Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Run by Ann Patchett

In Run, Tip is almost hit by a car. As it turns out, a woman pushes him out of the way and while she is seriously injured, only his ankle appears to be damaged. He soon finds out the woman who saved him isn’t quite the stranger she’s at first thought to be. The woman’s young daughter, Kenya, holds a secret that, once told, will turn their lives upside down.

Sometimes it’s hard to write a review without giving too much of the story away or simply restating the whole thing. There’s so much more to the story than what I’ve written here. It’s unique, insightful, and nothing short of brilliant.

Patchett’s writing, this story and its characters are all magnificent. Her writing is fluid, powerful and an absolute joy to read. As the story progresses, she offers little tidbits of information integral to the characters or plot to entice the reader into wanting more. It draws you through the book. Once I started reading, I didn’t want to stop.

Her characters are vivid and believable. Just when I thought I’d picked my favorite character from the bunch, another comes along equally fantastic. In the end, I couldn’t decide on one. Contenders would include: Teddy and his speeches, Tip with his fishes and Uncle/Father Sullivan and his healing powers and Kenya with her athletic abilities.

Most of the story takes place in a 24-hour period. The story could have been bogged down with irrelevant details or short on details because of the time frame, but the author skillfully pulls details from the past to tell the whole story in the present and show how the characters got to this point in time. It’s amazing how intertwined their lives have become even though up until this point some of them didn’t know each other.

I usually don’t enjoy “dream sequences” all that much, but in this case, it fit well with the story. It was a unique way to bring in a past event and provide essential details of the story. Very well done.

I think this book would make a good book club choice. It could possibly generate many interesting discussions about adoptions, interracial families, family dynamics, politics and much more.

I haven’t read anything else by Ann Patchett, but I definitely will now.

Highly recommended.

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