Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana followed.
And now, in her powerful and haunting memoir, Rice tells the story of the spiritual transformation that produced a complete change in her literary goals.
She begins with her girlhood in New Orleans as the devout child in a deeply religious Irish Catholic family. She describes how, as she grew up, she lost her belief in God, but not her desire for a meaningful life.
She writes about her years in radical Berkeley, where her career as a novelist began with the publication of Interview with the Vampire, soon to be followed by more novels about otherworldly beings, about the realms of good and evil, love and alienation, pageantry and ritual, each reflecting aspects of her often agonizing moral quest.
She writes about loss and tragedy (her mother's drinking; the death of her daughter and, later, her beloved husband, Stan Rice); about new joys; about the birth of her son, Christopher; about the family's return in 1988 to the city of New Orleans, the city that inspired so much of her work. She tells how after an adult lifetime of questioning, she experienced the intense conversion and consecration to Christ that lie behind her most recent novels.
For her readers old and new, this book explores her continuing interior pilgrimage.
©2008 Anne Rice; (P)2008 Random House Audio
I knew of Anne Rice as a writer of dark fiction, and not well. I don't know if I ever read one of her books. When I started seeing her books about Jesus, I was skeptical that it was a "hack job" alternative view to the Jesus revealed in the Gospels. I cynically assumed that she was hitching her cart to the revisionist movement made popular with The Davinci Code.
But, I saw some encouraging reviews, so I gave the first novel (Out of Egypt) a try. I enjoyed that novel, and was surprised that she gave a treatment that is true to the Gospel accounts and also to the other facts we know about Jesus. There was an appendix in the book that gave a little of her faith journey, which I found fascinating.
This book takes that and expands and deepens the story of her faith, from when she was a devout little girl through the loss of her faith completely for years, to her finding her way back to her faith and her Jesus. Some additional details of how she does her work as an author were also very intriguing.
If there is a small negative, it is an odd thing to say -- she seems too concerned about telling the whole truth some times. Maybe a person who has written this much fiction feels that they need to be careful not to gloss things, or to
improve the story with each retelling. Or maybe that level of detail is just part of her style. Or maybe she felt that the true story of her faith is about truth, and so much be treated with divine respect for the truth.
That said, I found this story compelling -- with both the kind of things that seem like they would destroy faith mixed with some "murmurs" from God that lead to faith. I often recommend this book.
I love this book! Ann Rice paints a picture with her words taking us back to the churches of her childhood, through her spiritual (and nonspiritual) adult life, and back towards God. Her story is real, describing God's love for her and his pull to bring her through experiences and back to his fold. Her journey is one anyone could take. The style of writing is pure Ann Rice, rich in description of physical surroundings and the attached emotions. I have listened twice and might go get the book to read too.
I was a huge Anne Rice fan starting with Interview With A Vampire. Then I floundered while raising 3 sons....not a lot of spare time to read in the B.A. (before Audible) era. I was also a cradle-Catholic who was flowdering in my faith.
I'm the second eldest of 8 kids raised in a very Catholic home. A younger sister died suddenly at 32 (spousal abuse) and my youngest brother died from Hodgkin's Lymphoma at 34 within 10 years of each other. Five years after my sister's death my brother was diagnosed with cancer. It took him almost another 5 years to die from it. That was a horrible 10 years that left my faith on the ropes. I was already struggling with Catholicism in the modern world which found conflict in everything from "why can't women be priests/deacons/etc?" and "does the communion wafer REALLY turn to Christ's 'body' after blessing or is it only a symbol?" In these ways I totally connected to Anne Rice's personal struggles. But I definitely "got it" as far as her faith issues.
My only complaint is that it took most of the book for her to lay the foundation of her reconversion. I think the non-Catholics will find this part of the book more interesting but for me it was a drawn out review of Catholicism that I didn't feel I needed. So, IF YOU ARE CATHOLIC, give the book a little more time as the last few chapters a definitely worth the wait. I found myself thinking "that's EXACTLY what I was feeling/thinking!"
Thank you Anne Rice for doing all the research to bring the best books on Christ's youth I've ever read. I look forward to any future books you may produce in this genre. I always knew that reading your books would transport me into a culturally accurate time period in which I would learn much...but all the while knowing you were spot-on historically. Thank you!
It was fun listening to this honest account, especially knowing where she has gone from where she was at the end of the book. She continues to search, and encourages me to do the same.
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