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Imperfect Birds

A Novel

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


Look out for Anne's next book, Hallelujah Anyway, coming April 2017.

A powerful and redemptive novel of love and family, from the author of the bestselling Blue Shoe, Grace (Eventually), and Operating Instructions.

Rosie Ferguson is seventeen and ready to enjoy the summer before her senior year of high school. She's intelligent-she aced AP physics; athletic-a former state-ranked tennis doubles champion; and beautiful. She is, in short, everything her mother, Elizabeth, hoped she could be. The family's move to Landsdale, with stepfather James in tow, hadn't been as bumpy as Elizabeth feared.

But as the school year draws to a close, there are disturbing signs that the life Rosie claims to be leading is a sham, and that Elizabeth's hopes for her daughter to remain immune from the pull of the darker impulses of drugs and alcohol are dashed. Slowly and against their will, Elizabeth and James are forced to confront the fact that Rosie has been lying to them-and that her deceptions will have profound consequences.

This is Anne Lamott's most honest and heartrending novel yet, exploring our human quest for connection and salvation as it reveals the traps that can befall all of us.

From the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Jan 25, 2010 – Rosie Ferguson, the young heroine of Lamott’s Rosie and Crooked Little Heart, almost succumbs to the drug culture in this unsparing look at teenagers and parents who walk the tightrope between all-encompassing love and impotent fury. The former tennis star is now a straight-A high school senior, living with her mother, Elizabeth, and stepfather, James, in Marin County. Elizabeth, still susceptible to emotional breakdowns and fighting lapses into alcoholism, is acutely aware of Rosie’s vulnerability, and she and James are vigilant in watching Rosie’s behavior, knowing, as everyone does, that drug deals go down in the town’s central square, and that the kids are drinking, sexually active, and aligned against their parents. Lamott captures this gestalt with her distinctive mixture of warmth, humor, and sensitivity to volatile emotional equilibrium, going laser-sharp into teen mindsets: the craving for secrecy and excitement, the thrill of flaunting the law and parental rules. Eventually forced to confront Rosie’s peril and its potentially marriage-destroying power, Elizabeth and James take decisive action and risk their family. Straddling a line between heartwarming and heartbreaking, this novel is Lamott at her most witty, observant, and psychologically astute.

Customer Reviews

Good read

Nice character definition, but left me hanging in the end

Imperfect birds

I couldn't stop reading this book! With a teenager of my own, I could totally relate to everything the characters were going through. I strongly recommend this book to anyone with a tender heart and a love for people in all walks of life.

Imperfect Birds

I didn't want this book to end. Read Rosie and Crooked Little Heart, and you'll come to love this family as much as I do. Ann Lamott so understands the language of parenting, especially the crazy inner conflicts and self-talk.

Imperfect Birds
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  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fiction & Literature
  • Published: Apr 06, 2010
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
  • Print Length: 336 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings