Monday, September 16, 2013

Imperfect Birds - Anne Lamott

A teenager is on a path to self-destruction as her parent struggle to prevent her collapse.

Once again, the author brings us real-life people dealing with messy problems.  Her characters are genuine; they don't have great insights, superb problem solving skills, heroic natures.  They are everyday people dealing the best they can with what life brings.

The main character, Rosie, is a smart good student who "experiments" with various drugs.  The word "experiment" is an understatement.  She tries ecstasy, prescription, marijuana, and unidentified pills provided by her friends and schoolmates and uses them repeatedly.  Her casual attitude is slowly frightening as you realize the extent of her drug use.  She's also successful at hoodwinking her parents because of her good school performance and cavalier lying about her activities.

Her mother is depressed as she deals with mid-life and increasing unease at her daughter's attitude.  She does the typical rationalization and attempts to befriend her daughter which Rosie finds laughable.

Rosie's stepfather sees more clearly the growing problem and has to convince her mother that its serious.
They eventually tackle the problem with an intervention of sorts which the reader is not really sure is a permanent fix.  In the end, the power of family and belief in not giving up or ignoring the problem is the message I took away.

Published:  2010   Read: September 2013   Genre: Fiction

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