9 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful
L. G. (L) reviewed Truth & Beauty : A Friendship on
Helpful Score: 6
You must read Lucy Grealy's Autobiography of a Face first, to appreciate this book in its entirety. The friendship between Ann and Lucy was bizarre - unlike any friendship between women I have ever known. They were *extremely* close - and Lucy was pretty much obesessed with Ann, addicted to her approval and friendship, and that of others. It's a tragic story, one which, in reflection, could not have ended any other way. It left me a bit drained, and stayed with me for a long time.
I read this after "Autobiography of a Face" and probably appreciated the insight into Lucy Grealy more for it. I am the same age as Lucy and Ann, so the shared history of their friendship over the years, college, graduate school, love and loss, resonated deeply with me.
This book surprised me. For about the first third of the book, I was vaguely irritated and thought I was going to hate it. Then, as I got deeper in, I realized the whole tone of the book was different than any other memoir I have read. I devoured the last half or so in one day.
It's not your typical "she was my friend and now I'm writing about our friendship" book. It's really quite honest. It can be critical, cranky, and surprising - much like a real friendship. There are the highest highs and the lowest lows. There are times you want to scream at Ann and Lucy, times you're kinda sick of them, times you're rooting for them with all your heart. In short, it's like spending time with real people, warts and all. And Ann Patchett really does let us see them as real.
I recommend this book. It's a fairly quick read, but you feel like you spent time in the world of 2 real people worth knowing.
I found it hard to put this one down. I have several friends that I have been close with since 3rd grade but I'm not sure I could have been the loyal friend that Ms. Patchett was to Lucy Grealy. I look forward to reading Ms. Grealy's account of her hardships and the friendship between the two writers.