Monday, May 26, 2008

Truth and Beauty

I loved this book. This was my favorite kind of reading. I started the book on Saturday night and finished it in bed this morning. I couldn't put it down. I recommend reading at least one of Ann Patchett's books and Autobiography of a Face before reading this book, but you could do it in whatever order really. I just liked having some background information on both "characters" before picking this book up. Like I said in my post last week, this is the memoir of Ann's friendship with fellow author Lucy Grealy. You should be warned, this is not an uplifting book. But the writing is so beautiful and their friendship is so captivating that you forgive the fact that it's the literary equivalent of listening to REM's Everybody Hurts over and over.

I particularly related to Ann in the telling of the story. She often compares herself to the tortoise and Lucy the hare, or herself as an ant and Lucy as the grasshopper. I am most definitely, without a doubt the ant and the tortoise in most of my friendships. While Lucy was technically the addict, it also seemed like Ann was addicted to Lucy and their friendship, and I didn't find it hard to connect to that. While the book honored their intense friendship and showed how fiercely intelligent and sensitive Lucy was, it also painted her in a very ugly light. There seemed to be an anger coming from Ann, it was hard to tell if she was angry at Lucy for all her betrayals and bad behavior, or just angry at her for dying and leaving her alone. Both maybe.

Reading the book made me curious about what Lucy actually looked like, so I watched a couple tv interviews of her in the late 90's. It was interesting, but difficult to reconcile the difference between the Lucy on tv and the one in the book.

Anyways. This book is really, really good and if you haven't read it - you should.

I think I'll start The Alchemist tonight.

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