Anne Lamott knows that faith isn't easy: "I wish grace and healing were more abracadabra kinds of things," she writes, "that delicate silver bells would ring to announce grace's arrival. But no, it's clog and slog and scotch, on the floor, in silence, in the dark." In this new collection of essays, the author of Plan B grapples with problems of faith as they pop up in unexpected places, including an unpleasant carpet transaction and her changing relationship with her son. As always, Lamott's insightful reflections are infused with candor and her signature self-deprecating wit. A spiritual treasure in any season.
It's the rare author who can write about faith without coming off like a preachy zealot or over-earnest schoolmarm. Lamott's self-deprecating stories are refreshingly frank and endearingly fun.
There's no one quite like Anne Lamott. ... She manages to suggest that she's your ally, the funny best friend who knows instinctively that you've had these troubles, too. And perhaps that's why readers continue to find something fresh in everything she has to say.
She's a wonderful writer, and very funny ... the imaginative imagery, the telling metaphors, the clever turns of phrase imbued with passion, heart and wit.
She observes her world with honed humor-and without a whiff of deceit or concealment. ... This is a Christian even an atheist could still respect in the morning.
Lamott has chronicled her wacky and (sometimes) wild adventures in faith in ... the wonderful Grace (Eventually).
Lamott has a knack for describing something that seems paradoxically true and startling, because no one has put it quite the same before.
In detailing her struggles as a flawed human to embody her Christian faith, Lamott may have found a subject that can inexhaustively fuel her writing for years to come, as it's a perfect conduit for her observational humor.
These funny, smart, and prayerful essays-to-live-by contain just what readers expect from this nimble and candid writer: the unexpected. ... Like all artists, Lamott can riff inventively on the most commonplace themes.
It would be easy to mistake this book for more of the same. Like Lamott's earlier spiritual nonfiction, Traveling Merciesand Plan B, it's a collection of essays, mostly previously published. The three books have strikingly similar covers and nearly identical subtitles. The familiar topics are here—Mom; her son, illness; death; addictions; Jesus; Republicans—as is the zany attitude. Not that repetitiveness matters; Lamott's faithful fans would line up to buy her shopping lists. But these recent essays show a new mellowness: "I don't hate anyone right now, not even George W. Bush. This may seem an impossibility, but it is true, and indicates the presence of grace or dementia, or both." With gentle wisdom refining her signature humor, Lamott explores helpfulness, decency, love and especially forgiveness. She explains the change: "Sometimes I act just as juvenile as I ever did, but as I get older, I do it for shorter periods of time. I find my way back to the path sooner, where there is always one last resort: get a glass of water and call a friend." Here's hoping that grace eventually persuades this older, wiser Lamott that her next nonfiction book should be wholly original. (Mar. 20)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
This third in a series (following Traveling Merciesand Plan B) records Lamott's attempts to live with grace. Now 20 years sober and the single mother of a 17-year-old son, the author shares 23 stories of her life, eight never before published. Covering everything from politics to child rearing to experiences teaching Sunday school, the essays are well written and heartfelt. Lamott is most effective when talking about her spiritual beliefs and how they developed over time. She gets her message across without being preachy, and she's never condescending, instead telling us what she did in certain situations and how it worked or didn't work. Constant references to her sobriety, weight issues, and curly hair are getting a bit repetitious after the two other books, but it's part of her charm, and fans won't be disappointed. Essential for libraries with the previous works. [See Prepub Alert, LJ11/1/06.]
By Constance Ashmore Fairchild, formerly with the Univ. of Illinois Libs., Urbana-Champaign
"Anne Lamott is...a swearing spiritual pundit who prays for redemption but brags about her offenses. Lamott's latest tell-all is Grace (Eventually): Thoughts of Faith, a searching memoir full of...offbeat spiritual humor. What makes Lamott's writing powerful isn't her unconventional faith. Rather, it's the profound message about God's grace and redemption often lurking underneath all the...brutal honesty." -Chicago Sun-Times "Lamott's self-deprecating stories are refreshingly frank and endearingly fun." -Washington Post