Somehow: Thoughts on Love

In "Somehow," Anne Lamott gives us reason to trust in the God whose love is the greatest of all.

Anne Lamott
Riverhead Books, 208 pages
Published April 9, 2024

Anne Lamott’s writing, like her life, covers a lot of ground. From the rawness of addiction to solo parenting a newborn and later supporting him through his addiction, Lamott lifts up the moments of grace in which faith perseveres and hope has the last word. But the greatest of these is love, and it’s the topic of her twentieth book, Somehow.

Lamott fans would be satisfied, I imagine, by cheerful glimpses of her late-in-life marriage to a retired Bay Area executive. But Lamott never takes it easy, and so hers is a story of how “love mainly tromps and plops, falls over and tiptoes through our lives.”

By opening with vignettes of her awkward efforts to engage with unhoused neighbors during COVID, and swiftly moving toward a mishap that (might have) cost her a beloved friendship, Lamott signals that hers is a broader take on love. With humility and humor, she reveals a deep-down fear to which we can all relate: “that once you really know us, we are not loveable.”

But there is much to love about Somehow. Lamott’s honesty permits us to admit our own failures – that time we sulked with our partner or snapped at our child – because she assures us that love is stronger than our mistakes. And because her message is rooted in the belief that “love is God and God is love,” Lamott gives us reason to trust in the God whose love is greatest of all.

Presbyterian Outlook supports local bookstores. Join us! Click on the link below to purchase Somehow: Thoughts on Love from BookShop, an online bookstore with a mission to financially support local, independent bookstores. As an affiliate, Outlook will also earn a commission from your purchase. 

Want to receive book-related content in your inbox once a month? Sign up here.