3.0 out of 5 stars A little short,
May 4, 2012
This review is from: Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son (Kindle Edition)***contains spoilers***
I am a big fan of Ann Lamott's memoirs, so my expectations were high. I was expecting a funny, tragic and hopeful look at her life as a grandma. I ordered the Kindle version and read it on my phone, which isn't the ideal way enjoy a book. The things which I enjoyed from her earlier books-- her self-deprecating wit, her stories of personal disaster, the colorful characters populating her church and her Marin neighborhood, didn't transfer well to this book. The baby momma wasn't very sympathetic and I found myself wondering (right along with Ann, I am sure) what on earth Sam was doing with her. Its hard to feel much sympathy for Lamott herself when she talks about an expensive vacation to Mexico (was it Mexico or somewhere else warm and tropical?) and owning a house in the Bay Area (only rich people own houses in the Bay Area). She is obviously in a different stage in her life and now she needs to find new tropes, new sources of humor and new ways to inspire the sympathy of her readers. Now she just comes off as whiny and self-absorbed middle-aged white lady. Clearly the subject matter was difficult-- watching her child struggle with being a parent and raising an infant in a imperfect situation isn't an easy thing and it must be doubly hard to find the humor in it. Its certainly something I would have a hard time doing. But no one is paying me to write about my life, either.
I just posted this on Dutch's Amazon review-- he ordered it for me last month and I read it while nursing Spike. I went through it very quickly-- the weird thing about reading a novel on my phone is that I have no idea how many pages it has, and if I should skim it (as in a long book) or dawdle over it (a short book). Now that I am looking over it again I am wondering if I was too harsh. On the other hand, Dutch paid the full $13.95 for it, and we don't even have a hard copy to pass to a friend, so forgive me for feeling a wee bit gypped.
That comment about middle-aged white ladies.
Well, that there... mea culpa (or "it takes one to know one" as they say on the playground). Obviously I am on my way to being a middle-aged white lady, but its hard to muster up much sympathy for our tribe. But hopefully I am not a "whiny" one. (Face reddens) Except of course, when I am whining about spending money on other middle-aged white lady's books...
I nominate Ann Lamott as the president of the Bay Area's Whiny Middle-Aged White Lady Association.