We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Call anytime(888) 283-5051
This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage | [Ann Patchett]

This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage

Blending literature and memoir, Ann Patchett, author of State of Wonder and Bel Canto examines her deepest commitments: to writing, family, friends, dogs, books, and her husband in This is the Story of a Happy Marriage. Together, these essays, previously published in The Atlantic, Harper, Vogue, and The Washington Post, form a resonant portrait of a life lived with loyalty and with love.
Regular Price:$27.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

Blending literature and memoir, Ann Patchett, author of State of Wonder and Bel Canto examines her deepest commitments: to writing, family, friends, dogs, books, and her husband in This is the Story of a Happy Marriage. Together, these essays, previously published in The Atlantic, Harper, Vogue, and The Washington Post, form a resonant portrait of a life lived with loyalty and with love.

This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage takes us into the very real world of Ann Patchett's life. Stretching from her childhood to the present day, from a disastrous early marriage to a later happy one, it covers a multitude of topics, including relationships with family and friends, and charts the hard work and joy of writing, and the unexpected thrill of opening a bookstore.

As she shares stories of the people, places, ideals, and art to which she has remained indelibly committed, Ann Patchett brings into focus the large experiences and small moments that have shaped her as a daughter, wife, and writer.

©2013 Ann Patchett (P)2013 HarperCollinsPublishers

What the Critics Say

"Readable and candid, Patchett’s collection is a joyful celebration of life, love and the written word." (Kirkus Reviews)

"Reading Patchett is like spending time with a deeply perceptive longtime pal, or a new friend that one instantly connects with." (USA Today)

"[A] sparkling collection." (The New Yorker)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (163 )
5 star
 (85)
4 star
 (51)
3 star
 (13)
2 star
 (13)
1 star
 (1)
Overall
4.2 (147 )
5 star
 (79)
4 star
 (36)
3 star
 (19)
2 star
 (10)
1 star
 (3)
Story
4.3 (150 )
5 star
 (87)
4 star
 (37)
3 star
 (14)
2 star
 (10)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Bonny Flemington, NJ, United States 01-07-14
    Bonny Flemington, NJ, United States 01-07-14 Member Since 2009

    Mother, knitter, reader, lifelong learner, technical writer, former library assistant & hematologist.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    364
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    131
    56
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    81
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Entertaining, engrossing, and elucidative essays"

    This is the Story of a Happy Marriage is everything other reviewers have said, and more. It’s a wonderfully-written and varied collection of Ann Patchett’s essays, ranging from musings about how she considered joining the Los Angeles Police Dept. in order to write about it and how she is influenced by her father, a retired LAPD police captain, to her feelings about her dog Rose and Sister Nena, the nun that taught her to read and write, to the eloquent and moving account of caring for her grandmother during her progression into dementia.

    I’ve read and enjoyed (with reservations) several of Patchett’s novels. Bel Canto was great but I hated the ending, and I liked State of Wonder, except for some of the more ludicrous plot points. I personally found this collection of essays much more engrossing than any of her novels that I’ve read. She can write about almost anything, revealing thoughts, emotions, and advice without becoming preachy and overbearing.

    I was completely unaware of Lucy Grealy, Patchett’s long-term friendship with her, and the controversies arising from their relationship. I’m very tempted to read Patchett’s Truth and Beauty to delve into this further, and may do that after I’ve had some time to digest the essay from Grealy’s sister in The Guardian. I’m hoping that Patchett will further show, as she did in this collection, that there are often quite a few ways of viewing a situation, and one absolute truth does not always exist.

    I do have to thank Ann Patchett for leading me to an epiphany. In “Love Sustained”, she writes about the long and painful decline of her grandmother Eva:

    “My grandmother had spent her life taking care of other people, cooking their food, cleaning their houses. It was her proof that she was valuable in the world. Now I cleaned my grandmother's apartment, which hurt her every single time. My cleaning was an accusation, no matter how quietly I went about it.”

    When I read “It was her proof that she was valuable in the world.”, I gained a much better understanding of my dear mother-in-law. She raised five children with lots of hard work and no time to herself. Now that she has too much time to herself, she is missing that visible proof that she is valuable in the world. I could see her so clearly in that one simple sentence. I’m grateful for this entertaining and elucidative collection of essays that was a pleasure to read, and even more so when read by the author in the audio version.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nadine CAMINO, CALIFORNIA, United States 04-25-14
    nadine CAMINO, CALIFORNIA, United States 04-25-14 Member Since 2013

    Clever

    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    37
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just go with it or not !"
    What did you love best about This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage?

    Well I tried to like it. I even listened to it twice, no luck. She shouldn't narrate her books.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It just went on and on. Her voice drove me crazy,sorry,


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Boston, MA 08-22-14
    Chris Boston, MA 08-22-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I've never read any Ann Patchett books"
    If you could sum up This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage in three words, what would they be?

    Interesting essays.


    What does Ann Patchett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Hearing her experiences in her voice was compelling.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    I wouldn't.


    Any additional comments?

    I bought this as David Sedaris highly recommended it. I wasn't disappointed. Without knowing this woman's work, I enjoyed these essays, 4 in particular. The first one bored me, I like to read, no interest in being a writer so I thought oh no...but from there I was rivited...this years vacation read or "listen" as it were. Recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ceenut California 04-17-14
    Ceenut California 04-17-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An Enjoyable Listen"
    Any additional comments?

