Run by Ann Patchett - review by Alice Waugh

Alice Waugh

Boston Bloodlines



Bloomsbury 304pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

In Run, Ann Patchett has created a tortuous web of relationships. The Doyle family is part of the Boston Establishment, apparently highly political and deeply Catholic. Bernadette, who is unable to have any more children, adopts a black baby, Teddy; two weeks later the adoption agency gives her his toddler brother Tip as well. When she dies, her grieving husband is left to bring up their three sons alone. Bernadette does not appear after the first chapter, yet her absence informs the entire novel. 

The large part of the story is threaded into a twenty-four-hour period. It is a freezing night in New England; the snow has set in, and Tip and Teddy, now adult, have been dragged by their father to watch Jesse Jackson speak. Tip's passion is ichthyology and Teddy believes he

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