Thursday, November 7, 2013

Book Review: "This is the Story of a Happy Marriage" by Ann Patchett

This is the Story of a Happy Marriage Ann Patchett
Published: November 5, 2013
ISBN-10: 0062236679
Genre: Essays
Source: TLC Book Tours
Highly Recommended

Blending literature and memoir, Ann Patchett, author of State of  Wonder, Run, and Bel Canto, examines her deepest commitments—to writing, family, friends, dogs, books, and her husband—creating a resonant portrait of a life in This is the Story of a Happy Marriage.

This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage takes us into the very real world of Ann Patchett’s life. Stretching from her childhood to the present day, from a disastrous early marriage to a later happy one, it covers a multitude of topics, including relationships with family and friends, and charts the hard work and joy of writing, and the unexpected thrill of opening a bookstore.

As she shares stories of the people, places, ideals, and art to which she has remained indelibly committed, Ann Patchett brings into focus the large experiences and small moments that have shaped her as a daughter, wife, and writer.

My Thoughts:
I'm not normally a fan of essay collections.  I'll read them--after all, it is nice to have books that you can easily pick up and put down--but the constant change of topics tend to frustrate me.  I'm also not overly familiar with Ann Patchett--the only one of her previous books I've read is Bel Canto and that was several years ago.

All that being said, I simply adored This is the Story of a Happy Marriage.  This book is a collection of previously published essays in outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, Atlantic Monthly, and Gourmet.  While it would seem that there are a number of unrelated topics included--and there are a number of topics--this is a very well-arranged collection.  Even though the topics vary widely--from opera to RV travel to proof of the "Colbert Bump"--this book feels very streamlined.  Even though I claim to enjoy the fact that I can easily put down essay collections between essays, I found myself unable to set this one aside.

Patchett is a very personal writer and now, after reading so much about her life, I feel like she is my best friend.  (I do not mean that in a stalker-ish kind of way.)  She is also an honest writer--she doesn't paint herself in a better light than she deserves and she has a very appealing self-deprecating sense of humor.

I can say nothing but glowing and wonderful things about this book.  I would recommend This is the Story of a Happy Marriage to anyone, even those of you who share my formerly held belief that they were not fans of essay collections.

I received a copy of this book to read in return for an honest review.  I received no other compensation for this post.

Want to read more?  Check out some of the other stops on this book tour.  Links go to the blogs, not the specific review.

Tuesday, November 5th: BookNAround
Wednesday, November 6th: Tiffany’s Bookshelf
Sunday, November 10th: Booksie’s Blog
Monday, November 11th: The Little Reader Library
Tuesday, November 12th: Book Addict Katie
Monday, December 2nd: Lesa’s Book CritiWednesday, November 13th: guiltless reading
Thursday, November 14th: Book Snob
Monday, November 18th: Read Lately
Tuesday, November 19th: The Book Wheel
Wednesday, November 20th: The Lost Entwife
Monday, November 25th: Bibliophiliac
Tuesday, November 26th: My Bookshelf
Wednesday, November 27th: she treads softly
Thursday, November 28th: Dreaming in Booksques
Tuesday, December 3rd: A Bookish Way of Life
Wednesday, December 4th: Lit and Life
Thursday, December 5th: Becca’s Byline
Monday, December 9th: A Patchwork of Books
Tuesday, December 10th: nomadreader
Wednesday, December 11th: Book Hooked Blog


  1. I can see why this collection would be hard to put down!

    Thanks for being on the tour. I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.

  2. I'm with you - I'm not a big fan of essay collections but loved this one. I always end up liking one or two essays and then lose steam, but this one kept me going from start to finish!