Astonished : A Story of Healing and Finding Grace

3.72 (221 ratings by Goodreads)
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"A narrative composed of brutal honesty, tenderness, and an aching love for God. I could not put it down." --Sue Monk Kidd, author of "The Secret Life of Bees"
In the middle of her life, acclaimed memoirist Beverly Donofrio thought she'd found a safe haven in a beautiful town in Mexico--until she was awakened in her bed by a rapist. As she writes in this fierce, unflinching account: "This was not supposed to happen. I was supposed to have escaped: I had hot flashes and liver spots and was in the final stretch."Here Donofrio wrestles with anger toward her attacker and toward life, yet realizes her despair is not unlike that of other friends who are struggling with grave illnesses, loss of jobs, deaths of loved ones. Hoping to heal from trauma, Donofrio turns to prayer while journeying to five very different monasteries. A testimony to how anyone who is broken can move away from fear and anger toward grace, "Astonished" will not only be read and shared by fans of Donofrio's previous books, but also by anyone who hopes to be inspired by Donofrio's strength and her search for faith, healing, and identity.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 127 x 193.04 x 20.32mm | 68.04g
  • Penguin Putnam Inc
  • The Penguin Press
  • United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0143124900
  • 9780143124900
  • 2,088,207

Review quote

Praise for "Astonished" by Beverly Donofrio:
"This is the story of a sabbatical, but not from teaching. After being raped in Mexico, Donofrio lives in retreat houses in the American West where she confronts the evil forces that file through the hole in her soul created by the rape. She cries, prays, watches birds and throttles her narcissism. Spiritually sore, she comes to understand St. Paul's words: 'When I am weak, I am strong.' An ardent feminist, she forgives and undergoes a sea change in the desert. Written with mordant humor, searing honesty, and an eye for the mysteries of love, nature and monkish life."
--J. Michael Lennon, " "(selected for Salon's Ultimate Book Guide for 2013)
"Reading Donofrio's memoir, "Astonished," is, in itself, an astonishing experience. She grapples with her faith in ways and in words that startle, move, mesmerize, wrench, enliven, and thrill the reader. It is a narrative composed of brutal honesty, tenderness, and an aching love for God. I could not put it down."
--Sue Monk Kidd, author of "The Secret Life of Bees "
"A smart, funny memoir about a woman seeking answers to some very hard questions. . . . Donofrio's intelligent and down-to-earth delivery gives ["Astonished"] a meditative feel. For her, 'bringing God into the picture makes me pay closer attention.' Her writing does the same thing for us. Her bravery helps. She holds nothing back."
--"San Francisco Chronicle"
"The brutally honest author of "Riding in Cars with Boys" reveals how a terrifying brush with a rapist sparked her spirituality and set her on a journey of recovery paved with prayer."
--"O Magazine"
"What's most compelling, besides Donofrio's simultaneously warm and tough-as-nails voice, is the openness of her heart toward good old-fashioned faith, and her willingness to accept God into her life, if she could only figure Him out. . . . The fact that she was able to take such ugliness and transform it
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About Beverly Donofrio

Beverly Donofrio lived for four years as a lay Carmelite at Nada Hermitage in Colorado, where she began this book. The acclaimed author of "Riding in Cars with Boys" and "Looking for Mary," she teaches for the MFA program at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania.
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Rating details

221 ratings
3.72 out of 5 stars
5 24% (53)
4 40% (88)
3 24% (52)
2 10% (23)
1 2% (5)
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