ANN PATCHETT’S, “TAFT.”

Ann Patchett’s, “Taft,” is the third book that I have read by this supremely talented writer that I wish never ended. All and All, I have read seven of her books and the one thing they all have in common is fantastic characters, wonderful stories, and superb writing.

One of the main features of Leonardo DA Vinci’s paintings, a feature that sets him aside from almost all other painters and sculptors, is that there is nothing in a DA Vinci painting, whether it be a sleeping dog, a baby in a crib, the grass beneath a character’s feet, or the blue of the sky above that is not alive and in motion. There is nothing stationary, everything has life and as you look at his works it is hard not to say to yourself what is that dog going to do next, or is the sky slowly going to turn grey.

That is one of the great characterizations of Ms. Patchett’s works. In “Taft,” a girl who walks into a bar, shy and with her head down, with skin so light that it is almost transparent, and who could probably be 10 or possibly 18 years old and seems completely harmless, but with the passage of a little time you are suddenly expecting her to do something crazy and when she doesn’t you breath a sigh of relief. Ms. Patchett’s characters, like a Da Vinci subject, is full of possibilities, despite appearances. I have often called her characters energized as though they are on steroids, and that is as true in “Taft,” as in all her novels that I have read.

“Taft” is a study of fatherhood with two parallel stories, one in first character narrative and the other in third person narrative, that brings to light the importance of fathers in the life of their children, whether they be boys or girls.

It is just another example of the extraordinary talent that Ms. Patchett possesses, whether her novel is taken place in a bar in Memphis like in “Taft” or a home run by nuns for unwed mothers in Kentucky. Highly, highly recommend.

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