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The Resource Blue shoe, Anne Lamott

Blue shoe, Anne Lamott

Label
Blue shoe
Title
Blue shoe
Statement of responsibility
Anne Lamott
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Storyline
Pace
Tone
Character
Review
  • In a convoluted story filled with improbable plotlines and impossible circumstances, the chance discovery of a tiny blue plastic shoe, a child's prize from a gumball machine, leads to the unraveling of a long-buried family mystery and reveals the equally mysterious workings of faith, family, and friendship. Lamott returns to her favorite themes in her portrayal of Mattie Ryder, a harried single mother blessed with two precocious children, stressed by a feisty but frail mother, involved with a married man, and burdened with the legacy of her deceased father's adulterous life. Anxiety and infidelity, rejection and betrayal--substantial subjects all, and ones that Lamott treats with boundless grace and compassion but with precious little of the luminous lyricism or wry wisdom for which she is known and loved. When she's at the top of her game, Lamott stands dreadlocked-head and shoulders above the competition, with her slightly skewed observations that still somehow manage to hit their mark with pinpoint accuracy and her trademark "Oh, God, I wish I'd said that" one-liners. But readers who have eagerly anticipated a new Lamott novel may be disappointed, and those wishing to try Lamott for the first time would do well to start with her earlier works because, sadly, her latest offers only occasional glimpses of her usual brilliance. In her last regular Salon column, Lamott signed off by explaining that God told her it was time to write a new novel; one can't help but wish they'd had a slightly longer conversation. (Reviewed September 1, 2002) -- Carol Haggas
  • /* Starred Review */ Memoirist and novelist Lamott (Operating Instructions; Crooked Little Heart , etc.) brilliantly captures the dilemma of a divorced woman from the so-called "sandwich generation" in her latest, a funny, poignant and occasionally gut-wrenching novel that tracks the efforts of Mattie Ryder to cope with her divorce, find a new man, deal with her mother's aging and restore the emotional equilibrium of her two young children. The divorce dominates in the early going as Mattie continues to sleep with her sexy but egotistical ex-husband, Nick, even though his new romance with a younger woman is clipping along at a sprightly pace. Meanwhile, Mattie grows close to a married friend named Daniel, who also feels a romantic pull although he's happily married. Mattie's feisty mother, Isa, ages precipitously and becomes increasingly disoriented, leading to a series of calamities. Mattie's touching relationships with her kids, two-year-old Ella and difficult but sensitive six-year-old Harry, become the emotional anchor for the novel, and narrative momentum is provided by the gradual unfolding of a family secret, which reveals the infidelities of Mattie's late father. Most of the comedy is of the domestic variety, and Lamott continually displays her gift for finding the right combination of humor and small but significant revelations in ordinary moments. The ensemble cast is another major strength of the book, providing a backdrop against which Mattie, Daniel, Isa and the children emerge as powerful and memorable individuals. Lamott has explored similar terrain in her earlier works, but the scope and freshness of this novel could make it a breakout work for her. Agents, Sarah Chalfant and Andrew Wylie, the Wylie Agency. (Oct.) Forecast: Blue Shoe —a featured selection of the Doubleday Book Club and BOMC, and an alternate selection of the Literary Guild—is poised to even the score. The writer's many devoted fans are sure to pack her readings on a 10-city author tour. Audio rights to Brilliance Audio; foreign rights sold in Germany and Greece. --Staff (Reviewed August 26, 2002) (Publishers Weekly, vol 249, issue 34, p38)
  • Lamott's use of language allows us to see the smallest details from a fresh perspective, and her stories of motherhood and faith never fail to entertain and move us, all within the tightly wound ball of a good literary yarn. Her seventh novel (after Crooked Little Heart ) stars Mattie Ryder, the mother of two, who's left her wandering husband and moved into the ramshackle house of her difficult mother. Mattie has a lot of things to figure out. After serendipitously coming across some old trinkets that belonged to her dead father (including a little blue rubber shoe from a gumball machine), Mattie is drawn into the past to discover the truth about her dad. At the same time, her demanding mother is failing and probably needs to go into a nursing home. And when the house is overrun by rats, the pest-control people send Daniel, who has a ponytail and "closely set brown eyes that made him look like an incompetent bird of prey." What turns into friendship could, for Mattie, be love. Lamott uses offbeat, descriptive language (e.g., vibrational and snorfled ), and her story is as good as her funky turn of a phrase. For most popular fiction collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/02; BOMC featured selection and Literary Guild alternate selection.]—Beth Gibbs, Davidson, NC --Beth Gibbs (Reviewed September 15, 2002) (Library Journal, vol 27, issue 15, p92)
  • Lamott infuses this peripatetic story of a woman's struggles after a divorce with the same quirky brand of Christianity she explored in her wildly popular memoir, Traveling Mercies (1999).When Mattie finally accepts that her marriage to the charming but unfaithful Nicholas is over, she moves her two children, Harry (six) and Ella (two), back into the house where she grew up because it's free: conveniently, her mother, still intimidatingly energetic and competent at 72, has paid off the mortgage and decamped to an apartment. Over the next four years, Mattie goes through all the familiar rites of divorce: anger, longing, desperation, slow recovery to strength, and new love. Her children bring her solace even as they drive her crazy (Lamott is the master of domestic detail): Ella's nail-chewing, Harry's bouts of temper, as well as moments of tenderness are rendered with casual perfection. The description of the failed marriage itself, however, is generic, and Mattie's sense of blamelessness in its collapse sets up a self-righteous tone not masked by self-deprecating humor, a Lamott trademark. Mattie prays her way out of bad feelings, and her religion weaves its way throughout, helping her cope as complications arise—which they do. She sleeps with her ex even after his girlfriend moves in and has a baby. She finds clues that her lovable father, a lawyer and liberal activist who died 20 years earlier, had a dark side. Her mother's mind and body begin a slow, painful slide into senescence. Mattie's dog dies. And then there is Daniel. We know he'll become Mattie's soulmate when he can't bring himself to kill the rats he's been hired to eradicate from Mattie's infested house. While Daniel resists her attraction because he's married, she takes him to her church (his wife is a nonbeliever), and they become best friends to a degree that would threaten the most secure spouse.Lots of charm in the details, not much for momentum. (Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2002)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
069407
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Lamott, Anne
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Mothers and daughters
  • Female friendship
  • Divorced women
  • Single mothers
  • San Francisco (Calif.)
Label
Blue shoe, Anne Lamott
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
436503
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
291 pages
Isbn
9780965464222
Isbn Type
(pbk.)
Lccn
2002022824
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780965464222
  • (Sirsi) ADH-5243
Label
Blue shoe, Anne Lamott
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
436503
Dimensions
24 cm
Extent
291 pages
Isbn
9780965464222
Isbn Type
(pbk.)
Lccn
2002022824
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780965464222
  • (Sirsi) ADH-5243

Library Locations

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      30.2713021 -97.7460168
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