And Then There Were Nuns

Jane Christmas. Greystone Books (PGW, U.S. dist./HarperCollins Canada, Canadian dist.), US$17.95/C$19.95 trade paper (293p) ISBN 978-1-55365-799-6
When her long-time beau finally proposed to Christmas, her desire to accept his marriage proposal was complicated by a competing desire—to explore a long-standing call to give her life to God through service as a nun. With clever wit and humor, as well as honest insight and candor, Christmas (Incontinent on the Continent) shares the details of her attempt to discern whether she has the dedication, discipline, perseverance, introspection, contemplative capability and spirit needed for a cloistered life. She seeks direction by registering as an aspirant in four different convents over a period of 18 months. Taking the plunge at an Anglican convent in Toronto, she then moves on to three Catholic communities in the U.K., including the exquisite 17th century Quarr Abbey monastery on the Isle of Wight. While participating in the nuns and monks' routines —celebrating "the offices," cooking and cleaning, spending hours in quiet contemplation, scripture reading, reflection and prayer—she struggles to stay focused, to maintain a contemplative state of mind, and to free herself from ever-intruding worldly thoughts and distractions. In the silence and simplicity of those hallowed halls, she challenges her self-perception, her personal issues and her demons well enough to see who she is and where she really belongs. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 01/06/2014
Release date: 09/01/2013
Ebook - 139 pages - 978-1-55365-800-9
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-7459-5644-2
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