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Imperfect Birds: A Novel Hardcover – April 6, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Reads like an extensive, boring Facebook post - "I did this, and then she did that, so I did blah, blah blah . . ." interspersed with lots of information on drugs. Read morePublished 2 months ago by A Joyful Reader
Boy, did I pick the wrong audiobook to pass the time on a nine-hour drive.... Awful. I hated whiney and spoiled Rosie and her utterly weak and whiny mother Elizabeth. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Gab
At first I hated this book -- 'couldn't believe people got sucked in like that. Then I was sucked in too!Published 2 months ago by Ann Onymous
It's summer in Marin County. Seventeen-year-old Rosie is getting ready for her senior year, making horrible choices which lead to lies and manipulation. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Sandra M Yeaman
"Imperfect Birds" is a continuation of Anne Lamott's novel "Rosie". It picks up the story of Elizabeth, her daughter Rosie and second husband, James 12 years later... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Michael D. Gilmore
It's been awhile since I've read anything of Anne's but, in the past, I truly enjoyed her books and even kept a couple on my bookshelf to reread. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Carolyn Dargevics
I enjoyed reading the book...but it felt unfinished. I read it for free so...I can't complain.Published 10 months ago by Mary K.
I've been a fan of Anne Lamott's non-fiction books for a very long time so when I saw "Imperfect Birds" at a sale I snatched it up. What a disappointment. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Carol Schmidt
I am stunned by the ability of Anne Lamott to articulate the painful journey through the phases of disbelief and denial that every parent who is an addict must travel during the... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Kindle Customer