Dusk Night Dawn

On Revival and Courage

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Pub Date 2 Mar 2021 | Archive Date 1 Mar 2021

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How do we get through dark times when we feel like giving in to fear and despair, and when existential dread has convinced us of our smallness?

In this real, resonant book, Anne Lamott uses her own recent marriage as a framework to explore how our lives can be enlarged through renewed commitment to ourselves and those around us. With warmth and wit, she looks at what it means to care for the soul when struggling with fear and dread and to emerge with exuberance, purpose and possibility, with new love for and joy in those around us.

Our lives shouldn’t be about what gets us ahead in the game or the demands other make on us. Wise, compassionate and spiritually uplifting, Dusk, Night, Dawn is a book for anyone looking for Christian hope and encouragement in times of fear and dread. It will leave you restored, and show you how you can care for your soul and live peacefully and exuberantly going forward.


How do we get through dark times when we feel like giving in to fear and despair, and when existential dread has convinced us of our smallness?

In this real...

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EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9780281085774
PRICE £14.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 4 members

Featured Reviews

Anne Lamott is one of my favourite writers, she paints insights so vividly with her words. Gorgeous, gorgeous book.

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I have read a couple of Anne Lamott books in the past, and Bird on Bird is one of my most favourite books on writing. I'm always recommending it to other writers. However, I found this particular book a little disappointing. There were odd moments when something spoke to me, but these were rare, and I found myself rushing to get to the end. Some of the stories felt long-winded in my humble opinion.

This might prove inspiring for another reader, of course, just not for me this time around.

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Lamott’s best all-new essays (if you don’t count Small Victories, which reprinted some greatest hits) in nearly a decade. The book is a fitting follow-up to Almost Everything in that it tackles the same central theme: how to have hope in God and in other people even when all the news (here, Trump, Covid, and climate breakdown) heralds the worst.

One major thing that has changed in Lamott’s life since her last book is getting married for the first time, in her mid-sixties, to a Buddhist. (“How’s married life?” people can’t seem to resist asking her.) In thinking of marriage she writes about love and friendship, constancy and forgiveness, none of which comes easy. Her neurotic nature flares up every now and again, but Neal helps to talk her down. Fragments of her early family life come back as she considers all that her parents were up against and concludes that they did their best (“How paltry and blocked our family love was, how narrow the bandwidth of my parents’ spiritual lives.”)

Opportunities for maintaining quiet faith in spite of circumstances arise all the time for her, whether it’s a storytelling evening that seems like it will never end or a four-day power cut or the kitten going missing or young people taking to the streets to protest about the climate crisis they’re inheriting. A short postscript entitled Covid College gives thanks for “the blessings of COVID: we became more reflective, more contemplative.”

The prose and the anecdotes feel fresher here than in several of her other recent books. I highlighted quote after quote. Some of these essays will be well worth rereading and deserve to become classics in the Lamott canon, especially “Soul Lather,” “Snail Hymn,” “Light Breezes,” and “One Winged Love.”

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I had a copy of this book as an ARC from NetGalley, the cover drew me right in, and the blurb seemed like it could be a very well timed book for me:

” How do we get through dark times when we feel like giving in to fear and despair, and when existential dread has convinced us of our smallness? “

Unfortunately, the style of the book was not my cup of tea. It was written kind of like a stream of consciousness, and I found that the author changed the subject what seemed like quite randomly at times. I found it quite hard to follow and even harder to find a connection to the book to keep me enthused to keep reading.

I think this is a reflection on me, not the book though. I can definitely see how for some people this would be a lovely book with a lot of insight to bring.

Part memoir and reflection on life following her recent marriage, and part a lesson on hope and restoration in turbulent times, the author had many good points that I saved as quotes into my notes as I was reading.

The author talks a lot about her experiences in Sunday school which I could definitely relate to, and I loved this quote:

“If you want to help kids fall in love with God, help them fall in love with nature”

For me though, I don’t feel like the book quite lived up to what I was expecting from the blurb. I was expecting to come away with some techniques for coping with dark times, but I think because of my lack of connection to the book I just didn’t get that.

I’m giving this book 3 stars because I can see how it could be the perfect book for other people, but it just wasn’t for me unfortunately.

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