I really appreciate this lady's intelligent bluntness about religion, early motherhood and getting over big mistakes, and God, she writes so lyrically when she wants to--but she whines and whines and WHINES about how damaged and insecure she is, and the impression of self-absorption this leaves mars the book. We don't get the pleasure of inferring who the author is from how she reads her beloved son and others (and with a writer this good, what a pleasure that would be!); instead, we get to hear all about the author, all the time. There's no fun or subtlety in that, and the attention-seeking involved is a little sad. The wonderful parts of this book come when she runs into things that are too big for her and her need for attention, and she just makes a song of it all--just plays that honest voice and that big heart, which are really such amazingly fine instruments when she lets them be. The very worst parts are when she gets tired and very clearly settles for just blathering out something that she thinks might amuse and sound confessional at the same time. That is NOT so very honest. Where was the editor? It's perfectly obvious that Lamott is way bright, strong enough to sober up, a loving mother who provides her child with shelter, love, family and faith, a genius at friendship, and an honest-to-God literary success. If she ever realizes that she is, in fact, highly competent, maybe she'll shut up about it and do some more of her really great writing. Then she'd almost certainly be among the best we've got.