Truth & Beauty: A Book Review

I went 34 years without knowing Ann Patchett. In my defense, I suck at reading all the books I’m supposed to read. When people would ask, “Have you read the latest from Ann Patchett” My answer was always a reluctant, “no.”

“Oh, you have to read Truth & Beauty,” they’d say.

When I found out Patchett would be coming to the University of Baltimore to give a talk and meet with MFA students for a private Q& A, I thought it must be a sign. Just like that, Truth & Beauty moved about twenty notches up on my list of books to read.

I know that most authors have nothing to do with the design of the book, but I cannot write this without gushing over how beautiful the actual book is. Everything from the deckled edge pages to the French flaps, to the color scheme and the use of dragonflies on the cover was an invitation to cuddle up to this book. And that’s exactly what I did.

If you’re like me, I bet there’s been a time or two when a much talked about book (or movie or album) doesn’t live up your expectations. You’re left disappointed and angry for the waste of money, but mostly the worthless sacrifice of your very precious, very limited time. As a wife and mother of three, who works and goes to school full-time, it’s hard to find time to get fully immersed in a book, to go through it cover to cover on a non-stop crusade to the end. With Truth & Beauty, I made a way.

I didn’t want to put the book down.

There is such honesty in the pages of this book. From the opening line, “The thing you can count on in life is that Tennessee will always be scorching hot in August,” to the closing line, ”That was my mistake.” Honesty and vulnerability burst through these pages and make me feel like I am a part of the friendship explored in the story.

Truth & Beauty is well worth being bumped up on your list of books to read.

Buy it here and enjoy reading.