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.
April 16, 2021
Looking Back - Traveling Mercies
2000 Anchor Books (first published in 1999)
Finished on April 29, 2000
Rating: 3/5 (Good)
Despite--or because of--her irreverence, faith is a natural subject for Anne Lamott. Since Operating Instructions and Bird by Bird, her fans have been waiting for her to write the book that explained how she came to the big-hearted, grateful, generous faith that she so often alluded to in her two earlier nonfiction books. The people in Anne Lamott's real life are like beloved characters in a favorite series for her readers: Her friend Pammy; her son, Sam; and the many funny and wise folks who attend her church are all familiar. And Traveling Mercies is a welcome return to those lives, as well as an introduction to new companions Lamott treats with the same candor, insight, and tenderness.
Lamott's faith isn't about easy answers, which is part of what endears her to believers as well as nonbelievers. Against all odds, she came to believe in God, and then, even more miraculously, in herself. As she puts it, "My coming to faith did not start with a leap but rather a series of staggers." At once tough, personal, affectionate, wise, and very funny, Traveling Mercies tells in exuberant detail how Anne Lamott learned to shine the light of faith on the darkest part of ordinary life, exposing surprising pockets of meaning and hope.
My Original Thoughts (2000):
Nice collection of essays on faith. Lamott is quite witty. I laughed out loud. Sometimes crass. Richly satisfying. Loved her stories about an "off" mole, the Aunties (her "fetacheese thighs"), airplane turbulence, etc.
A gifted storyteller. Honest. Definitely one to read again and again.
My Current Thoughts:
Well, I no longer own a copy of this book and I never did read it a second time, but now I'm curious. Maybe I'll see about getting a copy from the library.
I've also read & reviewed a couple of other books by Lamott:
All the New People (a novel)