Am höchsten bewertete kritische Rezension
Like an Oprah book before there were Oprah books
am 25. Juni 1999
Our book club selected this book because one of the members is a friend of Annie Lamott. Granted, Annie Lamott has a great deal of writing talent, but this book is not a good introduction to her work. Unfortunately, it falls into the genre of "women's fiction" identified by Laura Jamison in her review of The Pilot's Wife, a recent Oprah selection. These books have a certain sameness about them: they're built around a bourgeois romance and feature the most generic, "white-bread" characters. This one fits the description. Elizabeth, the main character, other than being an alcoholic, has very few identifiable character traits. The author contrives for her to be grieving for her dead husband to give her at least some excuse for her heavy drinking. So many of these Oprah books feature a woman in a state of obsessive grief as if this justifies their wallowing in victimhood and their complete self-indulgence. Also implied is the notion that the women's confession of poor behavior makes it okay and shows the woman to be extraordinarily honest. In my opinion, this is not literature! I keep getting persuaded into reading these stories of suburban housewives' problems, but essentially they're boring. Why should I care about someone's ability to conquer alcoholism or find a man? I congratulate Oprah for getting her public to read, but I just wish that she had better taste (except for Toni Morrison). So many of the women in these books seem so juvenile, dependent, self-centered, and humorless. In Rosie whatever humor there is comes from violating taboos or from description rather than any sense of irony or wit. I disagree with those who say that Lamott displays wisdom. Any wisdom is really "conventional wisdom" which is often based on cultural myth, rather than true knowledge. She can observe and describe quite well (as some of her essays in Salon magazine indicate). All in all, except for some talented writing, Rosie is an ordinary book.