rating: 4 of 5 stars
In Run, Ann Patchett evokes 24 hours in a snowy, wintry Boston.
When they were finally pushing out of the warm foyer of the Kennedy School and into the great cold world of the night, it was snowing. Not the heavy, wet flakes that come down like silver dollars and melt a minute later, and not the very dry tiny snow that blows around and never really settles on anything. This was a hard, steady fall of a medium-sized flake that meant business. To tilt your head back and look straight up into a streetlight was to have some comprehension of infinity.
Patchett explores the family dynamics of the Doyle family whose patriarch, Bernard, is the former mayor of Boston. Bernard has been raising his son Sullivan and his two adopted African-American sons, Tip and Teddy, alone for the past 10 years since his wife died. The boys are all grown up and in one eventful night their world is turned upside-down. I won’t delve too much into the plot for fear of revealing spoilers. The story touches on race, family, and class. It feels like a book that could lead to some good book club discussions. We’ll see how my book club for this book goes next week.
I didn’t find “Run” to be as strong a novel as “Bel Canto” or even “The Magician’s Assistant” was, but I still enjoyed reading it. Patchett’s writing is beautiful. Some of the plot points seemed a bit too contrived, but I found myself reading the book rather quickly and unable to put it down at times. I wavered between giving this a 3.5 out of 5 and a 4 out of 5 rating.