Monday, October 21, 2013

Some Assembly Required

My goal is to read 100 books by the end of 2013.  I just finished book 71.

Some Assembly Required by Anne Lamott

Summary (via Goodreads):
In Some  Assembly Required, Anne Lamott enters a new and unexpected chapter of her own life: grandmotherhood.
Stunned to learn that her son Sam is about to become a father at nineteen, Lamott begins a journal about the first year of her grandson Jax's life.
In careful and often hilarious detail, Lamott and Sam - about whom she first wrote so movingly in Operating Instructions - struggle to balance their changing roles with the demands of college and work, as they both forge new relationships with Jax's mother, who has her own ideas about how to raise a child.  Lamott writes about the complex feelings that Jax fosters in her, recalling her own experiences with Sam when she was a single mother.  Over the course of the year, the rhythms of life, death, family, and friends unfold in surprising and joyful ways.
By turns poignant and funny, honest and touching, Some Assembly Required is the true story of how the birth of a baby changes a family - as this book will change everyone who reads it.

My Opinion:
I read this book because I liked Operating Instructions and wanted to see their journey continue.  I thought they would be similar since the premise and author are the same, but I was incorrect.  Unless you count her opinions that other people aren't making the right choices, there isn't nearly as much about her feelings and emotions as there was in the first book.  She still wrote with unflinching honesty and revealed very vulnerable moments but they weren't really her moments to share.  I'm sure my personal experiences as a daughter-in-law are shaping my opinion but there were times I thought Amy (Jax's mother) should have a few sentences of rebuttal to defend herself, and I thought some of the descriptions of Amy and her family were unnecessary (just because Amy fell in love with the son of a writer may not mean they wanted such personal family moments revealed).
I'm sure there are people that would love this book, especially her spiritual journey to India, but for me it wasn't what I expected and not my cup of tea.

Quote from the Book:
"We as parents have the illusion that we make our kids stronger, but they make us stronger." ~ Sam

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