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Blue Shoe Paperback – Sep 2 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Trade; Reissue edition (Sept. 2 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573223425
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573223423
  • Product Dimensions: 20.5 x 13.2 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #697,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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The world outside the window was in flames. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is the best example of the worst writing that I've ever had the displeasure to read. It was disjointed, meandering and totally unsatisfying. It jumped all over the place and if there was a lesson or plot it was lost it in the aimless wandering of disjointed thoughts. The author should be ashamed to have let this trash be published. I won't even consider reading any of her other books.
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Format: Audio CD
Since everybody else has had their say about elements of style, plot and lack thereof, let me just add that it's a morale-buster when Mattie doesn't even learn the lessons of her hard-lived life.

Theme: searching for why her family is so screwed up. Discovery: (1)her dad was a self-serving adulterer/pedophile who inflicted emotional pain on everyone he was close to, and (2) he probably got that way because he was knocked off his moorings by being sexually abused as a kid.

So what does Mattie, his spiritual and tender-hearted adult daughter, do? (1) Knocks both her kids off their emotional moorings with her sexual blundering and floundering, and (2)casually crushes Pauline underfoot--- Pauline, a nice woman who never did Mattie any harm and who was, in fact, outlandishly generous toward her--- in order to steal her husband Daniel.

All the while making like this is so very understandable and so very special, because she and Daniel like going to church! So t'hell with Pauline and too bad for the anxiety-tortured kids --- give 'em a snuggly hug, right? --- because kids can always adapt, right?

Mattie: so perceptive, so self-aware, so honest. Tenderhearted as a rusty knife.
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Format: Paperback
I thought this was an absolutely wonderful book. I read a number of very negative reviews about this book on this site, and wondered if the reviewers had read the same book as I did? I could only surmise that those reviewers have not personally experienced much tragedy or pain in their lives. Had they done so, they would have understood so much more about Anne Lamott's story. The main character is going through a "dark night of the soul", where she feels as if everything in her life has come out wrong, or certainly not the way she planned or hoped. And she is struggling with trying to make sense of it all, to find meaning, and to discover the path she needs to take in her new life.
She is recently divorced, a single mother, part of the sandwich generation - taking care of both her children and her aging mother. She was raised in an unstable and abusive environment. She is perceptive, bright, aware, and intelligent, trying desperately to sort out the confusions, losses, challenges and growth in both her past life and for the future.
I would highly recommend this book to any women (in particular) who have questioned themselves, their paths, their choices, and find themselves at mid-life with no "happy ending" ......yet. The book is compassionate, insightful, messy, strong, and very much about the human condition.
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Format: Paperback
I enjoyed the beautifully written descriptions of the lead character's surroundings. It was interesting to note the degree of self-centeredness for her. Even the wonderfully articulated weather reflects exactly Mattie's inner state. I found myself frustrated while reading this novel. I wanted to scream, "HELP YOURSELF!" while she constantly blamed others for her poor circumstances and plead with God. It was a good book, but one that annoys all the while. I felt as though Mattie never grows during the course of the novel.
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Format: Paperback
Matte is a recently divorced woman with two young children who slowly recreates a fulfilling life. While told in the 3rd person, Blue Shoe is written entirely from Matte's viewpoint: I suspect this is simpler than using the first person, but perhaps not as effective. To my taste, had Matte had more of a sense of humor, it need not have been inconsistent with the rest of her character, and it would certainly have made Blue Shoe more enjoyable. On the other hand, the evolving relationship between Matte and her declining mother is superbly done, one of the highlights which makes this book worthwhile. In general, the secondary characters and Matte's relationships to them are the strength of Blue Shoe. Lamott frequently employs paragraphs of short sentences, which sometimes works, and sometimes gets tiresome, but perhaps that is Lamott's objective. While other readers have been impressed with Lamott's use and description of skies and weather, and certainly they add to the book, I don't think Lamott is particularly sharp at metaphor and language.
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By A Customer on June 14 2004
Format: Paperback
Like much of Lamott's nonfiction, Blue Shoe focuses on what's *wrong* with the life of the protagonist. The main character Mattie has a house, two kids, a true faith, and wonderfully supportive friends. She is even able to eek out a living in the absence of a real job, by doing some sporatic modeling for Sears.
Just as in Lamott's nonfiction, we are subjected to laments about the past--mainly her crazy alcohoic family. And, of course, the lack of a leading man. Quite frankly, the story line grows weary, wheter it's in fiction or nonfiction. Who wants to hear a woman with a decent life whine about her messed up family past and her poor choices when it comes to men?
I gave Blue Shoe two stars, rather than one, because Lamott can be funny and entertaining. I enjoy when we hear about the *good* in Mattie's life--the deep friendships, the wonderful kids, the found faith. And Lamott *can* be downright funny. The book held my attention and was entertaining enough. But periodically I had to put it down because the whining was driving me crazy.
Perhaps someday Lamott will realize how blessed she is, and will decide to focus on the human connections and the humor of everyday life, rather than wallowing in self-pity.
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