It's the story of a widowed man and his 3 children as they work through some relationship snags. One child is home-grown, the other 2 are adopted and are of an other race. Through some odd circumstances, they are thrown together with the biological mother and her daughter and they work through their new contacts with varying degrees of poise and grace.
It was interesting and well-told. Have you read her other book? Bel Canto? I had similar impressions of this one as I did the other -- that her character-development skills and the grace of her word-crafting exceed her plot. That is, I got to know all her people really really well -- they are real to me -- but the story didn't need to be told. I wish I could merge her talents with Douglas Jacobson who wrote a fascinating story with flat characters: Night of Flames.
Is it just me that feels this way about Ann Patchett? What do you think?
And again, if you know me in RL and want to borrow this before I list it on BookMooch, let me know.