Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy by Anne Lamott [in Library Journal]
Most of Anne Lamott’s nonfiction titles are generally variations on a theme: be kind – to yourself, to others – and you’ll make the world a better place. Somehow, though, each book arrives sounding fresh and new – and effective. That Lamott narrates almost all of her audiobooks makes each a unique gift, especially enhanced with generous humor to keep us engaged, entertained, and enthralled.
Who else but Lamott can describe the Old Testament prophet Micah thusly: “He must have looked like a complete stoner or a Game of Thrones extra … yet nearly three thousand years ago, he spoke the words that often remind me of my path and purpose.” And then be able to break down Micah’s “What doth God require of thee” to a simplified, “How can you not love mercy – kindness, compassion, forgiveness?”
Calling upon seemingly incongruous examples from her life – a friend’s suicide, “Joseph of the coat of many colors,” “the pornography of institutionalized racism,” gilded cracks, public apologies – Lamott illuminates the power of mercy to show how “moments of compassion, giving, grief, and wonder shift our behavior.” Mercy works.
Verdict: At less than three hours, even the busiest readers will appreciate this resonating Hallelujah.