Somehow: Thoughts on Love

Book Cover - Somehow: Thoughts on Love
“What are we even talking about when we talk about love? What is it?” So asks Lamott on the first page of her latest book, and she goes on to answer the question in a similar manner to her many previous books: Love is Jesus, but also each other, and also, sometimes, chocolate. In these varying anecdotes, the author plumbs familiar ground, including family and her church community, the adorable malaprop-prone kids in her Sunday school class, and her unhoused neighbors near her Bay Area home.

Somehow: Thoughts on Love

Lamott (Dusk, Night, Dawn) brings her signature wit and warmth to these effervescent meditations on matters of the heart. Drawing from across her life, Lamott details how seemingly lost love can be transmuted into different forms, recalling how friends and family stepped in after she was broken up with while pregnant in her 30s: “Love pushed back its sleeves and took over…. We were provided with everything we needed and then some”-even if that love “was a little hard to take.” Elsewhere, Lamott explores the gap between the way one wants to give love and how another wants to receive it, illustrating the point with a humorous account of how she tried to foist a swag bag from her church onto a skeptical unhoused person. Turning to love that inflicts pain, Lamott delineates in wrenching detail how her parents’ stony marriage affected her childhood-“It was uncertain whether they cared for each other, so I took it upon myself to try to fill the holes this left them with.” A topic that might feel trite in the hands of a lesser writer takes on fresh meaning in Lamott’s, thanks to her ability to distill complex truths with a deceptive lightness. This rings true.

Anne Lamott.
Riverhead, $22 (208p)
ISBN 978-0-593-71441-6


Book Cover - Somehow: Thoughts on Love


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