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Imperfect Birds: A Novel Kindle Edition
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|Length: 290 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
It could be, of course, that the book was written this way because it has a sequel, but there was no mention of a sequel on the back of the book, nor can I find one anywhere online. I had no idea that this book was the sequel to "Rosie" until I came across a mention of it in another review on here. It worked well enough as a stand-alone book, characters and background were introduced properly and all, but if I had known that this book had prequels I would have read those first.
The one other criticism I had of the book is that for the majority of the book, Rosie did not come across as a drug addict. She came across as a rebellious teenager who really likes using drugs and wants to do her own thing without her parents getting suspicious. Sure, it was still important for her to stop using, since it was damaging to her health among other things. But maybe Elizabeth should have been thinking about sending her to boarding school, rather than a rehabilitation facility for addicts. It also bothered me that when Rosie finally did start to show signs of being addicted (when she was hospitalized and all she could think about was getting out to get more drugs), her inner dialogue was written as if she was addicted to drugs as a whole. It didn't matter if she got Adderall or shrooms or what, she just craved drugs. From the little that I know about life, I'm pretty sure that people get addicted to one or more /specific drugs/, not the general concept of getting high.
And despite the serious and often frightening nature of the subject matter, this book does sparkle with Annie Lamott's trademark wry, dark humor. One of my favorite moments is between Elizabeth and James:
"It's all so hopeless, darling."
"It really is. Let's kill ourselves tomorrow, okay?"
"We can't. Lank and Rae are coming for dinner."
"Tomorrow" is a mini-mantra for a lot of the characters in this book, as it is for a lot of real-life addicts struggling with sobriety: James tells Rosie, when she's dealing with anger, "Just for today, you don't push anyone down the stairs, okay? Maybe tomorrow." "Just for today," is, of course, a well-known AA and NA mantra, and the book explores the successes and the pitfalls of living for the moment, sweeping your own side of the street, and so on, when you're a parent and your child is spiraling out of control.
This is a beautiful book and one I reread often when I'm dealing with beloved addicts in my own life, as well as when I'm tempted to rationalize my own bad behavior the way Rosie does.
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