Ann Patchett greets you at the door to her books, and you can feel the warmth coming toward you. You sense that she has a good heart, that she will offer you a seat on her best sofa. Like an old friend, she will keep the talk gentle, uncomplicated, convivial.
Then, without quite knowing how it happens, you find yourself in her spell. From within the well of ordinary human sadness, she draws up the stuff of hope and transformation. Patchett is a master of redemptive tales, and the tricks aren’t cheap. Spend an afternoon with her, and you realize that she means it.