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This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage Paperback – Deckle Edge, October 7, 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 601 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“I had been so engaged by Ann Patchett’s multifaceted story, so lured in by her confiding voice, that I forgot I was on the job. […] As the best personal essays often do, Patchett’s is a two-way mirror, reflecting both the author and her readers.” (New York Times Book Review)

“Patchett’s mastery of nonfiction [is] every bit the equal of her skill as a novelist.” (Shelf Awareness)

“All the essays were a joy to read...No matter your interest, you’ll find words in this book that speak to you.” (Real Simple)

“Each of the essays is its own delight and resonates with warmth and humor… If read straight through, the book presents a lovely and lyrical look at a life well lived.” (Library Journal)

“Readable and candid, Patchett’s collection is a joyful celebration of life, love and the written word.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Reading Patchett is like spending time with a deeply perceptive longtime pal, or a new friend that one instantly connects with.” (USA Today)

“[A] sparkling collection.” (The New Yorker)

“Happy marriage, compelling writing and all worthy endeavor requires hard work. That’s Patchett’s strength. And she does a fine job.” (Miami Herald)

“Patchett … is one of our best contemporary novelists. This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage reminds us that she is an exceptional writer of nonfiction, too. Her prose is a pleasure to read, regardless of genre.” (Dallas Morning News)

“Novelist Ann Patchett’s excellent essay collection ranges from dogs to writing to white-knuckled air travel.” (Christian Science Monitor)

From the Inside Flap

The New York Times bestselling author of State of Wonder, Run, and Bel Canto creates a resonant portrait of a life in this collection of writings on love, friendship, work, and art.

The tricky thing about being a writer, or about being any kind of artist, is that in addition to making art you also have to make a living.

So begins This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage, an examination of the things Ann Patchett is fully committed to--the art and craft of writing, the depths of friendship, an elderly dog, and one spectacular nun. Writing nonfiction, which started off as a means of keeping her insufficiently lucrative fiction afloat, evolved over time to be its own kind of art, the art of telling the truth as opposed to the art of making things up. Bringing her narrative gifts to bear on her own life, Patchett uses insight and compassion to turn very personal experiences into stories that will resonate with every reader.

These essays twine to create both a portrait of life and a philosophy of life. Obstacles that at first appear insurmountable--scaling a six-foot wall in order to join the Los Angeles Police Department, opening an independent bookstore, and sitting down to write a novel--are eventually mastered with quiet tenacity and sheer force of will. The actual happy marriage, which was the one thing she felt she wasn't capable of, ultimately proves to be a metaphor as well as a fact: Patchett has devoted her life to the people and ideals she loves the most. An irresistible blend of literature and memoir, This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage is a unique examination of the heart, mind, and soul of one of our most revered and gifted writers.

--Miami Herald

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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
601 customer ratings
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Top international reviews

Leonie
5.0 out of 5 stars and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Patchett writes about real life
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 13, 2017
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Louise Gillett
5.0 out of 5 stars Ann Patchett - a true inspiration
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 24, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars Patchett at her best
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 8, 2020
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Blossom Rayner
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely beautifully written, profound
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 16, 2014
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B. B. Shenton
5.0 out of 5 stars Ann Pratchett is an award-winning writer of world class fame ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 27, 2016
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Tim Stone,Templehouse
3.0 out of 5 stars Biographical
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 18, 2019
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Scallywag
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting well put together. Ann's route to her ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 23, 2017
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Jane Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars I particularly like her description of the trip in the RV
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 6, 2016
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MrsBroadie
5.0 out of 5 stars Great essays!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 22, 2017
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Jessica Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite books of all time
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 12, 2019
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J. Amos
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 14, 2015
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birute
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 21, 2015
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Alison
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb collection of articles and essays
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 30, 2014
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SUSAN M BROWN
4.0 out of 5 stars Perceptine writing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 12, 2014
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Paola
3.0 out of 5 stars short stories
Reviewed in Italy on October 25, 2019
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