First of all, why do you keep telling the same stories and quips over and over, repeating yourself like a demented party guestAnnie, we need to talk.
First of all, why do you keep telling the same stories and quips over and over, repeating yourself like a demented party guest? Remember Jesus drinking gin straight out of the cat dish? Let's get back to that type of hilarious creativity. But let us never speak of Jesus as a 13 year old punk again. It was funny the first time in Plan B. When you brought it up in this very next book, verbatim, I physically cringed.
Also, nature is lovely and healing and all, but I got bored the third time you embarked on a cleansing hike in this book. Even moreso when you continued to describe such walks in minute, stultifying detail for the remainder of the essays. Have you forgotten how to find God in the city? Or just how to write on more than one theme? I don't know - maybe I'm just not that outdoorsy.
I ask all this out of love, because you can do so much better. This is evident in the final section of the book, where you write so lovingly and compellingly about Sam as a teenager. "Samwheel," in particular, is heart-wrenching in all the right ways. To my surprise, I even liked the stuff about your relationship with your mom, which could quickly have gone the way of the aforementioned nature hikes. But it turns out that describing the slip and grip of grace in everyday relationships is still your strongest suit, whether those relationships are with the physical world and its institutions, the life of the spirit, or with those around you. The way you talk about people and their quirks is as astonishing as ever, and I mean that in a good way.
I'll keep hanging onto that until your next book, Annie. For all of our sakes, I'm hoping it's a novel.