Book Review ‘Traveling mercies’ by Anne Lamott

My monthly review of a wonderful book for those of us navigating the space between faith and doubt.

Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Two culture wars rage in the US. One is the familiar, Republican/Democrat, pro-abortion/pro-life, skyscraper America/suburban America that splits the US into two politically stale halves. The other is waged by certain Christians against the Republican agenda, which smells to them of state religion. Anne Lamott is a feisty, funny, eloquent campaigner in this second war.

She is the real thing as a Christian, but in the book also shares her struggles with abortion, alcoholism, bulemia and single motherhood. In her hands, all that is a lot funnier than it sounds.

She writes beautifully and with insight and I really enjoyed the book. My caveats were:

1. It’s really a girly book (and I’m not a girl). A whole chapter on her hairstyle, yeah…
2. At times she writes a little bit like a child being deliberately naughty so as to get someone’s attention. This is an endearing but occasionally irritating habit,
3. Why oh why does one who writes so beautifully, who can drop a carefully-crafted thought into your head like a bird alighting on a twig, whose writing sometimes takes your breath away, why does she feel the need to litter her prose with the f-word and other obscenities? So unnecessary.

But a lovely writer, in mid-season form, prophetic at her best, touching the mind and heart.

What I learnt from nearly dying
When the door is shut to truth, try a story

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