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Looking for Mary: (Or, the Blessed Mother and Me) (Compass) Paperback


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Looking for Mary: (Or, the Blessed Mother and Me) (Compass) + Astonished: A Story of Evil, Blessings, Grace, and Solace + Riding in Cars with Boys: Confessions of a Bad Girl Who Makes Good
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Product Details

  • Series: Compass
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reader's Guide/Study edition (August 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140196277
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140196276
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 4.8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Stereotypes abound concerning pilgrims to the Bosnian village of Medjugorje (where the Virgin Mary has allegedly been appearing since 1981), who claim to witness all manner of miracles: spinning suns, medals of the Virgin turning to gold, Mary herself scurrying down a street in a gray gown. Donofrio's new book, which took shape as a series on National Public Radio, explodes these stereotypes. It begins when, against all logic, the author begins flooding her home with images of the Virgin. Donofrio follows a hunch by going to Medjugorje, as a writer rather than a devotee, but that pretense quickly dissolves. She becomes a believer, though not in any cookie-cutter, uncritical sense. Listening to a stern Franciscan berate pilgrims in Medjugorje, she says, "I do not want to be a crazy, sign-seeing, rose-smelling, rigid, right-to-life Catholic"Dand though she sees signs and smells roses before long, she avoids both insanity and rigidity. Donofrio forges her own relationship with Mary, expressed partly through the institutional Catholic Church and partly despite and around it. While the crises in her own lifeDa troubled relationship with her son, a series of failed love affairs and unresolved ambiguities about an abortionDpropel Donofrio's quest, this chronicle does not read like an exercise in wish-fulfillment. It feels rather like the story of a woman who, after decades of seeking, found her mother, and through her, discovered herself. (Aug.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This is the second book by Donofrio, who gained recognition with her popular Riding in Cars with Boys: Confessions of a Bad Girl Who Makes Good, which is currently being made into a feature film. Here Donofrio continues to utilize her autobiographical writing style, this time describing a spiritual path. Donofrio chronicles an outer journey that began with an irreligious interest in collecting statues of the Virgin Mary and continued as she visits many American locations where Mary has allegedly been sighted. Her curiosity eventually provoked her to travel to the famed Bosnian city of Medjugorje. All these experiences paralleled a more profound inner journey of spiritual transformation. Deeply personal and wonderfully written, this book invites the reader to confront skeptical attitudes about religion, religious practices, and religious dogmas and step into the divine light. All this from a most unlikely prophet. Recommended for public libraries.DJohn-Leonard Berg, Univ. of Wisconsin, Platteville
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Well written and easy to read.
Colin Werner
This book made me get off my own back and be nicer to myself and realize quite a lot that I needed to learn.
tejad1414
We can be confident that Mary will protect us and help us in our efforts.
"avotresante"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Rainey on October 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I love when God sends us unlikely teachers. Beverly Donofrio is to renewed adult Catholic faith as Anne Lamott is to renewed adult Protestant faith. Both are women with pasts who have worked through them to ask for forgiveness. I LOVED this book. I am at a place where I am coming back to God after a 10 year absence. When we baby boomers rejected our Catholic faith it was for the very same reasons Donofrio did: birth control, a woman's right to chooses, and the antiquated patriarchal hierarchy of THE CHURCH. But organized religion and faith are two different things. By tossing out the perceived bad, we unfortunately threw the baby out with the bath water. There are so many positive aspects to Catholicism. Donofrio reminds us that one of those pluses is Jesus' mother, Mary. I was truly moved by this book. And it has accelerated my own walk of faith back to the Catholic church. Having women who decry the unfairness of some aspects of the Catholic Church as members of the church is not a bad thing. It's like having liberals in the Republican party. Donofrio has given us an important work. Perhaps she will start a revolution of sorts. Millions of baby boomers praying the rosary. (I just ordered one.) Mary is also a comfort to the many women who are victims of male abuse who have trouble with the image of father as God. Mary is the mother we all need; the mother we want to be. Thanks Beverly for reminding us.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Margaret Bingham on July 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
If you are Catholic and struggling, read this book! If you are a woman, a mother and struggling, read this book! If you need inspiration or faith, read this book!
What a wonderful read! I found this book accidently and Beverly would suggest that maybe I was led to it. I wouldn't argue with her.
Between the de-emphasis on Mary in the current US Catholic Church and the criticism of my Prostestant friends, I had lost a commitment to Mary. The rosary was passe and praying to her constituted icon worship. Though I am still grappling with the likelihood of the Assumption, Beverly's experiences have opened my heart to the love and support that Mary can provide. The Hail Mary is again tripping off my tongue.
Beverly speaks directly from her heart into the reader's with a voice that is real and powerful.
Yes, I believe Mary has a job for Beverly and it has started beautifully with this book.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Some Catholic purists will be horrified by this book. Beverly Donofrio is a hardcore unbeliever who finds herself irresistably drawn to the Blessed Mother. Understandably, after thirty-five years as an atheist, Donofrio still carries a lot of residual baby boomer baggage - irritation with the Church's political incorrectness, an obsession with religious superficialities, and some rather heretical ideas, such as her notion that Catholics "worship" Mary (won't the Protestants have a field day with that!) not to mention a teensy propensity to narcissism, even in repentance.
Nevertheless, I believe this little book is a miracle. This book is a message from Mary to every baby boomer who left the Church during the sixties and seventies. So what if Mary's messenger is not perfect? That is precisely why she is the perfect messenger for us, the hardcore feminists, the yuppies blinded by ambition, the New Agers toying with spirituality, the hardhearted unbelievers who think religious people are crazy fools. This book will work. Before the year 2000 is over, this book will touch the hearts of thousands of people, the very people who least expect it, all over the United States and beyond. It will inspire prayer in people who normally scoff at prayer. It will work because Mary is, as Donofrio has learned, a woman who gets her way.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
I just finished reading "Looking for Mary" for the second time. I meant to pass it on to a relative when I was done, but I can't give it away; I know I'll reread it again and again. I'm a lover of fiction and mysteries, but something (Mary gets what she wants!) called me to buy this book, to read and ponder over the words, and to tell others about it. It's a glorious blend of story-telling and meditation. It will make you smile, and make you think...maybe make you begin to believe. Read it, and pass it on--or at least buy a copy for a friend!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Truty on January 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
It wasn't clear to me when I picked up this book that it was an autobiography of sorts. I was a little disinterested in the beginning to read about the author's personal lifestyle (young single mom, drugs, bad relationships, etc.), but came to be fascinated by her journey of faith and life improvement. I must say though that the historical tidbits about Mary (and even some of the saints) and especially her Medjugorje trip intrigued me the most.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Marion VINE VOICE on May 27, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A friend recommended this book ... and I have to say it was a fine read. It's the story of Beverly Donofrio's search for meaning in her life via the Virgin Mary. She started out collecting Mary icons at yard sales and soon had an entire room dedicated to Mary. God does work in mysterious ways.
She delves in depth into her relationship with her son and how God healed that part of her life. But I had to laugh out loud at one statement she made. She said she just couldn't understand why God did not include Mary in the Trinity, bless her heart. What most people don't know (and male preachers/priests seldom ever mention) is that in the Old Testament God is referred to as El Shaddai. Shaddai is formed from "shad" (the breast) Genesis 49:25 or "The Breasted" - the "Nourisher", "the Strength-Giver", the "Satisfier" who pours Himself/Herself into believing lives. God is all female/all male and thankfully, much, much more than the sum of the two! ...
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