This collection of essays, many of them written for "The Atlantic" or "The New York Times" sometimes left me feeling bored and cold, although there were exceptions.
The piece in which Ann takes the rigorous entrance exams for the LA PD police academy is quite interesting.So too is the essay about how she was picketed at Clemson University when she went to speak there, because certain local conservatives thought her book, "Truth and Beauty" contained too many sex and drug scenes.There is also an essay about her deceased friend, author Lucy Grealy, who was the subject of "Truth and Beauty".Lucy was disfigured by childhood cancer of the jaw.
Even the other essays, which I didn't like as much, all had moments of interest.She stays in the fancy celebrity Belair Hotel in Los Angeles to get some writing done.I enjoyed her descriptions of her stay in the hotel.The pieces about her dog Rose and her two husbands had moments of interest.So did the piece about nuns.
She is a good writer.
But, by and large, these essays did not do it for me.
There was a certain coldness, detachment, and repression that characterizes her entire style of writing.There's a lack of color and emotion there.Honestly, I was bored a lot of the time.Her flat style of reading the audio didn't help matters.
Also, I didn't go to Catholic school, so I have difficulty relating to that part of Ann's childhood.
This was my first Ann Patchett book, and most likely my last.I haven't become her fan after reading this book.
Possibly if I'd already read some of her fiction and then read this, I would have liked it better.
But I don't think I will read any more of her books.