I have really mixed feelings about this book. While Keegan was an admirable writer and student and has become something of an icon for twentysomethings, her stories and writing reflect her age and inexperience. Her death was an absolute tragedy and her essay “The Opposite of Loneliness” deserves all the praise it’s received, but her short stories lack depth, editing, and purpose.
Ann Patchett is a supremely talented writer, and she excels at weaving gorgeous tales like State of Wonder and Bel Canto. Author’s memoirs, such as Stephen King’s On Writing, are often my favorite type of book, and Patchett provides a compelling addition to the set with This is the Story of a Happy Marriage.