Thursday, March 10, 2011

Book Review: Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year by Anne Lamott

I picked this up at the used bookstore 2 days ago, having always heard about it. I'm not a parent and intend not to be one, but I read all sorts of memoirs about things I intend to not do, so I figured why not. And I'm thrilled I did, because I loved this book!

It was a very fast read. And for once I don't only mean that I whipped through the pages very quickly (3 hours). I mean it was fast-paced and I felt like I had to speed-read to keep up. It was an interesting feeling, being whipped through at the speed that I'm sure life felt like to Ms. Lamott. The pace of her pregnancy and her son's first year was echoed in the pace of her writing. She's alternatingly hilarious and sad. I laughed out loud every 20 pages or so. I was sad I was reading the book alone so I couldn't read bits of it out loud to someone. The trauma of dealing with unexpected and single parenthood makes her worry she's going to start drinking again (she's been sober for 3 years at this point). The naked honesty is refreshing, real, and relatable. Even someone like me who has only babysat understands the feeling of ricocheting between hatred and the purest love, when dealing with an infant. She worries about harming him, intentionally or unintentionally, she worries about his future, about money, about his lack of a father. But through it all, she has a ton of support, and her unerring sense of humor, and her faith.

Throughout this book I was constantly thinking who can I pass this book on to? Because it's so fantastic, I want to share it with everyone. I thank Ms. Lamott for her openness and her truth.


Jen said...

Nice review! I've read other books by this author and enjoyed them --- I should pick this one up! :)

Jeane said...

I just finished reading this one recently. It was pretty good.