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Showing 1-10 of 39 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 67 reviews
on March 25, 2015
So disappointed.

I understood, going in, that this was a longer essay/book based on Patchett's Sarah Lawrence commencement address. I knew it was 97 pages long and wasn't expecting it to be much more than say novella-length. But there is really a TON of filler in this -- from the spacing choices to the endless stock photos, I found the price/content to be sorely mismatched. The actual essay content felt equal in length to say... a longer article in the New Yorker or Slate... which is not something I then expect to pay ~$10 kindle and ~$12 hardcover for.

Now, I get that that's a lot of complaining about price, so let me move on and speak to the content.

First, let me say again, I LOVE Ann Patchett.

But there were many times when it felt as though this slightly-reworked commencement speech was dragging on endlessly. If you've read her other stuff, much of it will feel repetitive (like shorter/longer versions of other life event she's previously alluded to) and it just didn't have the same "spark" that a lot of writing normally exhibits.

She's the queen of talking about life and career transitions, she's witty and intelligent and an amazing writer, but this is a project that drags on and ultimately washes out its message (that life's a work in progress, that we've got to be constantly open to change and accepting of new unexpected challenges, etc).
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on May 10, 2017
I bought this for a friend who is turning 65 in a couple of weeks. She is certainly on the brink of a new life, and may yet be moreso, as she is looking, without luck, to buy a house, and has been single for over 20 years, not willingly. I remarried at age 42; we celebrate our 40th anniversary next fall. I know that What Now? is a question that can be asked at any age. Ann Patchett, my absolute favorite fiction writer, turns her skills to the essay here, with delightful results. She may not answer the question she poses, but she suggest ways in which the reader can arrive at an answer appropriate for him or her.
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on June 8, 2017
The speech itself is great, but WOW there are far too many useless photos in between! I would have preferred buying it without the photos since it really interrupts the speech.
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on December 14, 2013
There are times in all our lives-- we wonder what we will do next. We think it will just be our youth but it can be seen along every pathway. Choices to be made and plans to be developed.... But what Ann Patchett reminds us... It's in the pause that we learn the most. It's in the quiet moments we hear the voices of our future. So this short read is valuable at every fork in the road. Every new plan must have a time for quiet reflection....
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on April 4, 2015
I very much enjoyed both Ann Patchett's voice and her vision in this short, inspiring work. I can imagine in hardback, with large print and photos included, it stretches to 97 pages - and would make an excellent graduation gift. But on Kindle, it reads like an essay. I'm glad i read it, but i was quite surprised at the length give the Amazon description (and price) as a book based on a commencement address.
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on December 11, 2016
So well written and thought provoking. I read it sort of by accident and was so impressed I bought 2 copies for two girls in our family who are approaching high school graduation. It's autobiographical and more. A quick, easy read.
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on June 9, 2017
excellent for graduates to think about as they step into the world .... whether after high school or college ...
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on December 24, 2012
When I graduated from college, I felt that I didn't really know how to work in my profession. I went on to graduate school to get a second degree. I find that I am not alone in this feeling.

The author gives one example of life after college, her own. My take-away from this well written book is that we learn by living life, not just be sitting in classes. It is part of our growing. We learn something from every decision we make and we should look forward to what the future holds.
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on February 23, 2015
I love Ann Patchett. Her books are beautiful and spectacularly written. Her stories are so different and so well written that it is always a pleasure. This book is different, it is her speech to college graduates. She talks about her beginnings, her journey towards who she is now and what she wanted to do and the obstacles and the constant nagging of some people around us who ask us what next? It was very personal to me because there is always an expectation and we often fulfill not our own dreams, but the dreams and expectations of our parents and the society, not knowing who we really are and what we want. I thought it was incrcredible how honest she was with herself, her work and achievments. I loved when she said she spent hours of simply staring to know, to see, to create the world she wanted to create in her stories. Such a valuable lesson. This book is short, that was a dissapointment. I wish it was longer, but....Great read and she is one of my favorite writers.
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on October 23, 2015
This small book evolved from a graduation address Ann Patchett gave to a graduating class at her alma mater, Sarah Lawrence. It contains wonderful life lessons and interesting reflections from an author whose writing I admire.
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