Truth and Beauty
by Ann Patchett
Review: Once again, Patchett takes my breath away with her writing. This book made me cry, and it was earned. Although we know at the outset that Lucy Grealy, Ann's best friend since Iowa Writer's Workshop, is no longer alive, in the book she is liveliness itself. We follow their friendship from grad school to transitions, and later literary success and teaching careers, as Ann helps Lucy through one surgery after the next. She never gave up on Lucy, who was brilliant and fun-loving and never gave in to self-pity or tragedy. This book is the best kind of literary portrait--honest, fierce, and above all, real.
Best Line: Near the end, Patchett describes Lucy's new apartment in Brooklyn, an empty kitchen far away and Lucy in tears on the phone. Patchett, in Tennessee, feels near-helpless to assist her friend, goes online and orders her an entire set of kitchen things, writing something like...It was my own particular brand of insanity that I thought Tupperware would save Lucy. That is what brought on the tears for me, how symbolic of their friendship this is.
Song to Read By: "Anna Sun" by Walk the Moon