Title: Run

Author: Ann Patchett

Publication Date: September 25, 2007

Genre: Fiction

Page Length: Approximately 353 pages



– Author: Ann Patchett
– Title: Run
– Publish Date: September 25, 2007
– Genre: Fiction
– Page Length: Approximately 353 pages


“Run,” a novel by Ann Patchett, takes place in contemporary Boston, Massachusetts, and explores the lives of the Doyle family. The story unfolds over several sections, each providing insight into the characters and their interconnected lives. Patchett’s work delves into themes of family, loss, redemption, and the impact of chance encounters on our lives, inviting readers to contemplate the complexities of human connections.

Section 1: “Bernard Doyle”

The novel opens with Bernard Doyle, a former mayor of Boston and a widower, as he watches his two adopted African American sons participate in a winter road race. Bernard’s sons, Tip and Teddy, stand out as exceptional young men, with Tip displaying outstanding athletic skills and Teddy exhibiting a special affinity for music. Their close bond and deep love for their father are evident throughout this section.

Section 2: “Sullivan”

In this chapter, the story shifts to Sullivan, an Irish Catholic priest who carries a heavy burden of guilt from his past. Sullivan coincidentally witnesses a car accident that occurs during the road race, involving a young woman named Tennessee Moser and her young daughter, Kenya. Sullivan rushes to help, only to discover that Tennessee is in critical condition.

Section 3: “Tennessee”

Patchett delves into Tennessee’s story in this section. Tennessee is a young woman who had to make difficult choices in her life. She recounts her tumultuous relationship with the father of her child and her struggle with drug addiction. Tennessee yearns for stability and a fresh start for her daughter, Kenya. The accident proves to be a turning point for Tennessee as she lies in a coma, her fate undecided.

Section 4: “Doyle”

Returning to Bernard Doyle’s perspective, this section draws attention to his troubled relationship with his father, particularly their contrasting political views. Bernard contemplates the impending reality of his own mortality, realizing the importance of making amends and protecting his sons’ future. He understands that his actions will shape their lives and prepares to create trust funds that will secure their well-being.

Section 5: “Sullivan”

In this section, Sullivan reflects on his vocation and his deep connection with the Doyle family. He wrestles with his guilt, driven by the knowledge that his choices impacted their lives. Sullivan is determined to make amends, seeking forgiveness both from the Doles and from himself, as he confronts his own inner demons.

Section 6: “Tennessee”

Returning to Tennessee’s perspective, readers witness her gradual recovery from the accident. Patchett explores her complex emotions and the steps she takes to rebuild her life. Tennessee’s newfound connection with Bernard Doyle brings unexpected opportunities, helping her regain hope for a brighter future for both herself and her daughter.


“Run” by Ann Patchett offers a thought-provoking narrative that intricately weaves together the lives of the Doyle family members, Sullivan the priest, and Tennessee Moser. The novel probes into themes of family, sacrifice, forgiveness, and second chances. Through Patchett’s skillful storytelling, readers are exposed to the complexities and interconnectedness of human relationships, illustrating how a single event can alter lives dramatically. “Run” invites high school readers to reflect on their own experiences, encouraging empathy and contemplation of the unpredictable nature of fate.