February 15, 2019

Looking Back - All New People

Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.

All New People by Anne Lamott
1989 North Point Press
Finished in March 19998
Rating: 2/5 (Fair)

Publisher's Blurb:

With generosity, humor, and pathos, Anne Lamott takes on the barrage of dislocating changes that shook the Sixties. Leading us through the wake of these changes is Nanny Goodman, one small girl living in Marin County, California. A half-adult child among often childish adults, Nanny grows up with two spectacularly odd parents: a writer father and a mother who is a constant source of material. As Nanny moves into her adolescence, so, it seems, does America. While grappling with her own coming-of-age, Nanny witnesses an entire culture's descent into drugs, the mass exodus of fathers from her town, and rapid real-estate and technological development that foreshadow a drastically different future. In All New People, Anne Lamott works a special magic, transforming failure into forgiveness and illuminating the power of love to redeem us.

My Original Notes (1998):

Fair to good. I finished it, so it wasn't that bad. It just wasn't very interesting. I only just finished it last night, but can barely remember the names of the characters. Basically, a story about a young girl (Nanny Goodman) and her life as a child. The struggles between her parents. Her uncle's illegitimate daughter. Divorce. Drugs. Puberty. Centered in Marin County, California. Almost on the verge of being boring.

My Current Thoughts:

Prior to reading All New People, I had only read one other book by Anne Lamott, (Bird by Bird) which I wrote about here. I have since read Traveling Mercies and Operating Instructions, which along with Bird by Bird are both nonfiction. I have mixed feelings about Lamott's abrasive tone, but am drawn to her books and her self-deprecating sense of humor. Perhaps this early novel would have been more satisfying as a work of nonfiction rather than a thinly veiled autobiography.


  1. I hadn't heard of this book but I say I do like that cover. I've had the chance to hear Anne Lamott in person and she was very funny but I can see how her tone can come off as abrasive.

    1. Iliana, I like the cover art, too. It would be a lovely painting to hang on my office wall! :) Oooh, I'll bet AL was entertaining to hear in person. Lucky you!


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