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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Book Review: Stitches by Anne Lamott

Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair
By Lamott, Anne
2013-10 - Hardcover, Riverhead Books, ISBN: 9781594632587
Reviewed by: Nancy Murillo, Library Director

A wise and compassionate exploration of how we can make sense of life's chaos. What do we do when life lurches out of balance? How can we reconnect to one other and to what's sustaining, when evil and catastrophe seem inescapable? These questions lie at the heart of Stitches.

Publisher Comments:
In this book, Lamott explores how we find meaning and peace in these loud and frantic times; where we start again after personal and public devastation; how we recapture wholeness after loss; and how we locate our true identities in this frazzled age. We begin, Lamott says, by collecting the ripped shreds of our emotional and spiritual fabric and sewing them back together, one stitch at a time.
It's in these stitches that the quilt of life begins, and embedded in them are strength, warmth, humor, and humanity.

Nancy’s review:
This book appealed to me for several reasons. First, it was about faith. Second, it had a title and cover that related to quilting, which holds many positive memories for me. Last, it was only 112 pages, as I was spread thin on several projects and needed some short quiet moments. Even at 112 pages, it took me a week because I wanted to soak it all in, read, then reread, then tag it with a sticky note for later. By the time I finished, I had nearly as many sticky notes as there were pages.
Ms. Lamott pulls you in with everyday things, life, the killings at Newtown, illness, divorce, Sunday School. I laughed, I cried, and at times stared at the page wide-eyed because of her irreverence. It was wonderful. Hope, faith, grace, and spirituality are needed as you stitch your life back together after tragedy, divorce, death, loss, addiction, illness, aging, etc. Life is messy and we live stitch by stitch.
You start where you can, where you are. Ms. Lamott helps soothe the sore places in your heart and soul, so you can take the next stitch, and then the next, repairing what have become ‘the rags of your life'. We all struggle to keep the fabric of our lives together. If you have ever had to piece your life back together and just keep going, you will relate. As you already know, ‘the rags of life’ can be stitched into a beautiful new quilt.

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