Run (novel)

Run (novel)

"Run" is a 2007 novel by Ann Patchett.

Plot summary

It tells the story of Bernard Doyle who is an Irish Catholic Bostonian politician. He married, had one son, and adopted two more. The adopted kids are African-American brothers that are named Tip and Teddy. Four years later, he loses his wife to cancer. Sixteen years after his wife's death, her two adopted sons are Universtity students. Bernard, who is the now the former mayor of Boston, has invited them to a Jesse Jackson lecture. Neither brother is interested in going and they show it by arriving late. Bernard anticipated it and lied about what time it would start. After the lecture, Bernard asks his sons to go to a reception. Tip declines shamefully and then backs off a curb. He gets hit. He is not stuck by oncoming car. He is struck by a woman that is trying to rescue him. It is the woman that gets hit. The novel's plot centers around the story of the woman's identity who was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries. Her daughter, an 11 year old girl named Kenya, asks to live with the Doyles. The plot has to do with interracial adoption, familial allegiances and rivalries, Boston’s notoriously complex political and racial history.


Lean Hager Cohen, of "The New York Times" reviewed the book saying, "If Patchett had exhumed her characters’ motivations more thoroughly, she might have persuaded readers of the circumstances that led to such a choice. And in so doing she might have elicited deeper sympathy and interest. The Jesse Jackson lecture turns out to be little more than a set piece, and the characters’ racial identities are either ignored or too broadly indicated. (Kenya and her mother live in a housing project; Kenya, Tip and Teddy are all endowed with a stereotypical black athletic gift, a talent for running.) It’s difficult to understand why an author would seed her story with potentially rich material only to refrain from exploring it. But this might explain why Patchett’s characters ultimately feel less real than symbolic, as wooden as the Virgin’s statue". [] It is a best seller. []


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