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Reviews of Somehow by Anne Lamott

Somehow

Thoughts on Love

by Anne Lamott

Somehow by Anne Lamott X
Somehow by Anne Lamott
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  • Published:
    Apr 2024, 208 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Christine Runyon
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About this Book

Book Summary

From the bestselling author of Dusk, Night, Dawn and Help, Thanks, Wow, a joyful celebration of love

"Love is our only hope," Anne Lamott writes in this perceptive new book. "It is not always the easiest choice, but it is always the right one, the noble path, the way home to safety, no matter how bleak the future looks."

In Somehow: Thoughts on Love, Lamott explores the transformative power that love has in our lives: how it surprises us, forces us to confront uncomfortable truths, reminds us of our humanity, and guides us forward. "Love just won't be pinned down," she says. "It is in our very atmosphere" and lies at the heart of who we are. We are, Lamott says, creatures of love.

In each chapter of Somehow, Lamott refracts all the colors of the spectrum. She explores the unexpected love for a partner later in life. The bruised (and bruising) love for a child who disappoints, even frightens. The sustaining love among a group of sinners, for a community in transition, in the wider world. The lessons she underscores are that love enlightens as it educates, comforts as it energizes, sustains as it surprises.

Somehow is Anne Lamott's twentieth book, and in it she draws from her own life and experience to delineate the intimate and elemental ways that love buttresses us in the face of despair as it galvanizes us to believe that tomorrow will be better than today. Full of the compassion and humanity that have made Lamott beloved by millions of readers, Somehow is classic Anne Lamott: funny, warm, and wise.

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

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Anne Lamott knows a thing or two about love. In fact, there is so much of it exuding from her essay collection Somehow, you'd be forgiven for feeling wistful and misty-eyed just reading some of her descriptions. They act as a form of time travel, showing us scenes from Lamott's life that have proven to her the essential nature of love as a feeling, and how it affects each of us in both minute and enormous ways. She exhibits her famed intellect and bright humor, inviting us on a journey past the many faces of love. One gets the feeling while reading her interior monologue that she has a dark streak and no interest in concealing it. She frequently returns to self-loathing and fear, eventually talking herself out of it, always with the assistance of love: the only true balm for pain...continued

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(Reviewed by Christine Runyon).

Media Reviews

Booklist (starred review)
Lamott senses love in myriad ways... . Her innate honesty allows her to share her vulnerabilities and laugh at her own sometimes over-the-top attempts to find and share love... . But it is all done with such clarity, feeling, and goodness that readers will find themselves laughing out loud and fighting back tears. Ultimately, this is a testimony to love and hope in an often painful world. Lamott's many readers are loyal, and this will be an easy sell. But pass it on, too, to people who may not even realize that they are searching for ways to connect with and love others.

Library Journal
Beloved and best-selling author Lamott offers a joyful, feel-good read that explores the power of love—romantic, platonic, and familial—in people's lives, with her usual grace, humor, and insight.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Lamott brings her signature wit and warmth to these effervescent meditations on matters of the heart... . 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.

Kirkus Reviews
In this book, [Lamott] focuses less on vengeful thinking for comic effect and more on the joys of smelling the roses... . As always, a strong vein of spirituality runs throughout, with Lamott's characteristic descriptions of an all-loving God who is often flummoxed and saddened by humanity, but hopeful anyway... . [This] is a kind view of loving oneself and others despite our collective imperfections.

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Beyond the Book

Greek Words for Love

Painting of winged Eros holding Psyche, both nude Love is a universal and history-spanning feeling. What would we be without the Romantic movement or the Renaissance, fairy tales or the chivalry of the Middle Ages? Even further back, ancient Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle took note of the many variations of this ubiquitous emotion, creating and describing different words for love.

In Anne Lamott's essay collection Somehow: Thoughts on Love, she expounds upon various conceptions of love and adds to the definitions laid out by the Greeks: "...from Eros, passionate love, to agape, selfless divine love; or my own addition, mascotas, the love of our animals. It's this feeling, this energy exchange of affection, compassion, kindness, warmth, hope."

There's academic ...

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Read-Alikes

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