22 December 2006

Recently Read: Truth and Beauty

Truth and Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett

Imagine your best friend is charismatic, gifted, and funny. Imagine your best friend is also physically and emotionally damaged and needy. So damaged and needy that she drifts into despair and drug abuse despite your best efforts. She dies. You write your eulogy to her in a book.

In her memoir, Truth and Beauty, Ann Patchett documents her friendship with the fiery poet and author Lucy Grealy. Beautifully written, but left me wanting to scream. Why did no one intervene more forcefully in Lucy's life? Everyone seemed so charmed by her that they were hesitant to halt her self-destruction. Read only if you are not prone to despair.


njc said...

We need more books for our book club that feature strong women. Would this work? We would be prone to despair but we usually have a couple of glasses of wine before the book discussion starts so that staves off too much depression.

Sarah said...

Did you read Bel Canto? Also not the most uplifting read...

Deb said...

Nathalie-- I don't know that this book would qualify as a book that features strong women. In fact, I was frustrated that neither Ann nor Lucy seemed to have any ability to even seriously attempt to halt Lucy's self-destruction. What would make it a good book club book is that I think one could have a discussion about whether it is possible to keep someone from self-destructing.

Sarah--I haven't read Bel Canto but I've almost bought it a couple of time. What did you think about it?