There are few deeper points of vulnerability in a woman's life than when she becomes a brand new mother. Between the hormones and the insecurities and the insanity of sleep-deprivation and the physical pain (for some) and the torture of always feeling insufficient, well...those first few months a crazy lady doth make.
I can't imagine anything more scary than actually recording my thoughts and fears and anxieties from that time. Anne Lamott not only wrote it all down, she actually then published those very deep and private thoughts for the whole wide world to see. That is one brave, brave lady.
Published in 1993, Operating Instructions is Lamott's memoir of her son's first year of life. She very candidly, roughly (at times), gently (at others), and sarcastically details this life-changing journey into motherhood. Without fail, each chapter left my jaw on the floor at some point or another. Raw is the best and only word I can think to describe it. From the coarse language to the thoughts toward and about her child (the kinds of things no one actually says out loud) to her fears and worries over being a single mother to the meshing of all of that with her professional life and covering it all with her faith...all compound into a very unique piece of nonfiction that is just shockingly raw.
Would most definitely not rate this one "E for Everyone."
Still, I adore Lamott's writing style. She is a master of her craft, even when writing from the throes of new motherhood...one of the craziest mental places a woman can go.