TWSM Book Review “Dusk Night Dawn: On Revival and Courage”

 

‘Dusk Night Dawn: On Revival and Courage’ by Anne Lamott

Dusk Night Dawn: On Revival and Courage is Anne Lamott’s latest book and a nourishing read. In this collection of essays (some of which were written during the pandemic) Lamott continues her tradition of speaking to her readers in her optimistic voice which says “I’ve been there, I’ve survived that, and I am still here loving and laughing.” 

If you are new to Lamott’s writing, her background includes having raised her son as a single mom, leaning on her faith in God and her church home, having been a recovering alcoholic for many years, being an opinionated woman who is politically liberal, and now being a best-selling author, a wife, and a grandmother. 

The essays in this book are bite-sized bits of wisdom and humor which will make you laugh, cry, and want to read more of her work whether or not your own views resonate with hers. She addresses big issues about life, death, love, and hope, balancing big questions with a delightful mix of awe and laugh out loud humor. Both her humor and her honesty seem to be growing more raw as she ages. It’s as though she “knows” her readers better with each book and opens up to us a bit more with each one. 

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Dusk Night Dawn: 

“On bad days, I text my friend Janine and say, ‘I hate everyone and all of life. These are end days, children.’ She says she is glad I reached out, and then I am better. We cruise for hearth cakes, and if we can’t find any, T-shirts at Target, M&M’s, or chai help.” (Lunch – Money Faith) 

“Even now we aren’t in charge of much, and it is exhausting to believe or pretend we are. The best we can do is to help the poor, get some rest, help the pets at mealtime, observe the rules of health and safety during the virus. Watching the ways we try to be in charge can help us get our sense of humor back, and laughter is a holy and subversive battery charge.” (Lunch – Money Faith) 

“Here is what I know of love: Love is the gas station and the fuel, the air and the water. You might as well give up on keeping the gas cap screwed on tight, keeping love at bay, staying armored or buttressed, because love will get in.” (One Winged Love) 

As an Anne Lamott fan, I have been waiting for her latest book, and it did not disappoint. The fact that she wrote it during the backdrop of the pandemic makes the topics of revival and courage especially well timed. I recommend brewing a cup of tea, putting your feet up, and reading “Dusk Night Dawn”.

Rating: 4 ½ stars out of 5 

Liz is a technical writer by day and a humor writer by night. She lives in Minnesota with her younger daughter and their two cats. When Liz is not reading, writing, or searching for new books to review, she can be found practicing yoga or enjoying time with friends and family. She is savoring the time that she has left before her younger daughter flies from the nest, yet she is also secretly looking forward to a time when she can travel more and not worry about anyone borrowing her socks.

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