I really like Annie Lamott s non fiction and Bird by is one of my favorite writing tips books so although took me a while to get around to it I was curious to read her fiction Aaaaaand I was A Full Scholarship (Sex Powers University 1) pretty disappointedThis book is the third in a series which I didn t realize when Iicked it up but that didn t affect the storyline or characters not knowing earlier info that is Short summary the trials tribulations of a family in Marin wealthy county north of SF recovering alcoholic mom struggling writer stepdad and teenage Rosie formerly an overachieving Summer Break (Gods at Eighteen 3) prep who gets into drugs andarties retty "much because she s a teenager and growing up in Marin with a stepdad is lame and she s looking for "because she s a teenager and growing up in Marin with a stepdad is lame and she s looking for thrills The arents find out and freak out and over dramatize every little thing trying to figure out how to fix RosieThe story is good because it s real life But the characters are all very unlikeable and unsympathetically rendered The mother is an anxiety ridden nutcase who doesn t have a clue about the world around her I honestly felt like she was about 80 years old or someone who grew up in a cave when she s really supposed to be not even 50 She comes across as unbelievably naive sheltered and conservative which didn t ring true at all And then she reads Rosie s journal and The Black Shriving (Chronicles of the Black Gate picks through her stuff and then wonders why Rosie can t trust her As a reader I can t trust her The stepdad locks himself away writing essays for NPR and comes across as a stereotypical smug liberalI feel the worst for Rosie because it sounds super boring growing up in her little town being made to volunteer at her mother s friend s new age church But even she doesn t win much sympathy because she s also a manipulative little bitch And then just to confuse the reader emotionally Lamott throws in OMGbutIloveyou scenes full of huge bear hugs and entangled limbs and this is weirdeople are always sniffing each other I mean it The mom is always sniffing her daughter her daughter is always smelling her friends It s weirdMy final gripe is that Lamott slips into each character s voice sometimes I guess to make certain scenes authentic but when she gets into Rosie s voice it s embarrassingly bad I mean I was looking over my shoulder to see if anyone saw what I just read that bad I feel like she did her rave and drugs research on some archived usenet forums from 1995 Or like she was writing a script to an After School Special And then we totally smoked some killer dope but the cops were groovy about it REALLY It would be one thing if she was writing like this ironically but it s straightforward and well embarrassing to read I think when she writes about her own life she really gets it right But this novel was retty bad and I won t be revisiting her fiction like totally This book erplexes me The copyright is 2010but apparently not one of these arents have Caller ID and there s still a working ay Mama Ds pasta pizza phone somewhere in this affluent California town and the girls have an incident with uaaludes but go to raves and take ecstasy Um what year is this set inI like Anne Lamott s writing There were many sentencesarticularly in the first two chapters that I was itching to take a The Expected One (Magdalene Line Trilogy, pencil and underline But the narrative itself falls flat No it s not easyarenting a teenager and they do often live a double life but it s really hard to buy into Elizabeth and James s world and Rosie s in many ways reminds me a lot of anti drug Betty Fedora Issue One propaganda from the early 90 s Also going back to the idea of a novel without a sense of timeRosie Jody and Alice are the three teenage girls this story centers around which adds to the difficulty of figuring out when exactly this novel takeslaceBasically this novel just left me frustrated and wanting to both tell the Aubrey Beardsley, The Man And His Work parents to grow aair and to smack some sense into Rosie that clearly six hours in detention did not achieve This book taught me about the different names for all of the different available drugs than I ever really needed to know The bigger roblem in the novel was a lack of likable characters Rosie is a lying manipulative brat who still calls her mother Mommy and snuggles with her at night even though she is almost 18 while her alter ego outside of the house is having unprotected sex mixing toxic combinations of drugs and alcohol and longingly trying to seduce her married high school teacher James is the voice of reason at most oints in the story but is so caustic and condescending that it is hard to like him even when you know he is right And good old mommy dearest should never even be allowed to raise a child She is a former alcoholic battling anxiety and her own addictive Off 13 personality but she allows herself to be completely blind to the obvious signs that her daughter. Rosie Ferguson is seventeen and ready to enjoy the summer before her senior year of high school She's intelligent she aced APhysics; athletic a former state ranked tennis doubles champion; and beautiful She is in