Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-08-12
- Reviewer: Staff
Valente (Twenty Poems to Nourish Your Soul) is a rara avis—a poet and journalist. Her spiritual memoir is happily rooted in the heartland: Atchison, Kans., the city that Mount St. Scholastica, a community of Benedictine nuns, has called home since 1863. Valente goes to Mount St. Scholastica to lead a workshop on poetry, and then returns, again and again. The hospitable Midwest community of women religious is also, for Valente, a crossroads for her own spiritual life, a place for self-confrontation and growing awareness. The rhythms of life and liturgy and the quietly remarkable residents of Mount St. Scholastica create spiritual openings for the author. Women religious live, pray, and die in their community, affording Valente opportunities to face her own fears, resentments, and hopes. Her journalistic witness of the community of women is also a witness of moving faith. This honest and deeply reflective book, which implicitly critiques the myths of success by which so many live and are haunted, deserves a wide audience. Agent: Michele Rubin, Writers House. (Sept.)