Reading is dreaming with open eyes”Yoyo
You know that part of my quest in life is to find the best books. Not just ok, but the best! This one is one of the best! I loved so much about this lovely piece of writing by the amazing Ann Patchett. And, the stroke of genius that followed by having Tom Hanks perform the book on Audible. His voice… so soothing, sarcastic, and comforting – all in one. He was the perfect voice for the narrator of the story, Danny. (Audible link at bottom of post)
I loved this novel because it’s about the complexity of family (blood and chosen), and sibling love and devotion. It’s about convoluted issues with parents, absent and present, dealt with in a way that enables the reader to see every side of the story (in my experience that’s not easy for an author to do – particularly using only one narrator).
This story is also about a house. An extraordinary house, which looms so ever-present, it is, in fact, its own character in the book. If you believe in the “spirit of place”, you will be able to relate to this story. I’m finding that I love stories about places, and the people that inhabit them. (To find other books that feature places as their center, check out Kate Morton. Her books always have a place at the heart of the events that build story).
I have to say, though – the main reason I loved this novel is because Ann Patchett can WRITE. Much of the narrative is dialogue, and she is just spot on. Dialogue can sometimes feel stilted, but not so with this writer. After reading this book, I KNOW these people. And, I wish I could sit down and talk to them. I don’t want to give much away, but let me say that the story is one that would be great for a book club discussion, as the characters are flawed and make decisions that carry permanent consequences (so, this book is a lot like life!). Lots of opportunities to discuss and take apart. Lots of moments to be angry, sad, and marvel at the survival skills of people, and how those skills build families.
I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did. You’re in for a treat!