She’s one of the sweetest, funniest, people I’ve ever met. Not that I’ve ever really met Anne, but having seen her speak and work a small group, I feel that I know her nonetheless.
That’s how personal she is, both in print and in presence. The title of Grace (Eventually), Thoughts on Faith sounds a little like a philosophical/theological treatise. In truth, there is a healthy dose of both philosophy and theology, but none of it is abstract or academic. It’s all wrapped in anecdotal packages that range in seriousness from a walk with a wayward dog to pondering the meaning of a parent’s death. You get stories of Lamott’s struggle to behave like a Christian without exactly believing in a lot of what Christianity teaches. Tales of her attempts to corral her adolescent son without destroying their relationship. Accounts of what it takes to nurse a friend through cancer without succumbing to the despair and depression to which she is prone and which she tells of with the sideways humor that both masks and marks the pain: “. . . Ty fell . . . in love with another woman, who had so many unfair advantages over me. For instance, she was not a falling down drunk.”
In the end, I guess, the grace Lamott describes is one gained both from good works and from a hope (not assurance) that goodness will triumph, even over the likes of George W. Bush, who comes in for special mention several times. This is a deep work drawn from the trivial of the everyday. It can be read as a handbook of life lessons, a collection of Erma Brombeck-like pieces, or as a spiritual journey through the mundane. Take it as you will, it’s a fine book and a good place to meet Anne. And yourself.