The New York Times once called her the “lefty guru of optimism,” but Anne Lamott was anything but after the newspaper published a negative review of her new book on Sunday.

The author, known for her Christian faith and her progressive politics, took to social media to express her unhappiness with the review of “Somehow: Thoughts on Love,” sharing several posts about how it affected her.

Despite an immediate influx of love and support from her fans, Lamott initially seemed unable to shrug off Alexandra Jacobs’ opinions, writing that she needed prayers, radical self-love and “retail therapy.” A manicure was also part of recovery. Lamott is currently on a book tour (she’s in Chicago Tuesday night) and so could not run into the arms of her husband, son or grandchild.

But even 3,000 miles away, it turns out that family matters more than a reviewer’s opinion.

Lamott’s attitude completely changed after her son, Sam Lamott, posted a message of defense and support, saying, in part, “One of the greatest takeaways I’ve learned watching my mother’s career over the years is that winning over the hip coastal literary-scene snobs is not the high water mark of a writer’s career.”

He went on to say, “Congratulations to my uncool California Hippie Sunday-school teacher single mother who gets to celebrate the accomplishment of her lifetime, being #1 on the NYT’s list, when everyone said her success should be slowly dwindling away because she isn’t ‘relevant’ anymore.” Sam Lamott also encouraged people to buy the book.

His mother, in a word, melted. She shared her son’s post multiple times on X.

Lamott needn’t have been too concerned about The New York Times review. Her book, published by Riverhead on April 9, has been favorably reviewed elsewhere, including The Washington Post, where Meredith Maran wrote:

“In her trademark godly yet snarky way, she extracts every life lesson from her latest new experience with the deft zeal of a chef reducing flour and fat to roux. ‘Love is compassion,’ she writes, ‘which Neal (Lamott’s husband) defines as the love that arises in the presence of suffering. Are love and compassion up to the stark realities we face at the dinner table, and down the street, and at the melting ice caps, or within Iranian nuclear plants and our own Congress? Maybe, I think so. Somehow’.”

As for the review that caused all the angst — which was entitled “Anne Lamott has written classics. This is not one of them” — it wasn’t completely negative, even though the writer called the book “flabby and sometimes cringey.”

Jacobs also called Lamott a “national treasure,” identified two of her books (”Operating Instructions” and “Bird by Bird”) as instant classics, and at one point wrote, “To be clear, I love Anne Lamott.”

What is most clear about the saga, however, are the two lessons that stand out for all of us, national treasures or not. They are: Harsh words can sting even when wrapped up in praise. And the antidote is the love of your family.