Sunday, November 4, 2007


Just finished Ann Patchett's newest book, Run. It begins in sort of a rambling fashion and I was tempted at first not to stay with it. There's some historical context about a statue, stolen from a church, that really doesn't have a lot of bearing on the story. But, stick with it and you will find an insightful story about a Bostonian family that adopts an African American infant whose mother also gives up his 14 month old brother so they can be raised together. Lots of twists and turns throughout the book. I occasionally found the story line hard to follow as Patchett expects her readers to follow carefully the multiple stories that are intermixed and she takes her readers on some jerky (and unneccessary) ups and downs with her writing style. If you don't read carefully, you will miss her only reference to the title.

I also read, The Contractor, by Charles Holdefer this past week. In the wake of the recent controversy over the definition of torture as it does or doesn't apply to waterboarding, this is a read that should be required for every American. It made me think of those men in charge of Nazi camps that went home every night to eat dinner, play with their children, attend the opera and yet returned every morning to the horror of their work.

When I first picked up Life on the Refrigerator Door, I assumed that it would be a "cute little read" with a light-hearted exchange between a mom and her daughter. But it is much more than that. Although the entire book has been written in a minimalist style that one would find on post-it notes, the author, Alice Kuipers, has captured an amazing range of emotions in this little book. At times, I found myself wanting to shout at both the mother and the daughter to stop being so self-absorbed, stop running away, sit down and eat a meal together for Pete's Sake! But, Kuipers manages to capture many of the back and forth exchanges that every mom and daughter can probably match to something from their own relationship.

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