I’m an Ann Patchett fan. So when I traveled to Nashville for a conference earlier this year, I intentionally carved out time to make a pilgrimage to Parnassus Books, the bookstore she co-owns in downtown Nashville. Every good pilgrimage needs a relic and This is the Story of Happy Marriage, Patchett’s collection of non-fiction essays, is mine.
About This is the Story of a Happy Marriage
I loved this collection. I believe I had some vague recollection that Patchett got her start, and funded her way to becoming a full-time novelist, by writing free-lance for the likes of Seventeen, Elle and Gourmet. This is the Story of Happy Marriage is a collection of the best of her best free-lance work.
Because the essays span that part of her life, it is also a somewhat like a memoir, providing updates on her marriage & relationships, her precious grandmother, her Catholic faith and of course, her dog Rose.
Speaking of Rose, she has the best farewell essay I’ve ever read about a beloved dog. And when I say best, I mean appropriate memorial without leaving me in a puddle of tears. Having a senior dog myself, I don’t do well reading about other senior dogs.
I’ve always enjoyed Patchett’s novels; Bel Canto is on my Top 100 list. But it wasn’t until reading this collection that I realized how darn funny Patchett is. This will definitely have me looking for the humor the next time I pick up her fiction.
Buy it or Bail?
Patchett is a reader’s writer. She’s witty and wise. She’s doesn’t take herself too seriously. This is an enjoyable collection that is easy to read one at a time or all the way through. It is one to buy for sure.
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