After reading and consulting and rereading and poring over Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, I’ve been anxious to read some of her actual fiction. Imperfect Birds seems to be her most famous that I’ve heard of so I decided to start with it.
Elizabeth is a slightly above middle aged woman who lives with her second husband, James, and her seventeen-year-old daughter Rosie. Elizabeth is a recovering alcoholic with anxiety attacks, not made any better by the fact that Rosie seems hell bent on shocking her mother. Reading Rosie’s diary tells Elizabeth that Rosie has experimented with drugs and had lost her virginity and exchanged favors with boys, but that was just the tip of the iceberg.
Rosie starts on a downward spiral over the summer as she gets involved with more and more drugs, one of her teachers then finally an older boy who gives her access to drugs that won’t show up on the tests her parents give her. When her actions catch up to her she has to find out the hard way that there are consequences.
I was underwhelmed with this book. While wonderfully written and the characters were wonderfully developed, I found it hard to care about what happened to them. Rosie constantly promised to stay clean and constantly snuck around her parents’ backs again. You wanted to like her when she fell in love but he only got her deeper in drugs even while making her happy.
However, Lamott really captured the essence of teen hood and the struggle between teens and parents.
Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott. Just got this from the library, I’m excited!