Astonished: A Story of Evil, Blessings, Grace, and Solace

Beverly Donofrio. Viking, $25.95 (226p) ISBN 978-0-670-02575-6
In her third autobiographical work (after Looking for Mary) Donofrio wrestles spiritually with the concept of evil after being raped at knifepoint in her Mexico home. Having finally found her way as a writer midlife, become a pious Catholic, and settled in the old colonial town of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, in a house she built herself, Donofrio was 55 and a new grandmother when she was attacked by the town’s serial rapist in her own bedroom one night in June. Her testimony and work with the police soon after helped bring the man to justice, but Donofrio was shaken in her Christian faith, angry at God for allowing such senseless evil, and plunged into a spiritual crisis involving an overwhelming sense of vulnerability and shame. Finding refuge in a monastery seemed the only way to feel truly safe, and the bulk of her thoughtfully circuitous narrative dwells on her six-month pilgrimage to various monasteries, among the Trappists at St. Benedict’s in Snowmass, Colo., the Carmelites at Nada Hermitage in Crestone, Colo., and at her midwife friend Estrella’sHoly Land retreat in the Missouri Ozarks, among other places. Donofrio searched for a deeper relationship to Jesus by immersing herself in prayer, meditation, and writings by the church fathers, saints, and mystics, which she lists in a last chapter; and she even contemplated becoming a nun. Yet the simple act of asking questions proved a salve, as she depicts in this insightful, candidly unfolding, soul-bearing journey to grace. Agent, Gail Hochman, Brandt & Hochman Literary. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 12/24/2012
Release date: 03/07/2013
Show other formats
FORMATS
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-101-60609-4
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-14-312490-0
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.