While this book has some interesting content, it just drones on and on. My impression of this book in one word: monotone. We chose this for our book club and not ONE person could finish it. Ouch!
Vows:The Story of a Priest, a Nun, and Their Son was written by the son of an unusual union: a dedicated, radical Boston-based priest whose inner soul-stirrings led him at the height of the civil rights movement, in the late sixties, to choose to marry a spirited former nun. This elegantly told, candid tale is Peter Manseau's highly successful attempt to make sense of his parent's life, faith, church, values, experiences, and deepest yearnings and feelings,as well as his own-- and he does so as a consummate storyteller.
He weaves wonderful details of the past and presnt into one seamless storyline, making of it a book that is truly hard to put down. Indeed, along the way he offers us insights into the nature, culture and history of the highly complex Catholic CHurch in twentieth century America, giving us haunting glimpses of both it's undeniable beauty, it's profound,eternal,faith-based mysteries -- and, at the same time, the inhumane, rigid legalistic, dark side of some aspects of the Church, as well.
Throughout every chapter, I found myself enthralled, intrigued, and opened to a deeper level of understanding of the culture of the Church, but also, of course, of the beautifully drawn characters he presents, including himself.For he is willing to reveal his own deep struggles with his upbringing, his unusual family, his inner battle with how to remain connected to a church that has caused his family so much pain.
It is a book,then, that raises important questions, makes one think -- deeply,for it is sombering,revealing, skillfully crafted, and a story that I think we can all (Catholic or non-Catholic) benefit from hearing. I am grateful that Peter Manseau chose to share it with us, and I can only hope that he chooses to exercise his tremendous gift for the written word through many more books to come.
Caroline Joy Adams, author of The Power to Write:Seven Keys to Discover Your Writer from Within www.CarolineJoyAdams.com