(No,  this is not the Plan B that is a pill you take so you won’t get pregnant if you didn’t use a condom the night before.)

This is going to be a  review of Anne Lamott’s  Plan B:  Further Thoughts on Faith because I want to pass the book on to someone I think will enjoy it.    Which means I’d better get down to it while it is still on hand.   But I’m in no mood to settle down and write anything that requires thought.   What to do?  Lamott has published a dozen or more books and has received a Guggenheim fellowship.  She has been known to advise would-be writers to write something, anything, just to get started and then to improve on it.  Hence, I’m reluctantly starting a review of a quirky, irreverent look at life and faith written by a 49-year-old single mother with dreadlocks – who turns out to be a brown-haired white lady.

She writes of her mother’s Alzheimers, her son’s adolescence, and her own personality which she claims is not right for the human condition.  The human condition, of course, is messy, and unpredictable, and dark and light, –  in fact she begins her first chapter stating that on her forty-ninth birthday she decided that all of  life was hopeless and she was going to eat herself to death.   A left–leaning peacenik who hates George Bush  she struggles with trying to forgive him as Jesus says and love him as Jesus does – but how can she cope with the preemptive strike in Iraq and the fact that children die in wars and hitting first is evil?  (Too bad the book was written before Obama came on scene.  I’d love to read her take on that!)

Lamott says church is her favorite place on earth, “after my couch in the living room.”  One day her pastor said “that Christians have a very bad reputation, with our hate and self-righteousness.   We speak in reverent terms of grace, justice, equality, mercy, and then we despise people who are also created in God’s image, who are Her children too.”  The pastor also said that if George Bush was the only person on earth Jesus would have come down and died for him.  This is not easy for Lamott to swallow, and process, and accept.

Despite the fact that her politics are not mine, her struggle with the Christian faith is real and her words honest and endearing.  And even funny.   Enjoyable and recommended.



Laughter is carbonated holiness. —  Anne Lamott