In this child's-eye view of the fear and pain of growing up, Lamott shows in vivid word pictures that the child is parent of the adult. Nan Goodman, hurting after a failed marriage and her father's death, goes back to the town of her childhood. As skinny little Nanny, aged five to 12, she either adored or was ashamed of her leftist parents, her writer father who never made enough money for comfort and her devoutly Christian mother who was his inspiration. Wrenching memories of family disasters, and especially the cruel snubs and abject solitude of childhood, are dissipated by love and laughter, and the adult Nan makes peace with her past. In spare prose Lamott ( Rosie , LJ 10/15/83) creates endearing, quirky characters in scenes memorable for being so skillfully drawn and universally appealing. A heart-warmer, to be savored.-- Michele Leber, Fairfax Cty. P.L., Va.
"Equal parts humor, courage, and self-forgiveness. It's this last quality, amplified to absolve an entire family, that makes the book larger than so many family chronicles...A wonderful novel."
"Anne Lamott is the two-way mirror of our hopes, insecurities, and cheating hearts, an astute observer of human nature. She knows that what we don't know can hurt us. In true Lamott fashion, life doesn't stay neatly within boundaries, the best team doesn't always win, and only the voyeur knows who you really are. Fathers die, mothers drink, but there's also this: Love, redemption, and the certainty that life goes on."
The New Yorker
"Anne Lamott is a cause for celebrations. [Her] real genius lies in capturing the ineffable, describing not perfect moments, but imperfect ones...perfectly. She is nothing short of miraculous."