Ciara's Reviews > Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son

Some Assembly Required by Anne Lamott
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Aug 16, 2012

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bookshelves: baby-pregnancy-infertility-parentin, autobio-memoir, overrated, read-in-2012
Read in May, 2012

i loved anne lamott's operating instructions. it's one of my favorite books about being a new parent. i was hoping that this book would recapture some of that same magic. it purports to be a diary-style memoir of her grandson's first year of life. lamott's son sam took up with a lady & fathered a child with her at the tender age of twenty. due to the young age of the parents & lamott's tight single mom/only child relationship with her on, of course she was going to be as heavily involved with the baby's life as possible.

it was a pleasant enough read, but ultimately, nothing too special. there's something about reading a grandmother gusing about her grandbaby that just doesn't have the same magic as reading about a mother discovering motherhood. & i think that i find lamott's narrative voice wearying now that i am a little older & set in my ways. this is more of the same: lamott has so many friends & goes to church all the time & her relationship with god is so affirming & did you know she used to be an alcoholic & oh how she struggles with relinquishing control, etc etc etc. the confessional aspects that i found so appealing when i was in my 20s really grate on me now. it feels like the airing of dirty laundry, mixed with a soupcon of annoying humblebrag.

there was a rather shocking amount of stuff in this book about how the relationship between sam & his girlfriend was occasionally rock after the baby was born. i don't know that i'd necessarily want to share that kind of stuff with my boyfriend's mother, let alone experience the weirdness of her writing a book about it. lamott had her own weird relationship with the baby mama, constantly freaking out about the possibility that the girlfriend would take the baby to chicago to visit her family & never come back. seriously, if i had a grandma in my life that was that clingy & demanding, i might think about fleeing to another part of the country as well. yikes.
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