Truth and Beauty

by

Author: Ann Patchett

Ttitle: Truth and Beauty: A Friendship

Genre: Women’s Lives and Relationships

Publication Date: April 5, 2005

Number of Pages: 257

Geographical Setting: United States

Time Period: Present Day

Plot Summary: In this memoir, Ann Patchett describes her twenty-year friendship with fellow writer, Lucy Grealy.  Their friendship began in 1981, after enrolling in the Iowa Writer’s Workshop.  Patchett recalls the years of facing artistic, medical, economic, and emotional upheavals together.  With devotion unlike any other, Patchett remained a loyal friend to Grealy.  This book is a moving account of women’s friendship, and what it means to stand together through it all.

Subject Headings: Adult books for young adults; Autobiographies (Adult literature); Biography; Family and Relationships; Memoirs

Appeal: moving, lyrical, character-driven, contemporary, accessible, engaging, heartwarming, bittersweet, inspiring, compelling, complex, well-crafted

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: moving, lyrical, character-driven

Similar Author and Works

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

  1. Autobiography of a Face, Lucy Grealy. The author’s account of her childhood battle with a rare form of cancer known as Ewing’s sarcoma.  After many chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Grealy was left severely disfigured as a young girl.  In this biography, she talks about the pain and frustration of her struggle with cancer, and years later, her fight to feel beautiful in a society obsessed with physical appearances.
  2. Comrades, Stephen E. Ambrose.  The author takes a look at his personal friendships and friendships among fellow soldiers and colleagues.  The tone of this book is comparable to Truth in Beauty in that it is moving.  It offers a different perspective on relationships because it examines male friendships.
  3. The Blue Bear: A True Story of Friendship, Tragedy, and Survival in the Alaskan Wilderness, Lynn Schooler.  The author’s personal journey through Alaska’s Glacier Coast in the quest to photograph the elusive glacier bear.  Thoughtful and engaging, this memoir is a wonderful mix of heartache and profound beauty.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

  1. The Good Life, Jay McInerney.  An essential novel about the events of 9/11.  How September 11, 2001 caused a group of privileged New Yorkers’ to reassess their lives.
  2. Love and Other Impossible Pursuits, Ayelet Waldman.  Emily Greenleaf is faced with a challenge in trying to connect with her five-hear-old stepson, William.  It only becomes more difficult when she suffers the loss of her baby girl.  This book is character-driven and moving.
  3. The Life All Around Me by Ellen Foster, Kaye Gibbons.  The sequel to Ellen Foster, now fifteen-year-old, orphaned Ellen Foster must learn how to adjust to life in a new home with a new mother.  Character-driven, moving and homespun this book is not to be missed.

Name: Erin Shinneman

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