Oh Ann Patchett, you are a hot mess. Your books DESTROY me! But if Bel Canto taught us nothing else, you apparently have camps of Love and Hate, with nothing but cricket sounds in bewteen.
So those of you who hated Bel Canto and hate Ann Patchett altogether, you will probably hate this one, and those of you who loved etcetcetc. I AM IN THE LOVE CAMP!! Only, ok. This book is about liars (obvs) and uncertainty, and living with uncertainty, and it makes YOU, the reader, shut the pages with some uncertainties remaining. Like, big ones. And while I recognize the artistic merit of such, and admit that Patchett accomplished what she set out to do, I feel itchy with unresolve.
Revolving narrators, you are such an engaging device, but you have shat on my omniscience and I will never forgive you.
Ok, so there’s this spring of water that’s curing people miraculously and a guy puts up a hotel on its banks but then it dries up and the hotel is converted first into a retirment home for nuns and then into a home for unwed pregnant girls (this is the Swingin’ Sixties, where everyone is either unwed and pregnant, or strongly disapproving of such).
In completely unrelated news, Rose marries a man she doesn’t love and gets pregnant and leaves him and drives across the country to aforementioned Baby Barn where she pops one out. And then…ahhhh…other things happen to her there. How to not spoiler this…*ruminates*
Can I say that I love nuns, and find them equal parts hilarious (HABITS! WIMPLES!) and awe-inspiring (MARRIED TO GOD!!)? There are nuns. They take care of the pregnant girls. Can I also say that so help me, I love the strong, complicated, reserved woman-type and the competent, large, quiet man who falls hopelessly in love with her? It’s almost as good as a mad relative.
I beg forgiveness. It’s not like this plot has TWISTS, but you want to see the things evolve slowly without knowing them head of time, however much you may suspect.