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Imperfect Birds: A Novel by Anne Lamott
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Imperfect Birds: A Novel (edition 2011)

by Anne Lamott

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4363424,126 (3.2)25
Member:oldblack
Title:Imperfect Birds: A Novel
Authors:Anne Lamott
Info:Riverhead Trade (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned (inactive)
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Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott

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    Beautiful boy : a father's journey through his son's addiction by David Sheff (Nickelini)
    Nickelini: If you're looking for a story of a parent of a brilliant teen struggling with drug addiction, the memoir Beautiful Boy is a better book.
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I know I'm not exactly an Eng Lit graduate, and so you have to read my comments as the ramblings of an uneducated Australian buffoon. So....

Woah! Is America really like this? Families that do urine tests on their 17 year old daughter to check for drugs...and a 17 yo daughter who seems to accept this as a reasonable thing to do AND sees these tests partly as a sign of how much her parents love her? Lamott is clearly writing about a world that is foreign to me on so many levels, that I just couldn't relate to this story at all. Sure, I could understand and connect with the basic story line of "my children are doing things that really worry me; what do I do about it?", but to me Lamott didn't get to the heart of this situation. I just don't think she's a writer who is able to get to the deeper elements of human relations or even paint a good picture of a place and its society. I'm not saying she's lousy (I am giving this 3 stars), just the she's only just another hard-working, well intentioned author with a good basic idea that fails to achieve its potential.

On the other hand there is a possibility that I'm a lousy parent who let his kids get away with anything and who is confronted by a story in which the parents do the right thing by intervening in their teenagers' lives.'Tough love", I think Americans call it, and they'd say not being tough is not being loving. Oh well, it's too late now. ( )
  oldblack | Dec 12, 2012 |
http://thoughtsprovocateurs.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/fragile-birds/ (Published in Studio: a journal of Christians writing, No. 124, June 2012) ( )
  twitham | Jul 19, 2012 |
Imperfect Birds was a difficult book to read, maybe because the main characters, Elizabeth and Rosie, were in such downward spirals in much of the book. Rosie portrays herself as a typical teenager in her own of Lawnsdale, while, in fact, she is doing many different kinds of drugs, is sexually active, and is an accomplished liar and con artist - especially to her parents. Rosie's mother Elizabeth barely maintains her own equilibrium mentally and emotionally while struggling to "protect" her daughter from the world; she tiptoes through life, afraid to confront and discipline Rosie. James, Elizabeth's husband, tries to deal with both Elizabeth and his stepdaughter Rosie.

Friends of Elizabeth and James are Rae, an activist/hippie/spiritualist who gives Elizabeth strength, and Lank, a high school
teacher who gives them advice about teens, see too perfect.

This was unlike other Lamott books in that she usually has something uplifting and humorous to say, without necessarily always having happy endings. I thought this book was depressing throughout and therefore a bit difficult to read.
  Kelslynn | May 28, 2012 |
It's been a while since I've read any of Lamott's fiction, so I kind of forgot the Elizabeth/Rosie storyline. But the book works well on it's own anyway. Slow start, but strong finish. Lamott's writing is strong, as always. ( )
  mhgatti | Apr 27, 2012 |
Mommy, get a job -- and a clue. ( )
  picardyrose | Nov 2, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
Anne Lamott’s powerful and painfully honest novel...
 
This is a mature, thoughtful novel about an all-too-common family crisis, and in typical Lamott fashion, it doesn't ignore the pain or exalt in despair. The salvation she offers in these pages is hard-won.
 
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Book description
Publisher's summary: Seventeen-year-old Rosie Ferguson is smart, athletic, and beautiful- everything her mother, Elizabeth, and stepfather, James, hoped she would be. But as the school year draws to a close, there are disturbing signs that the well-adjusted teenage life that Rosie claims to be leading is a sham. Slowly and painfully, Elizabeth and James are forced to confront the fact that Rosie has been lying to them-and that her deceptions have profound consequences for them all. Imperfect Birds is Anne Lamott's most honest and heartrending novel, exploring our human quest for connection and salvation as it exposes the traps that life-and we-set for ourselves
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Rosie Ferguson is seventeen and ready to enjoy the summer before her senior year of high school. But as the school year draws to a close, there are disturbing signs that the life Rosie claims to be leading is a sham, and that Elizabeth's hopes for her daughter to remain immune from the pull of the darker impulses of drugs and alcohol are dashed. Now, Elizabeth is forced to confront the fact that Rosie has been lying to her, and that her deceptions will have profound consequences.… (more)

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