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Notwithstanding Tolstoy ("All happy families resemble one another"), stories of domestic bliss retain a unique interest. As gifted novelist Ann Patchett (State of Wonder; Bell Canto) tells the story here, her happy marriage had a long, often painful prologue: The past four generations of her family had ended in marital breakups and she herself suffered one failed marriage and one unfortunate engagement, before she found the love of her life and future husband Carl. Patchett enthusiasts will be pleased that she also roams into other topics, including writing, reading, running a bookstore, and even her cherished pet canines.