Somehow: Thoughts on Love

Image of Somehow: Thoughts on Love
Release Date: 
April 9, 2024
Riverhead Books
Reviewed by: 

“Lamott’s eye-opening gem brings the reader to the power and sweetness love can bring to us daily to ease life’s journey and light our way.”

In this ode to love, Anne Lamott explores the many forms and faces of that most universal, elusive, and powerful construct, L-O-V-E. Helen Keller, the blind and deaf author, once said, “the most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched—they must be felt with the heart.” Love is certainly one of those things.

In her inspirational Somehow, Lamott sees beyond romantic love to almost every facet of life to find love in all the forgotten places.

“Love is caring, affection, and friendliness, of course, compassion and a generous heart. It is also some kind of energy or vibration . . . love is often hard, ignored, or hilarious. . . . One thing is certain: love is our only hope,” Lamott proclaims. “We feel love upon seeing our favorite neighbors and first responders, we see it in fundraising efforts, peace marches, kindergarten classrooms, gardens. When flowers don’t stir feelings of love in me, something is gumming up the works.”

“Love is what our soul is made of, and for. Love is a piece of toast and a diamond . . . When love has lost its promise, or disappointed us one too many times, when it is hard to trust again or feel alive and curious again, love beckons us over and asks, ‘Got a minute?’”

Anne Lamott draws on her life experiences to explore the transformative power of love in individuals, families, and communities in this, her 20th book launching on the day before her 70th birthday. The small book, less than 200 pages, is wrapped in a stunning sky-blue cover and set in a light blue font making it good for gifts, but difficult for many 70-year-old-eyes to read.

Lamott’s devoted fans will nod at the familiar references to the disappointments, the joys, the challenges, the rebirths, the new loves in Anne’s life. Fans also know to expect Jesus stories, church stories, and this book is classic Lamott in those ways. With each story Lamott aims to bring new humor, new angles, and new insights highlighting the role love plays as the “connective tissue of life.”

“Community means we’re collaborating . . . through an unknowable force, people join together to fight for what they think is right, or to bird-watch, or feed the poor, or help one another stay sober or rebuild after catastrophes.”

Perhaps that unknowable force is love: love for fellow humans, for promoting a shared cause or interest—just a few of the many places Lamott finds love.

“Love can leave bruises on the heart, an oceanic ache. When you give someone your best love, you too are filled with warmth. The world can be so lame, disappointing, and even mean . . . but we can’t give up on love batting last or we are truly doomed.”

Lamott’s eye-opening gem brings the reader to the power and sweetness love can bring to us daily to ease life’s journey and light our way.