Anne Lamott is clearly an external processor, her writing a warm stream of consciousness, flowing with beautiful prose and interlaced with snark. In Dusk, Night, Dawn this stream is billed as offering a framework to explore how our lives can be enlarged through renewed commitment to ourselves and those around us.
As a New York Times bestselling author and political activist with an ‘unconventional’ faith, Lamott is the darling of liberal Christian women the world over. Newly married for the first time in her 60s, Lamott uses this as the springboard to explore recommitment, delving into a range of areas.
She is gracious in her teaching and hysterically self-deprecating of her own flaws. Her love of Jesus is obvious, but it sits alongside a sprinkling of more generic ‘spiritual’ thoughts that might put off more orthodox readers.
The book is full of tweetable soundbites and well-crafted phrases. A masterclass of phraseology, the book draws us to lament and repent as the world reflects on the darkness of a pandemic that has brought us to our knees. Yet, the speed of her processing leaves a sense of emotional whiplash, twisting from humour and sass to truth bombs that cut right to the heart, in a moment.
Enjoyable, laugh out loud, and yet immensely confusing, in the end it’s hard to put this book in a box, much like its author. Will it enlarge your life with renewed commitment, or is it just the diary of a confused 60-something?