called out of darkness

Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession, by Anne Rice

i was never a huge anne rice fan. i’m sure her vampire books were great, or she wouldn’t have developed such a huge following. but when i stumbled onto her first christ the lord book, i was hooked. and intrigued. not only is anne rice writing a stunning series (the second one was excellent also), it’s just wild that these books are coming from a woman who spent most of her life as an athiest, writing fiction about vampires.

the little epilogue in the back of the first christ the lord book, where rice tells a short version of her journey away from, then — a few decades later — back to faith, is worth the price of that book.

and, now, we have a full length version of the story.

called out of darkness tells most of it (though there are still a few places where you can tell rice is playing her cards close). she spends a good deal of page real estate (almost too much) on the sites, sounds, smells and feelings of her catholic upbringing in new orleans. i could eventually see the value in this, but struggled to get through it all. it was, i’ll say, interesting to think about how christianity was such a significant part of rice’s life before she could really read. so, her faith (as a child) wasn’t based on the written word.

rice is haunted by her former faith, in a way, for the many decades of her unbelief. it never really goes away. and when she moves back to new orleans again, the pull of those feelings seem almost inescapable.

i tend to like spiritual autobiographies, and some of them rank as my favorite books. this one was a little too plodding to rank that high, but it’s still a very good book that i’m glad i read.

btw: scot mcknight conducted a interview with rice for his blog, and it’s worth reading. part 1, part 2

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