short everything her mother Elizabeth hoped she. Had inherited the same compulsive behaviors Her daughter simply needs "To Cry Or Talk In A Baby Voice And Elizabeth "cry or talk in a baby voice and Elizabeth heart melts completely giving in to her demands Subtitle Helicoper arents and their spoiled brat enabled children Or Helicopter Parenting for Dummies Ultimately I ended up thinking that Lamott actually meant to criticize these helicopter arents with this work of fiction not have us empathize with them so I guess if that s the case then I totally agree with Her But I Still Found But I still found unbelievably irritating to read over and over about these enabling arents They just KEPT making the same stupid arenting mistakes over and over to the oint where I kept wondering if I was repeating chapters Even the hardass the dad was a total wuss and let the daughter out of her grounding on one occasion and she chose to use it to once again abuse drugs and get arrested But the Gudrun parents never learnedI also have a thing against rich Marin county women who don t have to work who just sit around and complain about their lack of a life and how much it revolves around their children Hello so get a hobby or join the work force like the rest of us suckers Oh wait But you arerivileged and don t have to Yes I have an attitude Mob Mistress problem Anyway this whole book rubbed me the wrong way but I suppose it did me a service it that it took from 99% sure I don t want children to 100% sure My feelings about Anne Lamott s books are always all scrambled up with my feelings about her I like her work but I always have this sort of nudgey feeling about her talented and funny as I think she is Somehow I feel like she s a bit needy and trying and would be a friend with whom I d have to really work at the relationship and trying not to kill her I have no idea where this came from but I have read an awful lot of herersonal essays so I can t help feeling that it s an accurate impressionAll this is to say that for some reason I read this book a little grudgingly I liked it but I was sort of continually expecting to turn the Stud in the Stacks page and find something I didn t like some false moment some element that would support my insane opinion on the author herselfAnd that never really happened In fact what I really liked about this book was how fully I empathized with each character flawed and foolish as they were At times I sympathized with Elizabeth even though she wasossibly the most annoying Choosing to Survive person ever at other times I found myself sympathizing with Rosie even though she was a manipulative little cow My inner cynic found some aspects of the ending to be a little much but generally it felt like a really sincere and thoughtful depiction of both sides of the issue This is my first Anne Lamott fiction book and I found it an easy enough story to read but I m not sure I totally bought the story hook line and sinker The story is about a recovering alcoholic mother and her drug addicted daughter Both characters are whiny which might come with the addictiveersonna but it got old But maybe drug addiction gets old tooThe mother seemed way too naive to be a recovering alcoholic the daughter seemed way too competent to be a drug addict I expected the mother having been through the varying levels of addiction to be wise to the ways to the deception from her daughter but instead she seemed to want to believe her completely unrealistic stories I expected the daughter to have trouble in school have trouble with her friends have trouble with her health but none of that really comes up She s honestly worried at the end about college HuhI didn t get emotionally dialed in with the characters I really didn t care that much what happened to either one of them which is ultimately what an author should be hoping will happen to the reader It didn t happen for meSorry Anne Lamott I LOVED Bird by Bird but I found Imperfect Birds too imperfect for my tastes I liked this and other Robin Hood people didn t and that makeserfect sense to me What makes less sense to me is that so many readers Felipa praise and complaints hinge on two things 1 liking or identifying with the characters 2 verisimilitude by which I mean the reader s own convictions thateople do or do not act in such and such a way that the characters choices do or do not resemble the choices of The Vavasour Macbeth people the reader knows And those two categories are really just one this reminds me of me andoreople in my life or this does not remind me of me andor The Blueprint (English Edition) people in my life and I demand to know why not And that seems to me to be a sadly limited way to read What if in Characters in Anne Lamott s novels say things like this To begin with you need to tell me all of your unsaids Elizabeth They re killing us You ve been using your sincereness in counterfeit ways And that s not even the Mother Ear. Could be The family's move to Landsdale with stepfather James in tow hadn't been as bumpy as Elizabeth feared But as the school year draws to a close there are disturbing signs that the life Rosie claims to be leading is a sham and that Elizabeth's hopes for her. Th character Because there is always a Mother Earth