Run by Ann Patchett (2007)

This is only the second Ann Patchett book that I’ve read, but it reminded me a lot of her earlier best-seller, Bel Canto.  Not in the story, but in the structure.  Again, she covers only 24 hours in almost 300 pages, and again, I found myself questioning the believability of the story and thinking, okay get on with it. It’s good enough that I wanted to keep reading, but in the end, I thought it was just okay.  The characters have the potential to be interesting, but somehow I just didn’t care much about enough of them.  Maybe they were too underdeveloped or too predictable.  After a while, I felt that additional detail about each character was redundant, so that by the end, I didn’t feel like I knew them any better than I did at the half way point.  As well, the story seemed both too coincidental and too predictable and that bothered me.  But amidst all this, she has some beautifully written passages, some interesting mystical elements, and a unique thread that holds much of it together–a statue that seems to define family.  I wouldn’t run out to buy this one (though I did), but I wouldn’t dismiss it either.  (fiction)

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