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Blue Shoe Paperback – September 2, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Lamott makes the reader see the world in a different way and feel more at peace with where we happen to be. She expands and expounds, with humor, tenderness, and love, on the smallest incidents and finds new meaning in them. She finds lessons everywhere and deals with life with bold honesty and down-to-earth spirituality. For example: "When God is going to do something wonderful, it starts with something hard, and when God is going to do something exquisite, She starts with an impossibility."
"Blue Shoe" gives us several years in 37-year-old Mattie Ryder's disorderly life, a life that is typical of those about whom Lamott writes. Once again, the setting is on the coast of Marin County, where the author herself lives. Mattie is newly divorced at the beginning, coping with all the traumas associated with still wanting her unfaithful ex-husband, moving back to her childhood home, and trying to keep body and soul together. During these years, Mattie finds new loves, deals with her mother's increasing confusion, and raises her young son and daughter with love and laughter. All the oddball characters, also typical of Lamott, somehow gracefully fit into this story and help Mattie cope, along with a strong reliance on God.Read more ›
The main character, Mattie, is obviously struggling. She's a mess, in fact, sleeping with her ex-husband, even after he marries and has a child with the new wife, in addition to having the hots for a married man. I'm no prude, but there was nothing redeeming about Mattie to make me want to keep reading about this behavior, page after page, or think she might pull herself out of the pit. I finally gave up hoping that she might redeem herself. The other people around her offer little to like also: a son who is overly-emotional and bullies his sister, a daughter who bites so much at her wrist she creates and repeatedly reopens wounds, a mother who is emotionally available to everyone but Mattie and her brother,and the memory of a father who was obviously a cheater. Add to that an extended dying scene for a dog and constant problems with the house Mattie lives in...I'm getting depressed writing about it. The only fabulous character, Angela, is mentioned only a few times. She's a rich, robust character. Too bad Ms. Lamott focused on the whiny, messy ones instead.
I never developed any gut understanding of Mattie's psyche. The revelations about her father could have been devastating and supposedly Mattie was devastated some of the time, but it just didn't come through. I couldn't feel what Mattie was feeling.
Seems to me, Mattie had a charmed life. Yes, her father was a [...] in a way and watching your mother deteriorate is a bummer. But she's got a house for free, she's surrounded by really good friends who stick by her, he has jobs that she likes and are apparently enough to pay the bills, she's got a good relationship with her ex and even his new wife, she's got good kids who she loves, her mother finds a devoted friend who apparently has no flaws at all, has a great relationship with her brother and sister-in-law, the man she falls in love with loves her back, etc etc. The relationships between characters seemed so perfect most of the time, even the fights were tidy. So why so much angst? What's the point of the story? Did she grow by the end of the book? Didn't seem like it to me.
I wish I could have liked this book more.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the story of Mattie Ryder. She is funny, full of good intentions, religious, sarcastic, tender, angry, broken. She is a recently divorced mother of 2 young children. Read morePublished 2 months ago by sparkle
Awful -- like wading through hip-deep mud. I made it to chapter 8, skimming along the way, hoping for some substance, and then went to the last chapter to get some kind of... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Carolyn Dargevics
Bought this for a book club. Those that finished this book did not like it. Too tedious to remember all charters...personally didn't like any of them. Read morePublished 8 months ago by katherine edwards
This is an old book, but I have never read anything by Anne Lamott, though I loved the movie, Traveling Mercies which I presume was based on her book of the same name. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Lucy M.
The book was life-like... that is, mostly boring but flecked with bright moments, dull sorrows, and an occasional slashing rage or fear. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Elizabeth Davies
I bought Lamott's "Blue Shoe" since I admired her how-to-write book "Bird by Bird." However, I wished for indications that Lamott followed her own advice about writing. Read morePublished on April 16, 2014 by ephemeracious
I enjoyed the journey of this book. Most of us probably don't have perfect families; the struggles, mom/money/morals, are very realistic challenges, especially for those in a... Read morePublished on March 13, 2014 by K. Stickney