character a spiritual hippie with a warm aura and a soft lap whose words are a higher grade of fortune cookie wisdom In Imperfect Birds Lamott revisits the characters from Rosie and Crooked Little Heart Elizabeth is still going to AA meetings and has been sober for a long enough spell minus a blip a few years earlier She s still dabbling in higherower issues Rosie is a junior in high school tall and lovely no longer recreationally using cocaine according to her diary but definitely hopped up on a friend s Adderall weed whatever laced whatevers her "Friends Have Available And When Else Fai If There "have available and when all else If there a contest something not Crisis of the Strauss Divided physical that involves grammar maybe to show who was the biggest Anne Lamott fan I would definitely fight my little wordy nerdy heart out to win it just for the title This woman s work has fundamentally changed my life both my outlook and my writing Her books Traveling Mercies Plan B and Grace Eventually gave me the space to look at my own faith with humor and with well grace Bird by Bird is my favorite writing book because it is written in Lamott s voice with her sarcasm wryness and and wisdomBUT her fiction has always left me cold I ve read most if not all of her novels and most if not all have left me rather flat The writing is clear and the story solid but there hasn t been much vim or vigor in them UNTIL NOW Imperfect Birds is just the right combination of great story strong characters and Lamott s wit I was listening to the car and it made me want to sit in Beltway trafficThe basic gist of the book is that Rosie yes the same Rosie from some of Lamott s other novels if you re keeping track the teenage daughter of Elizabeth and step father James has developed someretty awful The Master Masons of Chartres practices during her junior and senior years of high school The book is the story of herarents and other loved ones as they try to negotiate Rosie s choices and keep her safe Maybe because the book deals with issues of addiction and recovery and family and identity all issues that Lamott has ersonally struggled with it has a depth and complexity that I don t remember in her other fiction although I m now tempted to reread some of them The character of James a writer is hysterical and oignant and Elizabeth captures that woman in all of us who feels like she s just about to lose it in one second just after she weeds the gardenI don t know how much of my reading Road House - The Novel pleasure was caused by the fact that I was listening to the book instead of scanning it with my eyes but I did really enjoy it I hope you llick it up and give it a read I really do Anne Lamott ends her trilogy about a mother daughter relationship using horrible and often vulgar cliches about motherhood marriage teenagers friendship and faith Her self indulgence knows no bounds Ironically she sees herself as somehow different and above her Marin county community that is Gnosis portrayed in this fictional novel At oneoint she writes about the smug residents of Marin county and I could not help but yell out dude you are seriously Left to Die-a First Hand Account of Life in the Superdome during Hurricane Katrina projectingUnbelievably at the end of this novelsoapbox Oprah rip off This is what I know ala Anne Lamott Lamott thanks her editors one is said to be GREAT and the other TOUGH and PROFOUND Such thanks were misguided As an example why would an editor or author think anyone wants to hear about James uiet farts Twice Yes twice BTW readers it as allart of the marital soup Also the sex credit Dolphin Diaries Bind-Up phew now Elizabeth Anne Lamott gets a week off from fucking her husbandWhat type of friends do you know that engage in this type of dialogueJames Please Elizabeth he wants to have sexElizabeth I m exhausted I have bad breath and my vagina smells WTFIck Readers also get to hear how both women leak urine if they laugh or cough too hard In fact Elizabeth had to wear napkins all the time now and was not even fiftyMore Elizabeth has a hammertoe and gigantic corns Lank has a torn rotator cuff and James had two skin cancers removed from his widening bald spot Rae whose husband is also balding coos like a lap dancer about how soft and sexy Lank s bald spot iscoos like a lap dancerRosie and her BFF s touch and hang all over one another like lesbiansThe family dog is described as a mellow companion who looks Hasidic and thoughtful Also ugly adorable Except for theenis That red lipsticky thing James says the furry outside thing isn t the The Wingman Chronicles penis it s a codpiece It s just his little underpantsAt oneoint Rosie feels like a speck of Flood Legends protoplasm on a stick under the skyHuh So she feels like a speck of a cell on a stick under the skyI can t evenSadly I could continue on and on Alas a friend has told me to STOP Sheesh Maybe her vagina smells See Gross. Daughter to remain immune from theull of the darker impulses of drugs and alcohol are dashed Slowly and against their will Elizabeth and James are forced to confront the fact that Rosie has been lying to them and that her deceptions will have The Best Of Saint Louis profound conseuenc.
( BOOK Imperfect Birds ) By Anne Lamott – cheapugg.us