Plan B

Further Thoughts on Faith
by Anne Lamott
IBSN: 1573222992

This is Lamott’s second collection of essays on faith, her first being Traveling Mercies. It is several years later, and Lamott is no longer as surprised by her faith as she once was. She’s also a lot more disgusted by the state of the world.

Her disgust is pretty much due to the continued presence of George W. Bush in the White House.

I was initially surprised at the sharp bitterness and the level of despair she struggles with. I suppose I shouldn’t be. If I think myself back to that November, I recall a definite grimness, and the jokes about moving to Canada not being very funny and not being entirely jokes.

Lamott talks about struggling to launch and maintain a Sunday School at her church, struggling with her now-teenaged son, struggling with what to do with her mother’s ashes, and how to handle things when her son’s biological father comes into their lives. In other words, Lamott talks about struggling with real life.

Why do I find Lamott’s struggles interesting? First of all, she is funny. Funny in that really smart, bitter, yet still able to laugh at herself kind of way. Second, she describes her herself as a left-wing, progressive Christian and it does me good to hear that they actually exist. I would imagine that they are like exotic, endangered species in a zoo, only Lamott sounds so true and crazy I know she is writing from a place in the real world.

Recommended for fans of Lamott’s nonfiction, folks who appreciate honest talk about faith and prayer without feeling a need to lock faith and prayer into any one truth, and parents of teenagers who want to see inside another parent’s head and see what they really feel about the sudden strangenesses of their child.

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