Book Review: Blue Shoe, by Anne Lamott

Here's a novel idea (groan) - I've been reading a lot lately, and I'm going to do a brief write-up of each book as I finish it.

I just finished reading Blue Shoe, by Anne Lamott. Lamott is one of my very favorite authors to read. She and I disagree on a lot, politically, and we have different understandings of God, but she is SUCH a good storyteller. My favorite thing about her writing is her metaphor. She is often beautifully illustrative, and often humorous at the same time.

Though I have read a couple of her books of 'thoughts' - personal essays, stories, etc. - and her book on writing, Blue Shoe is the first novel of hers that I've read. I could sense a lot of Lamott (as she presents herself) in the main character, Mattie. The story itself was too interesting to be trite - but it wasn't really captivating. By the time it was about halfway through, I could predict the ending.

In Blue Shoe, the emphasis isn't on a riveting plot, it's more about the quirkiness of daily life. It's the ins and outs of one woman's life over the course of a few years. It's about how you can adapt to scary things, it's about enjoying the interesting parts along the way and not getting lost in the drama.

One thing I appreciate about Lamott, and about her characters, is that she is deeply introspective, and also deeply flawed. In Blue Shoe, much like in real life, Mattie tries, she fails, she screws up, she finds joy, she finds peace and then loses it, she fights the urge to throttle her kids. Lamott puts a magnifying glass on what it means to be human, and she describes it so deeply and so beautifully that you can't help but want to embrace the characters and scold them at the same time, because on some level, you two are the same.

Favorite quote from the book: Mattie is being overanxious about something and eats too many cookies. She finds herself lounging on the couch afterward, feeling like "a boa constricture digesting a small pig." This line made me laugh out loud - because I've done the EXACT same thing and felt the EXACT same way. And haven't we all?

That's what I love about Anne Lamott.

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