Since their mother's death, Tip and Teddy Doyle have been raised by their loving, possessive, and ambitious father. As the former mayor of Boston, Bernard Doyle wants to see his sons in politics, a dream the boys have never shared. But when an argument in a blinding New England snowstorm inadvertently causes an accident that involves a stranger and her child, all Bernard Doyle cares about is his ability to keep his childrenall his childrensafe.
Set over a period of twenty-four hours, Run takes us from the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard to a home for retired Catholic priests in downtown Boston. It shows us how worlds of privilege and poverty can coexist only blocks apart from each other, and how family can include people you've never even met. As in her bestselling novel Bel Canto, Ann Patchett illustrates the humanity that connects disparate lives, weaving several stories into one surprising and endlessly moving narrative. Suspenseful and stunningly executed, Run is ultimately a novel about secrets, duty, responsibility, and the lengths we will go to protect our children.
There is a magical quality to the writing - not a hocus-pocus abracadabra, pull a rabbit out of the hat magic, but a more primal magic that makes one shiver in realization that below the mundane every-day world is a shimmering substrata of unconditional love. (Reviewed by Lee Gooden).
The Boston Athenaeum
As the fates of her exquisitely rendered, wholly sympathetic characters unfold, Patchett has much to tell us about ourselves and how we choose to live our lives.
Library Journal - Sarah Conrad Weisman
[A]n engrossing and enjoyable novel. While there are a few unexpected turns, the reader very quickly figures out where the plot is headed, but that does not detract from the pleasure of reading.
[T]he book is lovely to read and is satisfyingly bold in its attempt to say something patient and true about family. "Signature review" by Andrew O'Hagan.
The Times - Helen Dunmore
Chance and accident rule this novel. Ann Patchett’s characters may believe that they possess their lives and construct their own stories, but as the narrative twists and swerves these assumptions are swept away. Just as a regulated and smoothly-running city can be paralysed by a snowstorm, so the five people who step out of the Kennedy School will never live out the futures they hold in their heads.
The Guardian - Patrick Ness
This is above all a book about good people who try to do their best by each other. Patchett's great strength is to accomplish this without sentiment or stupidity. While there may never be a great, evil Ann Patchett villain, there is sadness, and if it is surrounded by compassion rather than starkness, by good humour rather than bitterness, why should that make it any less affecting?
The Telegraph (UK) - Judith Hawley
This is a humane and sympathetic novel. It shifts between characters, linking them through verbal echoes. We move easily from the dreams of one to the reveries of another without feeling that liberties are being taken with the reader's trust.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by MCM Run I had read Bel Canto a few years ago and was excited to read Run. I found the first chapter to be very engaging, and I was drawn into the story immediately. I especially liked Kenya's character and I thought Patchett did a nice job of having her... Read More
Rated of 5
by Betsey Van Horn Implausible, pandering--but with panache and beutiful writing The writing is intelligent, the pace like a good, healthy jog. I have two minds about this book. Was it deep tasty chocolate, or plastic fruit? I could not put it down--it IS somewhat like good TV and is obviously written with cinema in mind. I... Read More
Rated of 5
by Barbara Just OK I loved Bel Canto and was eager to read Run. Although it was well-paced and interesting enough to keep me engaged, the plot didn't seem plausible and none of the characters stayed with me once I was finished. With other books the characters... Read More
Rated of 5
by GPL Run My book club read, and enjoyed, Bel Canto. I thought I would experience the same pleasure with Run. Sadly, I was disappointed. This book was more "run" of the mill, than page turner. I felt that the characters were unrealistic on one level (how... Read More
Rated of 5
by J. Arnold Outstanding Ann Patchett's Run has to be one of the best books I have read this year. The plot of the story is light and the ending is predictable, but the character development and use of shifting point of view is brilliant. Each character in this novel is... Read More
Rated of 5
by Mary Spilsbury Ross Run and Find this Book Like Ann Patchett's bestselling Bel Canto, Run is easily believable. In a 24 hour period we get to know a half dozen people who though related in various ways are all different in thought, ambition, desires and weakness. Icy cold is the... Read More
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