This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage

by Emily

Ann Patchett

Reading this collection of essays, I felt almost as though I was reading well-crafted letters from a close friend. Having finished the collection, I find myself missing Ann Patchett. She resonated with me, a kindred spirit the likes of which have previously been relegated to poets like Robert Hass, Louise Glück, and Tomas Tranströmer.

Sitting on the condo balcony overlooking the ocean on St. Croix, I’m framing each experience I have here in a story, an essay, that I want her to resonate with. Her essays fit inside me better than I myself do sometimes.

Some highlights —

“…both novels and dogs…are so beautifully oblivious to economic concerns. We serve them, and in return they thrive.”

“Forgiveness…is the key to making art, and very possibly the key to finding any semblance of happiness in life.”

“The ability to have a friend, and be a friend, is not unlike the ability to learn. Both are rooted in being accepting and open-minded with a talent for hard work. If you are willing to stretch yourself, to risk yourself, if you are willing to love and honor and cherish the people who are important to you until one of you dies, then there will be great heartache and even greater reward.”

“…marriage, a deeply worn path of mutual acceptance.”

I underlined many more quotes than that, but figured I probably didn’t need to retype the entire book here for you. I recommend this wholeheartedly, and would love to hear your favorite bits.