholic girl who reconciled a dislike for the expectations of Christmas when she house sat a big old home with an enormous fireplace which required her constant attention during Christmas break.  Alone and left to her own devices and a supreme collection of books, Patchett was able to let go of Christmas past, keeping the story her father read to her over the phone many Christmases previous, the story of an orphan who gave up her one present of coloured pencils to a gypsy girl who had not a single gift.  It's a gift without physical record yet the memory remains indelible in her mind.

Patchett continues to share bits and pieces of her life, like how her earlier distain for motorhomes became a love for the big rambling homes on wheels and the time she decided to write about the police of LA by training for admission to the police academy.  The biggest obstacle, a six foot wall, which she conquered!  Marriage, her best friend the abandoned dog she fell in love with, to her grandmother.... all shared through the pages of this memoir allow us a peak into her life and her soul while keeping a theme of writing and book love on the perimeter and scattered throughout.

I adore this book for the advice, the bird's eye view of this fabulous author and her career and the satisfactory exploration of her literary prowess.  I feel I know her rather better and admire her ability to jump with both feet forward, taking on a challenge or two and embracing all that life offers.  You don't have to be an aspiring author to appreciate all This is the Story of a Happy Marriage has to offer as a metaphor for living, loving, and being; you just have to enjoy a good story.

Ann Patchett is the author of six novels: the New York Times bestselling State of Wonder and RunThe Patron Saint of Liars, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; Taft, which won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize; The Magician’s Assistant; and Bel Canto, which won the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Orange Prize, the BookSense Book of the Year, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She is also the author of two works of nonfiction: the New York Times bestselling Truth & Beautyand What now? Patchett has written for many publications, including the Atlantic MonthlyHarper’s Magazine,Gourmet, the New York TimesVogue, and the Washington Post. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
Find out more about Ann on her website and follow her bookstore, Parnassus Books, on Twitter.


  1. Next on my list to read, after I finish another book.

  2. Ah, so glad you loved it! I love Ann Patchett and can't wait to read this myself.

    Thanks for being on the tour!

  3. THANKS for sharing your thoughts. Sounds good.

    Stopping by from Carole's Books You Loved December/January Edition. I am in the list as #33. My book entry is below.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Book Entry

    BTW…Stop by for a FUN giveaway titled: Guess The Baby: Giveaway

    Giveaway ends on December 8.


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