Start reading Imperfect Birds: A Novel on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card
 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Color:
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player

 

Imperfect Birds: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Anne Lamott
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $10.99
You Save: $5.01 (31%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $10.99  
Hardcover $20.43  
Paperback $13.16  
Audio, CD, Audiobook --  
Audible Audio Edition, Unabridged $20.95 or Free with Audible 30-day free trial
Kindle Daily Deals
Kindle Delivers: Daily Deals
Subscribe to find out about each day's Kindle Daily Deals for adults and young readers. Learn more (U.S. customers only)

Book Description

A powerful and redemptive novel of love and family-from the beloved bestselling author.

Seventeen-year-old Rosie Ferguson is smart, athletic, and beautiful- everything her mother, Elizabeth, and stepfather, James, hoped she would be. But as the school year draws to a close, there are disturbing signs that the well-adjusted teenage life that Rosie claims to be leading is a sham. Slowly and painfully, Elizabeth and James are forced to confront the fact that Rosie has been lying to them-and that her deceptions have profound consequences for them all. Imperfect Birds is Anne Lamott's most honest and heartrending novel, exploring our human quest for connection and salvation as it exposes the traps that life-and we-set for ourselves.




Editorial Reviews

From Bookmarks Magazine

Like her nonfiction, Imperfect Birds reflects Lamott's philosophy on God and faith; it also showcases Lamott's exquisite writing, wry wit, wonderful dialogue, and believable characters. However, critics diverged on a number of points. While some praised the narrative arc, others thought that nothing much happened, "just a trudging advance across flat terrain" that marks a typical family crisis (Boston Globe). More seriously, despite familiarity with Lamott's philosophies and left-leaning politics, a few reviewers had difficulty sympathizing with bored, upper middle-class youth in the San Francisco Bay Area. While Imperfect Birds will certainly resound with parents, other readers may wish to go back two decades and start with Rosie.

From Booklist

It is sobering to think that Rosie Ferguson is your typical teenage girl. On one hand, she’s in the throes of her senior year in high school: concerned with body image and boyfriends, BFFs and boredom, and, of course, the daily trauma of living with parents who are so hopelessly, well, hopeless. On the other hand, she is an adept addict who’s never met a substance she wouldn’t abuse or a male she wouldn’t seduce. Juggling these two worlds demands bigger and more frequent scores, and more facile lies, while Rosie’s parents, recovering alcoholic Elizabeth and workaholic stepfather James, are reluctant to enforce even the lamest disciplinary rules for fear of losing Rosie’s love—until one night when her world comes crashing down, and Elizabeth and James have no choice but to send Rosie to a wilderness rehab program. Reprising characters from her previous novels, Rosie (1997) and Crooked Little Heart (1998), Lamott intuitively taps into the teenage drug culture to create a vivid, unsettling portrait of a family in crisis. As she eschews the cunning one-liners and wry observations that had become her signature stock-in-trade, Lamott produces her most stylistically mature and thematically circumspect novel to date. --Carol Haggas

Product Details

  • File Size: 3935 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead; Reprint edition (April 6, 2010)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003NX7ODM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,243 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
125 of 141 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars If only her fiction could be like her nonfiction... March 10, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I love Anne Lamott's nonfiction works. During one particularly difficult year of my life I listened to her entire canon of nonfiction on CD. That, and a particularly dedicated therapist, helped pull me through the year safely. But her fiction? Not so much.

Teenaged Rosie is at the heart of 'Imperfect Birds.' A good student, off and on good daughter, and generally honest kid, in the summer between her junior and senior years in high school she starts falling in with the wrong crowd. From the relative "innocence" of experimenting with marijuana, alcohol and a few harder drugs, Rosie suddenly begins to spiral out of control. In her favor, she has two parents (including a step-father, as Rosie's biological father died), and a whole support system of people who love her.

Something about Lamott's fiction lacks the spark of herself, a certain impish quality, that seems to flow so freely in her nonfiction. I didn't care about Rosie. Lamott didn't make me feel invested in her character. By the 3/4 mark I was bored, just waiting for it to end. And when it did I breathed a sigh of relief.

I found the book so disappointing, so blah in writing style, and don't plan on reading more of her fiction. Though I'll never hesitate to pick up her nonfiction. I recommend that without hesitation.
Was this review helpful to you?
68 of 78 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Family Unity March 2, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Elizabeth lives with her husband James and her daughter Rosie in Marin County, leading a seemingly idyllic-seeming life. But everyone has secrets. In this continuation of her 1997 book "Rosie," Lamott employs a blend of sensuality infused with spirituality, bringing each scene to life with a vivid clarity of sight, smell and insight. Facing her senior year in high school, Rosie, most of all, is duplicitous to her parents who trust her judgment and believe her lies. Since this is a novel about people who care about one another, the conflicts are within the family unit, with the mother-daughter relationship primarily at risk. By taking Rosie at face value, the marital union is jeopardized, but as it becomes more apparent that action must be taken if they all are to survive as a family, resolution and redemption are sought in an unconventional way. The resolution of the family crisis is handled with wit and perspective, and never tips over into Jodi Picoult territory. Given the Marin setting and the fact that the characters while not particularly affluent have means beyond the common solution, not all readers will sympathize with Rosie and her situation. She's fortunate to have such loving parents who don't give up on her. She is also fortunate in her friendships. The bonds between her and her two closest friends are treated with heart and warmth, displaying a loyalty enviable to anyone.

