Good Reads / Community Library Notes
Run - Ann Patchett
Review by Priscilla Comen
“Run” by Ann Patchett is a tender story of family, responsibility, and caring. It’s one of her earlier novels and one of her best; published in 2007. Tip and Teddy, two black boys, have been adopted by Bernard Doyle, mayor of Boston. He wants them to go into politics and takes them to every lecture a politician gives. Teddy can recite many of them by memory and does. When they leave such a lecture on a snowy night, a car rams into their group outside. A black woman (Tennessee) pushes Teddy out of its path so that he sustains only minor injuries.
It appears that this heroic act has been done by a woman who may be the long missing mother of the two boys. She is badly injured by the crashing car and her daughter, Kenya, is devastated. Having no place to go that night, Kenya goes home with Doyle and the boys. Author Patchett weaves her characters together and builds the reader’s compassion for them.
Kenya is a runner, and runs faster than anyone else. She has dreams of funning in the Olympics and wonders if she ever will. Teddy has dreams of becoming a doctor and Tom wants to become a lawyer to work with poverty organizations. Will they achieve their dreams? They all love their great-uncle Sullivan, who lives in an assisted living facility for priests. Many years before, he had gone to Africa to forget about his lover, Natalie, but returned to Boston to be near his family. The boys take him to Teddy’s graduation, but he has a heart attack on the way home.
Patchett has won many awards as she writes about caring families. This meaningful book is in the fiction room of your community library.