Thursday, December 14, 2023

Tom Lake

Tom LakeTom Lake by Ann Patchett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Tom Lake was a braided story (then and now) of a mother relating her glamorous past life as an actor to her clamoring daughters. Having a story run in two parts can be frustrating to the eager reader. It is like looking for the sexy parts or the who done it section. In this story, you're curious as to what happened to him, to them, and how she ended up with a cherry farmer. The characters are all beautiful, compatible and sympathetic; the dogs are sweet; the cherries are relentless in their need for harvest. The story has good forward motion riffing off the play, Our Town. But I wanted a bit more of an edge. I wanted to have at least one character who does not defies the odds and I guess that was "the golden boy, Duke." But there is a lot of happy family story before Duke's failings become evident, and I would have liked more reflection from the once-smitten mother to hold my interest. It's still Ann Patchett and that's worth a lot, but not my favorite of her titles. Take me back to Bel Canto.

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