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Extended Audio Sample Imperfect Birds: A Novel, by Anne Lamott Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,492 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anne Lamott Narrator: Susan Denaker Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Heartbreaking and delightful, moving and hopeful, Imperfect Birds reminds us how our children are connected to and independent of us, and that no matter how difficult our struggle is with them, love underlies it all and saves us. This novel captures the deepest, purest, most terrifying experience of parents fearing for their children. With great insight and humor, Anne Lamott shows us what it means these dangerous days to be a parent, what it means to be a child, and what it means to be a family. David Sheff, author of Beautiful Boy
  • This is a hell of a book, tough and wonderful. A heartbreak and a heart- mender. Martin Cruz Smith, author of Gorky Park and The Golden Mile

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Zoe Jussel | 2/12/2014

    " I wish she could write a book a month. This was really good insight into raising a teenager in today's environment. All good people with a "what can we do next" problem. I think this book would give a lot of parents and adults a vision of teen life they don't want to acknowledge. None of us do. A book about trust, denial, love and results. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Heather Friedman | 1/26/2014

    " I was not as hooked as Bird By Bird, but a good family portrait and included everything I fear about teenagers. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Evon | 1/9/2014

    " A coming of age story for a daughter and mother through their different addictions. Heartbreaking at times, scary, but endearing. It is a good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Sukey | 1/6/2014

    " Anne Lamott again slides the hard stuff in via captivating and accessible text. 'Imperfect Birds' poignantly presents teenage deception and drugs and 'the great big bloody battle of love and sorrow that is parenthood' (Julie Myerson). Lamott's own journey with drugs and addiction lends credence and raw viability to this story of a family in desperate denial. Desperation and love. Lamott stretches this loop to the breaking point, then relaxes it with hard-love concrete redemption. As always, Lamott's humor makes the medicine go down. "

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