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So far the only Ann Patchett book that I've read is Bel Canto, which was a great read. It centres around a seige by terrorists in an embassy in an unnamed South American country. Despite the theme the reader gets really sympathetically drawn into the lives of the characters, both the terrorists and those being held captive. I'm off to track down State of Wonder as, not surprisingly dear Cornflower, you have inspired me to read this too.

Susie Vereker

Yes, I much enjoyed Bel Canto. Look forward to reading this one. Thanks for highlighting, Cornflower. By the way, I again mailed you recommending Jim Powell's The Breaking of Eggs as I don't know if you have read it or not. I had an email from you recently which I replied to, saying that you hadn't received my first mail. (Interested to know if some of my own mails are going into people's junk box. Tried to DM you on Twitter but you don't follow me so Tw wd not allow!)


Susie, how very odd. After I replied to you about The Breaking of Eggs (haven't read it, by the way) the other day I didn't hear anything back, and I've checked the spam and there's nothing from you there, either. Also, I do follow you on Twitter so a DM should be allowed, but I know that system can be temperamental sometimes! Do try again, one way or another.


Thank you for reminding me of Ann Patchett. I found "Bel Canto" breathtaking in its perfection but then read "Run" which was a big let down for me--poor writing technique, unconvincing plot and lots of rambling around. "State of Wonder" sounds as if she is back to her high standard again.


Really recommend Bel Canto and The Patron Saint of Liars. I remember having Run on my TBR but somehow, after some years, I gave it up to charity. Can't really remember why now...

Julie Fredericksen

I agree with Erika that "Run" wasn't as good as "Bel Canto" and "The Patron Saint of Liars". I highly recommend Patchett's non-fiction book "Truth and Beauty": A Friendship". It's about her friendship with Lucy Grealy, whom she met in a writer's workshop. Grealy, herself a very talented but doomed writer, wrote "Autobiography of A Face", about the cancer that destroyed her jaw, the many attempts to re-build it and how her life was affected.

Thomas at My Porch

I have read all of Patchett's books and eagerly await new ones, so I can't figure out why I don't have this yet. Patron Saint of Liars is great, Bel Canto is good, The Magician's Assistant I quite liked. I enjoyed Run quite a lot, but I agree with the others, it didn't seem to have as much depth as her other novels.

Jane H

Hello - I have just come to your website via Stuck in a book, and I love Anne Patchett too having read The Magician's Assistant. She doesn't feature in my library so had to reserve - ought to be better known I think.
Here is my review.. (coincidence! Have not updated website since this!)

regards, Jane


I had read and disliked Bel canto so was not sure about this one but I read it and thought it was quite brilliant. I reviewed it over on Random and here is my review should anybody want to see what I thought


I read this yesterday in one go - far too hot to do anything else!
I loved the book but was left wondering if M, as a result of eating the bark and the encounter with A, would conceive?


I wonder!

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