December 26, 2021
These Precious Days
I spotted this book while in the line at the local post office which also doubles as a book shop. I was there to send away Christmas presents, and on impulse bought this book for myself. There was something about the cover that promised to be just what I was looking for in the wind down to the end of the year.
Which is kind of funny, because one of the essays in this book is about Ann Patchett’s trials and tribulations with selecting covers for her many books. She has truly nailed it with this one. The meaning behind the cover becomes more and more poignant as you read through to the end of this book.
Jojo Moyes says on the back cover – ‘I would read Ann Patchett’s shopping list’ – and I’m with her on this. The writing is such a delight. It’s exquisite – reading ‘These Precious Days’ is an opportunity to share the writer’s reflections on her life experiences as a friend, a writer, a daughter, and a bookshop owner. All of these essays allow the reader to share the quiet, meditative head space of someone who is absolutely careful with language.
Two days after I have closed the beautiful cover for the last time, writing that stands out includes:
- The story about her three fathers – her birth father and two stepfathers. This is glorious, and the photo of them all together is one to return to as you read other stories in this collection.
- The reflections on her teachers and friends in her student days as she was becoming a writer, and these themes are woven through several of the essays.
- The title story – which is luminescent. I won’t write any more here because you need to read it fresh, to let it unfold for you without a summary of what happens.