Somehow: Thoughts on Love

Riverhead. Apr. 2024. 208p. ISBN 9780593714416. $22. SELF-HELP
Lamott returns with another hymnal of perambulating parables, this time ruminating on love. Her anecdotes are often repetitive from book to book—readers of her other nonfiction may experience déjà vu—but perhaps that is the point: love and faith are iterative, a cumulation of life experiences constantly refined by the passing years. Through all of these books and years, Lamott’s theme remains: “I felt very exposed and a little unhinged, and it was good.” Readers become Lamott fans because of her thematic constancy in balancing the sacred and the profane. This title follows the same pattern. Revisiting a transgression that bubbled back to the surface, her past multifaceted mea culpa, and what to do about it now, Lamott writes about how the past is just under the surface, waiting to be stirred up, held to the light, and reexamined; she is a master in doing exactly that.
VERDICT Recommended. Readers already familiar with Lamott’s nonfiction work will find comfort in her familiar touchstone topics of faith, family, and recovery viewed through the lens of love and aging. Readers new to Lamott might want to start with her earlier works such as Help Thanks Wow or Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith.
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