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Bomb Shelter: Love, Time, and Other Explosives (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Mary Laura Philpott's Bomb Shelter reads like a long coffee date with a dear friend. This memoir covers a lot of the emotional nuances of parenting and Philpott is a kindred spirit. Give this book to any parent who needs a virtual hug and assurance that they are indeed doing a good job.

— Rachel Watkins

Mary Laura's hilarious, unabashedly authentic writing reveals the magical power she has to unlock my anxious but loving heart. To love big and choose joy requires us to acknowledge, again and again—with varying degrees of success—that we cannot keep our beloveds safe. 

— Janet

April 2022 Indie Next List

“I have so much love for Bomb Shelter, as a mom, a woman, an animal lover, and simply as a fellow human. I love Mary Laura’s humor and her compassionate and certain voice. I can’t wait to share this book with EVERYONE!”
— Sue Kowalski, The Bookstore of Glen Ellyn, Glen Ellyn, IL


From the bestselling author of I Miss You When I Blink comes “her new masterwork” (The New York Times), an unforgettable memoir that is “a beautifully wrought ode to life” (The Washington Post).

A lifelong worrier, Mary Laura Philpott always kept an eye out for danger, a habit that only intensified when she became a parent. But she looked on the bright side, too, believing that if she cared enough, she could keep her loved ones safe.

Then, in the dark of one quiet morning, she woke abruptly to a terrible sound—and found her teenage son unconscious on the floor. In the aftermath of a crisis that darkened her sunny spirit, she wondered: If this happened, what else could happen? And how do any of us keep going when we can’t know for sure what’s coming next?

Leave it to the writer who “puts words to the human condition in a life-affirming, joyful, and surprisingly funny way” (Lori Gottlieb, New York Times bestselling author) to illuminate what it means to move through life with a soul made of equal parts anxiety and optimism (and while she’s at it, to ponder the mysteries of backyard turtles and the challenges of spatchcocking a turkey).

Hailed as a modern classic that “deserves pride of place alongside Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, Joan Didion’s The White Album, and Nora Ephron’s Crazy Salad” (Garrett M. Graff, New York Times bestselling author), Bomb Shelter “reveals, page after page, that the love that makes us vulnerable is the same force that makes us powerful” (Maggie Smith, bestselling author of Goldenrod).

About the Author

Mary Laura Philpott, nationally bestselling author of I Miss You When I Blink and Bomb Shelter, writes essays and memoirs that examine the overlap of the absurd and the profound in everyday life. Her writing has been featured by The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Atlantic, among many other publications. A former bookseller, she also hosted an interview program on Nashville Public Television for several years. Mary Laura lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with her family.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781982160791
ISBN-10: 1982160799
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: April 4th, 2023
Pages: 288
Language: English