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For a while I did not miss her at all, and did not forgive her a thing." Forgiveness, she finds, comes not as a landslide, but rather as small "mosaic chips." The ability to do so arrives as a gift: "Grace means you're in a different universe from where you had been stuck, when you had absolutely no way to get there on your own."It's this same grace she claims for herself; "God must see me as so many people at once: beloved, nuts, luminous, full of shadow." Whether she is reminiscing about her persona at 48 (the Menopausal Death Crone), participating in a peace march, lamenting the loss of a beloved dog, or nicknaming the jiggly areas on her legs and butt "the aunties," we see her as she believes God does, full of flaws and creativity, insecurity and pride, and rage and love. Like any collection of essays, this one is a bit uneven in spots (one chapter is a commencement address of sorts), and the time frame skips around.
Savor it a chapter at a time rather than gulping it down in one long narrative read.
Less ardent Democrats may also find the continual Bush-bashing a too-easy device.
But what makes this book sparkle is Lamott's signature voice, wrenching honesty, willingness to look at our "ugly common secrets," and authentic, hard-won faith.
Her wisdom and forthrightness has made her an “icon of blessed imperfection [whose] classics like Operating Instructions and Bird by Bird have become handbooks for parents and writers whose lives lean toward the joyously messy” (Salon.com).
She doesn’t try to sugar-coat the sadness, frustration and disappointment, but tells her stories with honesty, compassion and a pureness of voice.
In PLAN B, Lamott's Sam is a teenager, Sam's birth father is back in the picture (sort of), and she is moving toward a menopausal 50.
With all the hormones rocketing around, "Sometimes the house gets crowded." Her faith has matured, but she quickly cuts through any notions of super-spirituality.
Lamott refuses to put a "holiness filter" on her prose or her lifestyle; her language leans more toward truck driver than toward Tipper Gore.
In an early essay, she writes of a talk she gives at church that receives enthusiastic applause, followed a few hours later by a rip-roaring fight with Sam.