Book Review : Traveling Mercies
Traveling Mercies is a series of essays by Anne Lamott about faith and life which are autobiographical and roughly in chronological order. She writes in an easy to read, down to earth manner that is warm and engaging. She writes honestly, personally, with vulnerability and a touch of humour.
The book begins with her long journey to faith. She actually had faith as a child which is surprising since she didn’t have believing parents. Her home life was dysfunctional and she alludes to being sexually abused by neighbourhood boys. Her parents separated while she was still living at home. By the time Anne was 20, she was an alcoholic but it was over a decade later before she admitted her addictions, not only to alcohol but also to the prescription drugs she used to help her cope with life. While these issues may have slowed down the quantity of her work, they don’t seem to have affected the quality. She also has great empathy for others and their difficulties.
Lamott’s essays cover a broad range of topics—church attendance, parenting, grace, forgiveness and several accounts of grief as several of her friends and her father have died of illnesses or old age.
Overall, an engaging and moving read.