Monday, January 21, 2013

Book Review: Help, Thanks, Wow

"But grace can be the experience of a second wind, when even though what you get is stamina and poignancy and the strength to hang on."

Anne Lamott's latest book, Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers is a gem of a book. I already have a big literary crush on her and she renewed that again in this slim volume. The book packs more of a punch, being short, I think because she cuts it so close to the bone. The reader spends half the time laughing and the other half setting the book down and walking away because her words hit so close to home.

In the first chapter, "Help" there is one passage that hit close to home for me.

"At the same time, I didn't want to ask my parents for help, because they had so much on their hands. And besides, I was the helper. I was the go-to girl for everyone in my family. And ours wasn't a family who would ever, under almost any circumstances, ask others for help."


But as much as she seemingly knocks you down, she is there to pick you back up again. She is deeply religious, but still questions her faith and her practice of it. She doesn't let her God off the hook for much but recognizes her flaws as well.

This book is very similar to her other non-fiction titles: Traveling Mercies, Plan B and Grace Eventually. Reading this book as well as those makes one feel like they are talking to a treasured friend, who knows them, loves them and offers a lending hand whenever possible. The reader isn't preached to or talked down to, but offered a cup of tea and an ear.

I deeply appreciate her reverence and humor on a subject that is often difficult to talk about without having beliefs pushed onto an unwilling subject. This book is one to lend to friends and family alike.

(Photo credit: GoodReads)

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