Currently Reading: Run

Our story begins with a statue, passed down from mother to daughter for generations, representing beauty, representing faith, representing Ireland.

When Bernadette Doyle dies, leaving her husband alone with three young boys, that statue is all that remains of her.  

Doyle raises the boys, one biological son, the other two adopted, instilling in them the ideals of democracy, Roman-Catholicism, science, education.  The two younger boys, Tip and Teddy, are of African-American heritage, but are raised in this white, Irish-Catholic, Boston home.

One cold winter night, after hearing Jesse Jackson give a lecture at Harvard, Doyle finds himself outside with his two youngest sons, arguing over their next stop of the night, a reception at a Dean's home.  Suddenly, a car plows through the falling snow and a woman tackles Tip to the ground, saving his life while possibly sacrificing her own.

Who is this woman?  Who is her eleven-year-old daughter?  What does this heroic act mean for Doyle and his boys?

I had read another of Ann Patchett's novels, State of Wonder, last year and was utterly impressed with it.  This is my second time reading her work, and so far, I'm having the same response.  The characters are rich with history and complexity.  There is a family dynamic at play here, coupled with a mystery.  Again, like State of Wonder, there is a subplot based in science.  There are endless things going on, but without being convoluted or bogged down.  I'm very much looking forward to seeing what happens next.

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