This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett

74%

11 Critic Reviews

Readable and candid, Patchett’s collection is a joyful celebration of life, love and the written word. Wise, humane and always insightful.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

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.

 

About Ann Patchett

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Ann Patchett is the author of six novels and two books of nonfiction. She is the winner of the PEN/ Faulkner Award, England's Orange Prize, and the Book Sense Book of the Year. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. She is the co-owner of Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee.
 
Published November 5, 2013 by Harper. 321 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Nov 24 2013
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Critic reviews for This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage
All: 11 | Positive: 9 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Good
on Sep 16 2013

Readable and candid, Patchett’s collection is a joyful celebration of life, love and the written word. Wise, humane and always insightful.

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Publishers Weekly

Above average
on Feb 24 2014

Fans and newcomers will find this a delightful mix of reflection, observation, amusement, and sincerity.

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Janet Maslin on Dec 22 2013

You don’t drown a character and then go back to figure out why it happened...You lead up to the event and then consider its causes and consequences. That...is how she writes about the most memorable subjects in “This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage,”...Those that are dead come very much alive as Ms. Patchett lovingly recalls them.

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Wendy Lesser on Nov 22 2013

...so compellingly personal you feel you’re looking over her shoulder as she sits down to write...As the best personal essays often do, Patchett’s is a two-way mirror, reflecting both the author and her readers.

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Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Laura Miller on Nov 15 2013

It will be exactly the sort of article someone wants to read while nervously killing time in a doctor's waiting room or aeroplane seat – which is to say it will inevitably be rather pat.

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Publishers Weekly

Good
on Jul 08 2013

A collection of 22 essays...offer generous glimpses of her rural, divorced Catholic Tennessee background and winding but determined route to becoming a writer (“The Getaway Car”).

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NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Laura Schultz on Oct 28 2013

This Is a Story of a Happy Marriage is well organized and in a succinct fashion couples premises with pertinent examples that hold a reader’s interest. It is a book that will enhance a writer’s thought process, providing alternative ways to approach plot, structure, character development—and writer’s block.

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NPR

Good
Reviewed by Maureen Corrigan on Nov 13 2013

I suspect that, given how underrated the essay form is, lots of people also probably think it's easy to toss one of those off...but in this terrific, wide-ranging collection, Patchett demonstrates how a pro does it.

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Star Tribune

Good
Reviewed by Laura Billings Coleman on Nov 02 2013

Patchett’s gift for getting the best material from the worst of times is one of pleasures of “This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage,” a cleverly repackaged collection of essays published between 1996 and 2012.

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Globe and Mail

Above average
Reviewed by Kerry Clare on Nov 18 2013

...Friendship, family, divorce and marriage are preoccupations, touching on personal experiences ranging from the ordinary (caring for her elderly grandmother, her devotion to her dog) to the extraordinary...

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Toronto Star

Below average
Reviewed by Patricia Hluchy on Nov 14 2013

Patchett’s essentially sweet nature renders some of the pieces somewhat toothless. “My Road to Hell Was Paved,” published in Outside magazine, is about travelling to Yellowstone National Park in a Winnebago...

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Malinda Charter

Malinda Charter 24 Jan 2014

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