From the bestselling author ofOperating InstructionsandBird by Birdcomes a chronicle of faith and spirituality that is at once tough, personal, affectionate, wise and very funny. With an exuberant mix of passion, insight, and humor, Anne Lamott takes us on a journey through her often troubled past to illuminate her devout but quirky walk of faith. In a narrative spiced with stories and scripture, with diatribes, laughter, and tears, Lamott tells how, against all odds, she came to believe in God and then, even more miraculously, in herself. She shows us the myriad ways in which this sustains and guides her, shining the light of faith on the darkest part of ordinary life and exposing surprising pockets of meaning and hope. Whether writing about her family or her dreadlocks, sick children or old friends, the most religious women of her church of the men she's dated, Lamott reveals the hard-won wisdom gathered along her path to connectedness and liberation.… (more)
This book has the strengths and weaknesses of most memoirs. It's well written and goes along quite quickly, but even with some self-deprecation, it also has a strong sense of ego stroking but, interestingly, not in the sense of wearing Christianity as a badge of honor as you might expect.
The book is enjoyable and it puts a face on Christianity that is rarely seen in the mass media today and, for that alone, I recommend it to all who might be interested.
Anne Lamott writes with great honesty, wit and insight about her life. The spiraling down parts of her youth into drug- and alchohol-abuse, affairs with married men and other destructive
The book is a collection of essays that sort of fit together. Some of these essays are really poetic and heartbreaking accounts of lostness and helplessness. Others are hysterically funny. It's a relief to read how faith, peace and love - and a sweet little boy - enters her life.
“It's so awful, attacking your child. It's the worse thing I know, to shout loudly at this 50 lb. being with his huge trusting brown eyes. It's like bitch-slapping E.T.”
Style: Engaging, personal narrative; frank and intimate. Excellent descriptive passages and honed rhetoric.
I realized through her
I didn't realize this was a collection of essays until I was two essays deep. I don't know why I didn't realize it, but no point in worrying about that now. So it wasn't quite what I was looking for in that respect -- I wanted something less disjointed -- but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
Lamott is an interesting writer, although (since she has no qualms about sharing the bad as well as the good) she can come off as kind of irritating at times. In the end that makes her writing seem more honest, to me. A few times it did feel like she was trying TOO HARD to be honest, if that makes sense, but overall I liked her style. There were turns of phrase that I greatly enjoyed and shared realizations that were lovely and, for me, made the book worthwhile.
Ultimately, Traveling Mercies wasn't life-changing but it was a solid read. It only half-gave me what I was looking for at the time, but that's not the book's fault, so I can't judge it by that. There were times when the "bruises and all" writing seemed one-note and I started reading more slowly, but it was worth digging through those parts for the beautiful shiny bits.