A little out of left field on this one, but last night I kept myself up WAAAY too late finishing Run by Ann Patchett, and it is such a beautiful, perfectly constructed book, that I want to share my joy in having read it.
Run is a follow-up to Bel Canto, an equally arresting and worthwhile read. And since I don’t quite have the literary analytic chops to do the book justice, let me just say that, to me, Anne Patchett embodies the difference between people who write things defensibly well (I’ll include myself in that group) and writers. She is a writer in the truest sense of the word, exhibiting such complete mastery of her craft that all her hard work seems effortless.
While I was reading the book over the past few weeks, at various points in my day I’d think about some of the characters, forgetting momentarily that they lived in a work of fiction. And there is one scene ,late in the book, of the young girl Kenya running that is simply transcendent – I’ll leave it to you to discover it for yourself.
Fair warning: the book is restrained and it’s not plot-driven, so if you’re looking for lots of motion you’ll be disappointed. It’s a narrative arc about family, love, loss, kinship and humanity, told with seeming simplicity but with profound richness, many layers, and with such a solid foundation and execution that I gave myself over completely to the author. I cannot imagine asking for much more from a work of fiction.