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Some Assembly Required – “Grandchildren Grow Us”

October 18, 2012

Some Assembly Required

by Anne Lamott

Riverhead Books

272 pages, hardback $26

I have read Bird by Bird of course, what writer hasn’t, and actually saw Anne Lamott and her son Sam (he was about six or seven) many years ago in a packed Madison bookstore. To be honest, she seemed full of herself, and the words she spoke she had said many, many times to bookstore audiences before. To me she personified California and this was Wisconsin.

My wife had this book from the library and some of the things that turned me off about the author, now struck me as refreshing. She was writing about her first grandchild (yes, that same son had now fathered a baby at nineteen). I liked her unbridled statements about getting older, about her son being a trifle young for this new responsibility and about the young mother (don’t we all have reservations about our children’s’ partners).

But then she deserts readers to gush over baby Jax. I don’t blame her, it’s just that she had set the scene for more. We do get a trip to India and some thought provoking comments about God and religion, an old friend’s death, a Polish concentration camp. But by then we seem to be on a merry-go-round that’s out of control, yet going nowhere except around and around.

Though I have to admit the book did get me thinking about what my parents reaction must have been to my divorce. I guess I feel most couples have enough deal with in their own relationships to worry about their third son’s, but a single mother, like Lamott, might invest too much in her only son. And then how would that son react to his own son? I guess observing that is what this book is really all about.

Order this book directly from Amazon for $17.95. Click:
Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son’s First Son

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