    The narration by the author is great, and I felt myself drawn in and engaged by her experiences. If you ever thought about becoming a writer, this book is inspiring and also provides some good tips.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marie United States 03-31-14
    Marie United States 03-31-14 Member Since 2011

    Say something about yourself! Author of Deadly Lust, Deadly Charm and Graceland Express.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "About a Lot More than Marriage"
    What did you love best about This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage?

    To me, as a writer, this proved to be one of the most valuable books I've ever come across. While Ann Patchett's marriage to her husband plays a significant part in her story, it's actually an account of her lifelong commitment to writing. The detours and missteps she's taken along the way to a career in that field are in many ways analogous to the errors a married couple inevitably makes and her ultimate success as a novelist reminds one of the aging couple who have learned to tolerate either other's idiosyncrasies but aren't so entirely comfortable that they no longer have to work at it. A must read for any writer or would-be writer. In addition, readers who have enjoyed Ann Patchett's novels will find this book provides much insight into the author's personality and the process by which she comes to her fiction.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ann Patchett is the central character of this book. I liked that she was so revealing about herself.


    What does Ann Patchett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I liked the way her voice reveals her character.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CGJ Seattle, WA United States 03-20-14
    CGJ Seattle, WA United States 03-20-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Story of an unhappy life"
    What did you like best about This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage? What did you like least?

    Liked Rose the dog best. Author's narration was the worst. She sounded miffed, angry, just plain pissed off at so many things, people, places...the whole world.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Ann Patchett? Why or why not?

    Not really. Didn't like Bel Canto. Maybe this author is just not for me.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Ann Patchett’s performances?

    no. she does not have a reading voice that one wants to hear for more than 30 seconds.


    Do you think This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Oh NO!


    Any additional comments?

    Many of us have been waitresses. Perhaps less bitter because we weren't frustrated poets and didn't go to Iowa to study graduate writing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marie Coral Gables, FL, United States 02-07-14
    Marie Coral Gables, FL, United States 02-07-14 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful, Author-narrated stories"
    What did you love best about This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage?

    So many well-told tales! Non-fiction, collected writings from the many publications which supported the author as she nurtured her fiction writing career. What treat to hear so many rich experiences. Loved the tale of her Parnassus (independent) Book Store in Nashville!


    Have you listened to any of Ann Patchett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Have listened to some of her fiction, and this compares quite favorably.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    To write an account of the process of becoming an officer in the LAPD, Ann worked through the steps to qualify to enroll in the Los Angeles Police Academy. Her father, a retired LAPD officer, gave her a home-base and encouragement during the rigorous days of testing of her moral character, and her intellectual and physical abilities.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    01-31-14
    01-31-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful and authentic reading"
    What made the experience of listening to This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage the most enjoyable?

    Feeling Of true conecfion between the author and narator !!!!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage?

    Specialy about her mariage Experience .Also all about Rose.


    What does Ann Patchett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    When we read a book we hear our own voice(at least IDo)Listening to Ann's voice gives an additional layer and sense!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    This book is a collection of eseys.It is in a sense many layers photograph. what tags from layer to layer is a person. In each layer we know more about it and relate to it diferently, maybe more deeply?


    Any additional comments?

    I heard of Ann Patchett listening to a podcast of Binah(San Francisco Jewish Comunity Center) and listening to a Bob something interviewe. I want to listen to all she has written. And will in the future.I like simplicity and a flow of her words and this atitude of putting it down, writing and forgetting about it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joanna CROWN POINT, IN, United States 01-10-14
    Joanna CROWN POINT, IN, United States 01-10-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I am an Ann fan!"
    If you could sum up This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage in three words, what would they be?

    Clear, honest, relevant , sincere, simply profound.


    Which character – as performed by Ann Patchett – was your favorite?

    Her father.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made a heart connection for me in all of her stories


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doggy Bird Glen Ridge, NJ USA 01-01-14
    Doggy Bird Glen Ridge, NJ USA 01-01-14 Member Since 2001

    doggybird

    HELPFUL VOTES
    477
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    133
    94
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    70
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Reading, Great Writer!"

    This is a great book of essays with very personal themes and much discussion of the author's relationships with family and friends. I had high expectations when this book of essays was recently published and I was not disappointed. The author's narration personalizes the entire book. I felt like she was speaking directly to me. This was further accentuated by the personal nature of the topics, strengthening the rapport between reader and author.

    I would imagine these essays would interest even those readers unfamiliar with her novels, but for readers who are already fans these essays are particularly relevant since she discusses her craft and her working habits as well as her shift from the short story to the novel. For example, in one essay she talks about reading her manuscripts entirely out loud to a colleague before they are published. That will not surprise listeners to this audiobook since it is clear that her skills have been honed by much practice - she is a wonderful narrator.

    I have been a fan of Ann Patchett for many years, and greatly appreciated the title essay of this collection when it was offered to Audible subscribers a few years ago. I also had experienced her narrating skills in her non-fiction book about her friendship with Lucy Grealy, TRUTH AND BEAUTY. I usually don't appreciate author-narrators but when they have such great skills they can really add to the personal essay read aloud - another example of this talent is Jonathan Franzen.

    This book was a treat from beginning to end - everything about this collection was delightful and made me want more. I highly recommend it to essay fans, Patchett fans and those interested in the craft of writing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 10 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.