Thursday, March 13, 2008

Truth and Beauty

Truth and Beauty; a Friendship
Ann Patchett

4 stars

This story is a memoir of Lucy Grealy, a famous poet who wrote Autobiography of a Face. The author, Ann Patchett was great friends with Lucy and the story is a tale of their friendship. Lucy, who had survived cancer as a child, meets Ann during their college years but it isn’t until they both are moving to Iowa for a writing graduate school program that their friendship blossoms. Since both women start out as nothing and end up both published famous authors, my inner writer couldn’t help but be attracted to this book.

The book does have some language that I didn’t appreciate, honestly, if it were a novel I most likely would have tossed it to the side, but since it is a memoir and these are actual events that happened I became a little more lenient and forgiving towards some of the language and subjects.

Lucy. Lucy is such a taker. I had a problem with how much Ann gave in this relationship. She really gave so much and got not much in return. At one point Lucy pointed out to her that she loved to do it just because it made her feel like a saint. Perhaps this is true. At one point towards the end of the story Ann tells her she will “drop” or “break it off” with her if her behavior doesn’t improve. That would take guts to do – but she actually never does it. I think that would have to be one of the hardest things ever done.

The book examines self esteem and depression issues. I felt sorry and sad for Lucy during much of the book. If I had to live my life without a jaw bone and half my face missing there is no doubt that I would have self esteem issues as well. This book actually made me thankful for the knowledge and faith that I have in our Heavenly Father and our family. Lucy didn’t have faith or a strong family.

All in all I didn’t mind the book at all. I am really interested in reading some more of Ann Patchett’s work now that I’ve read about some parts of her life during the time she was formulating and writing the 4 novels she has wrote. I also would like to look into reading Lucy Grealy’s book.

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