Customer Reviews for

Truth & Beauty: A Friendship

Average Rating 4
( 53 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Shocking and Perverse Friendship

Ann and Lucy are writers who met at the University of Iowa's esteemed Writers Workshop. They also attended the same college, Sarah Lawrence, but did know each other there. Lucy barely acknowledged Ann in those days. When they became roommates in Iowa, Ann's affection...
Ann and Lucy are writers who met at the University of Iowa's esteemed Writers Workshop. They also attended the same college, Sarah Lawrence, but did know each other there. Lucy barely acknowledged Ann in those days. When they became roommates in Iowa, Ann's affection for Lucy took on an All About Eve quality. Ann became Lucy's servant, and Lucy ordered her about in a strange, lurid, psycho-drama that only Ann seemed to think was a normal girlfriend friendship. This was not, in my opinion, a healthy relationship. Rather, it was a disturbuing, co-dependent relationship, with latent lesbian features. I base this on Ann's own descriptions of the extent to which she went to please Lucy. No one I know would go to these lengths to please a girlfriend. Ann seems to working through her own issues throughout this book--sexual orientation, friendship, affection, romance, professional achievement. I just wish she could be more honest with her feelings and take us, the readers, one layer below. For example, she notes, with pleasure, that she slept with Lucy on many cold mornings--in a twin bed. What was Ann thinking, experiencing, fantasizing, and feeling during these nocturnal encounters with her bosum buddy Lucy? This book has a weird fascination that makes it noteworthy and eminently readable.

posted by Anonymous on March 12, 2007

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Two Women Exploring The Boundaries of Love and Sex

This is a book about two women who shared an unbelievably close emotional relationship. At the start of the book, Lucy and Ann lived together as graduate students at the University of Iowa. They dated men but at the end of a long day, were usually together. Lucy prof...
This is a book about two women who shared an unbelievably close emotional relationship. At the start of the book, Lucy and Ann lived together as graduate students at the University of Iowa. They dated men but at the end of a long day, were usually together. Lucy professed her love for Ann, leapt into her arms, smooched her lips, crawled into her bed, watched her take nude baths. Was this merely a platonic riendship or was there more to it than that? I would argue that their romance had lesbian overtones. Oddly enough, the L word is not to be found in this book despite a plot that reminded me of a 1950s lesbian pulp novel about two women who fall in love, marry, but remain in love. Erotic or platonic love. You, the reader, be the judge.

posted by Anonymous on February 8, 2006

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2007

    Shocking and Perverse Friendship

    Ann and Lucy are writers who met at the University of Iowa's esteemed Writers Workshop. They also attended the same college, Sarah Lawrence, but did know each other there. Lucy barely acknowledged Ann in those days. When they became roommates in Iowa, Ann's affection for Lucy took on an All About Eve quality. Ann became Lucy's servant, and Lucy ordered her about in a strange, lurid, psycho-drama that only Ann seemed to think was a normal girlfriend friendship. This was not, in my opinion, a healthy relationship. Rather, it was a disturbuing, co-dependent relationship, with latent lesbian features. I base this on Ann's own descriptions of the extent to which she went to please Lucy. No one I know would go to these lengths to please a girlfriend. Ann seems to working through her own issues throughout this book--sexual orientation, friendship, affection, romance, professional achievement. I just wish she could be more honest with her feelings and take us, the readers, one layer below. For example, she notes, with pleasure, that she slept with Lucy on many cold mornings--in a twin bed. What was Ann thinking, experiencing, fantasizing, and feeling during these nocturnal encounters with her bosum buddy Lucy? This book has a weird fascination that makes it noteworthy and eminently readable.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2012

    Heartbreaking and beautiful

    This book was beautiful, heartbreaking, honest, raw, funny, and everything in between. The story of a perfectly imperfect friendship between two perfectly imperfect women. You can't read it without thinking of your best girlfriends and you come out of it loving and appreciating them all a little bit more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2010

    Truth and Beauty

    I love the way Ann Patchett writes. I think her use of language is crisp and descriptive. However, this is not an easy read. I'm glad I read it, and the book is a testament to friendship, but sometimes the friendship was such a burden that I wondered how it was sustained.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2005

    Good book but the story needed more depth.

    This was a good read but was too single dimensional. Lucy was a charismatic individual. When Ann first met her, Lucy was quite popular. Ann on the other hand, was not. It was easy to understand the attraction for Ann to bask in Lucy's sunshine. However,it was amazing that their daily connection lasted for so long even after they moved far away from each other. Ann's continued patience with Lucy's neediness and self absorbed behavior probably was either untrue or a sign of a mental problem with Ann. Because of Lucy's constant insecurity about being loved, it was unusual that she didn't talk much about her childhood or family. She had a twin sister that she hardly talked about. This was annoying considering that Lucy was disfigured and I assumed her sister was not. Lucy must have given thought to this but it was not mentioned.Also Lucy had a brother and that was only noted once. It was unusual that when she was in the hospital surrounded by so many friends, there was no mention of the lack of her family nearby. It isn't that they didn't care at all because at various times they gave her money but not much of their time. Lucy didn't seem concerned with that. For someone feeling so unloved yet having a million close friends,her longing or lack of longing for family ties left a vacancy. Finally, Ann's patience and commitment was too pure. It was obvious she was the author. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the book. I looked forward to reading it. It was not a superficial novel. It painted fairly clear pictures of the characters and their motivations but I would have enjoyed it more if it answered some of the holes in the story.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted May 6, 2010

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