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Author: Karen Armstrong

This is a wonderful book.  After I had read the library copy, I just had to have my own, so I bought it through Amazon.

At the age of 17, in 1969, Karen Armstrong entered a Roman Catholic convent.  She left it seven years later.  The experience virtually destroyed her ability to think, left her almost bereft of the ability to operate as an individual with a personality and she had completely lost her faith.  This book is her autobiographical account of her “climb out of darkness” (the sub-title of the book).  It is a moving account of her struggle against despair, discouragement, set-backs and a long battle to get the right medical diagnosis and treatment.  She was eventually diagnosed with epilepsy and has received proper treatment, which marked a significant turning point in her life.  (How could the medical profession of the day have been so thick??  I would like to think that anyone with even a modicum of medical knowledge, on hearing an account of her symptoms, would instantly recognise epilepsy).

She then began the writing career which has resulted in TV programmes and a substantial number of scholarly books on Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Buddhism – (see other reviews on this site).  In the process, she embarked on her own spiritual journey, which resulted in her discovering a faith far different from that which she left.  Her story is sad, heartbreaking, sometimes very funny but ultimately uplifting and inspiring.  I have often recommended it to people who are undertaking their own journey out of darkness. 

 Karen’s books can be bought from Amazon. Read more about Karen on Wiki.


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