Although this book continues Anne Lamott's 1997 novel, it can be real as a standalone since there are enough references to the former book which enlighten a new reader and refresh the memory of someone who's memories may had dimmed.
Was this review helpful to you?
24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Imperfect Story March 7, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I love Anne Lamott's non-fiction, so I wanted to love Imperfect Birds. It's a novel about Elizabeth and James, parents dealing with their teenager, Rosie. She is falling deeper and deeper into drugs and other addictive behaviors, in spite of being a smart, high-achieving kid. Rosie is whiny and difficult, a quintessential entitled brat, and I found the parents also harder to relate to than I thought I would. In general, I'd say that I never fully connected with the characters.

One aspect of the story I enjoyed was the deep friendships and community that their family enjoyed with Rae and Lank. Not going through the experience alone was invaluable for Elizabeth and James, and Rae also served as a safe adult that Rosie could talk to. The writing is fine, not spectacular but certainly good for contemporary fiction. The story is heartbreaking and certainly real for some families, who might take comfort in reading about someone else tackling these problems. It might also function as a good warning for parents who are not connected to their teenage children and need a kick in the pants to provide adequate supervision and guidance.

In spite of the book's shortcomings, it has a tone of hope, which helps readers to avoid the despair that thinking about these topics sometimes brings. For those interested in the subject, I'd recommend this book, with a few reservations.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars How much freedom is too much for your teen? March 24, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This novel begs parents to ask themselves the question, "how much freedom is too much freedom to allow your teenager". This book is number three of a trilogy --I have not read the other two books: Rosie and Crooked Little Heart, but it is not necessary to read them to fully understand this story.

In this novel, seventeen year old Rosie Ferguson is an intelligent and pretty girl who had always been pretty open with her mother. In the past she has shared personal details with her family about her friends and classmate's problems. However, as the new school year approaches it becomes clear, at least to the reader, that Rosie is a troubled girl in crisis.

Her mother, Elizabeth, is a recovering alcoholic and suffers from anxiety and depression. She knows her daughter hangs out with a fast crowd, and that Rosie has not always been honest with her, but yet Elizabeth hates to make waves. She fears that if she digs too deep, she may risk ruining her relationship with her daughter. Rosie has a stepfather, who is obsessed with work, and he seems to be pretty much a non entity. However, when a crisis occurs and things get out of control, the parents are forced to take action to help their daughter.

MY THOUGHTS - I was so looking forward to this book, and really wanted to like it, but ultimately, I was a somewhat disappointed. The writing was vivid, but I wanted to shake the mother and say "wake-up and do something". Maybe it was partly because she was struggling with her own issues, but it is not like the family did not have a good support system. I also did not care for any of the characters, and I find it hard to love a book, when I can't relate to, or don't like anyone in it. Yet, the novel tells an important story, and in many ways gives insight, at least to the observant reader, of signs to look for in a troubled teen.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
anything by Anne is wonderful
Published 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Imperfect Book: A Review
This is my first, and my last, Anne Lamott book. While the author has such a gift for words that she can fit beautiful symbolism in describing the contents of a salad, she also... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Nancy B.
1.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't get into it
I love Anne Lamott but I couldn't get into this book. The subject matter wasn't compelling to me and I didn't care about any of the characters.
Published 3 months ago by Karen
1.0 out of 5 stars Total waste of time
I read over half of this story before finally giving up and throwing it away so no other person has to suffer. Read more
Published 3 months ago by K Sallen
1.0 out of 5 stars Imperfect novel
I learned a lot when I wrote genre fiction. There were rules and a formula and if you strayed too far from either your peers in critique groups or judges in competitions let you... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Rod Raglin
3.0 out of 5 stars GREAT WRITING/TOUGH SUBJECT MATTER
This book deals openly and honestly with teenage angst, rebellion, drug abuse and sexual promiscuity along with their effect on the family dynamic. Read more
Published 5 months ago by cheryl d knagg
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Thought-Provoking Read!
A great read for those who want to get into the heart and heads of a family dealing with addictions, love and friendship doused with a touch of humor.
Published 5 months ago by Dr.LisaOrt
4.0 out of 5 stars Anne Lamott, as always
A.L. is one of my all time favorite authors, describing living in spiritual. The messy and the sublime. Classic Anne.
Published 6 months ago by Mary Ellen Arbuckle
5.0 out of 5 stars Imperfect Birds
A very realistic account of many of the Bay Areas teenagers at the present time. The actions and reactions of both parents and child seem to me to be accurately and sympathetically... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Cherie Long
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling voices of addiction, sobriety, adolescence and parenthood
I really love books that give a genuine, believable voice to both sides of a conflict. While some readers may find the characters difficult to deal with (they are; a lot of people... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

More About the Author

Anne Lamott is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Grace (Eventually), Plan B, Traveling Mercies, and Operating Instructions, as well as seven novels, including Rosie and Crooked Little Heart. She is a past recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?



Forums

Have something you'd like to share about this product?
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 


Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for Similar Items by Category