Monday, September 12, 2011


Ann Patchett has never let me down. I've yet to read a novel by her that I haven't liked (or loved, in the cases to Run and Bel Canto). I'm constantly amazed by the diverse breadth of characters and settings that she manages to perfectly depict. I recently picked up her latest but, before diving into that, I decided to go back and catch up on one of her older novels that I'd missed out on.

Taft tells the story of a black man who manages a bar in Memphis. As he tries to come to terms with his role as an absentee father after his son's mother moves across the country, he simultaneously becomes embroiled in the lives of the Taft family, a young, white, fatherless waitress and her troubled younger brother. Patchett touches on frequently covered territory, like race relations and broken families, but does so in a way that feels completely fresh and unique--largely, I think, because of her ability to create believable tensions that realistically build up to moments of great suspense.

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