Sunday, May 27, 2007

Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith (Anne Lamott)

For anyone who's been visiting this site for a while, I probably don't need to say again how much I like Anne Lamott's nonfiction (you can see it here, here, and here). Her latest book Grace (Eventually) continues with the same style as her previous books, but I would suggest anyone who wants to read Lamott start with the previous books, not this one. This one's good (with great such as Pepperidge Farm Mint Milanos being wrapped "in their little paper panties"), but with chapters that are shorter and less connected than her previous books.

She continues trying to grapple with how one copes under the current administration, feeling remarkably good on some days when she finds that she doesn't hate anybody, not even Bush. She teaches Sunday school to children at her church, and I wish someone like her had taught my Sunday school classes when I was a child:

Next, as always, we did Loved and Chosen.
I sat on the couch and glanced slowly around in a goofy, menacing way, and then said, "Is anyone here wearing a blue sweatshirt with Pokemon on it?" The four-year-old looked down at his chest, astonished to discover that he matched this description---like, What are the odds? He raised his hand. "Come over here to the couch," I said. "You are so loved and so chosen." He clutched at himself like a beauty pageant finalist.

Sam, her son, is now a teenager, and she describes daily battles of wills, and why she decided to have a child in the first place (in a beautiful chapter about why some "unlikely candidates," like herself, do have children).

As long as she keeps writing, I will keep reading. It's like listening to a good friend who admits all her faults and triumphs, secretly knows how you feels, and lets you know that somehow it will all work out.


Maewen Archer said...

I tried Anne Lamott on my mom's recommendation, but I think I was resistant to her because my mom recommended it to me. I'm pretty sure the conversation where she loaned it to me ended with her trying to get me to go to church. Again. I'll have to give her another try.

Lee Anne said...

My mother is a Sunday school teacher for 9-year-old children. Basically, she wants to teach them about kindness, respect, and love. She often finds herself at odds with the faith-by-fire approach promoted by her Baptist church. I think she'll like Lamott.