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Redeemed: A Spiritual Misfit Stumbles Toward God, Marginal Sanity, and the Peace That Passes All Understanding Hardcover – February 21, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult (February 21, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670018635
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670018635
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,167,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In her previous memoir, Parched, King wrote about two decades of squandering my talents, sleeping around, smoking cigarettes, and swilling Sea Breezes at 8 a.m. in Sullivan's Tap, saving her conversion to Catholicism for the epilogue. Here she looks at what she considers the more interesting part of her story (nothing is more boring than degradation)—her everyday life without alcohol, with God and yet still full of struggle and pain. Sometimes I think anyone as drawn as I am to suffering would have had to become a Catholic, she writes. The book starts off as straight memoir: sobriety, frustration, attraction, conversion. In the fifth chapter, however, she shifts to topical essays with a pronounced theological bent. King, familiar to many from her commentaries on NPR's All Things Considered, maintains her signature self-deprecatory humor throughout, at the same time offering readers plenty to chew on as she reflects on her father's death, her bout with breast cancer, the end of her marriage, the importance of humility and the inevitability of loneliness. Though suffering is a constant theme, King's faith sees beyond the pain: heaven is not some other world, but shot all through the broken world where we already live. (Feb. 18)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“This memoir deserves to be as popular as Elizabeth Gilbert’s best- selling Eat, Pray, Love.”
The Boston Globe

“Rather than offering easy epiphanies and candy-coated narratives, King’s book is as honest and raw as the model of the spiritual memoir, the “Confessions” of St. Augustine….To witness someone of such emotional dexterity and moral depth struggle is moving and instructive….King is nonjudgmental, generous and insightful about the spiritual journey.”
Los Angeles Times

“A story with depth, rare balance, humor, and with a near-perfect eye for what is important, true to the perception that ‘sin, degradation, and scandal aren’t that interesting,’ but ‘conversion is.’” A conversion story along the lines of St. Augustine’s classic. You’ll learn how grace works.”
—Ron Rolheiser, author of The Holy Longing and The Restless Heart

“This is really the story of two callings—to faith and to a life’s work…a riveting depiction of a lost soul found”
Kirkus

“I’m hugely grateful for this ‘misfit,’ and for her words, which I keep copying down into my own misfit notebook. In hard times, Heather King is one of the people of hope.”
—Jean Valentine, National Book Award-winning author of Door in the Mountain

“In its structure and purpose, Heather King’s Redeemed is not unlike St. Augustine’s Confessions. That first Christian conversion narrative, often misconstrued as being an acknowledgment of past sins, is really a confession of faith in God and the luminous praise of a grateful heart. Similarly, in this well-written, insightful and funny book, Heather King, a frequent commentator on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” does not deny her hard life….Rather, she writes an eloquent hymn of gratitude and wonder for her Catholic life.”
National Catholic Reporter

“King writes from the heart.”
Rocky Mountain News

“A must-read for anyone on the spiritual journey that defines the essence of learning to live life on life’s terms, while there’s still time.”
—William Cope Moyers, author of Broken

"A brutally honest, moving and heartfelt memoir."
America, The National Catholic Weekly --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

I'm an ex-lawyer, a former barfly, and a Catholic convert with three memoirs: Parched (the dark years); Redeemed (crawling toward the light); and Shirt of Flame (my year of wandering around Koreatown, L.A., reflecting upon and trying to live out the spirituality of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, a cloistered 19th-c. French nun).

I also speak nationwide and blog at Shirt of Flame: Musings on Los Angeles, The Writing Life, Divine Intoxication, and the Thin Line Between Passion and Pathology (shirtofflame.blogspot.com).

For a complete list of publications, contact info, upcoming events, etc., visit heather-king.com.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Truly inspirational and down to earth.
my favorite author
This book is a logical followup to Parched by Ms. King.
M Hashimoto
Her writing is powerful, honest, and often hilarious.
J. Hollerbach

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Kerry Madden on April 1, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I read REDEEMED all the way home on a flight from Alabama, and it was a book I hated to see end...I could pick it up and read it all over again. Reading Heather King's words is like having coffee with a best friend who listens, makes you laugh, think, and hope again. Her honesty is real and alive - and so her is capacity for joy and forgiveness. Her words make a person want to be better - to live better and more fully. I cannot recommend REDEEMED highly enough. It is a beautiful beautiful book of honesty and painful hilarity from husbands to sisters to awful people at work. It's just great. It even makes me want to forgive my idiot neighbor and his barking dogs and maybe even go back to church. I am very grateful that Heather King's books are in the world.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
*****
I truly loved Heather King's new book, which was fun, funny, and touching all at the same time. I haven't been back to church in years but it made me want to go too. Just to experience community the way the author does, imperfectly, struggling, with love and humor and authenticity all bundled up together.

This book is also about being a writer, an alcoholic, and a human being. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone. I would especially recommend it to those readers who are looking to have a less negative view of Christianity (this is me) and who want to read about faith from a gritty, grounded, and grace-based perspective.

It made me laugh and the beauty of the writing had me highlighting passages to refer back to later. It's an honest and real book about just being alive.

Highly recommended.
*****
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By B. M. Paluch on August 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Heather King's book is a gem for anybody looking for grace in their own lives. I am a cradle Catholic and to read about Heather's embrace of Catholicism and reverence for its attitude towards life and mystery was truly refreshing. She shares her own story, struggles, obsessions, and insights with her readers. After reading her book, I felt more connected, understood, and whole as a person and as a Catholic. Heather has a tremendous gift of radical honesty and an eye for humor in what seem to be dark situations. She has an intuition for grace and a wonderfully poetic way of seeing daily life and expressing its beauty. Redeemed is a wonderful book in which I found part of myself and part of God.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C. Taylor on July 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I think what makes this book such a rare gem is that it almost seems like two completely different types of books, or genres, eloquently and unapologetically mixed into one. Most simply put it is a women's story of the almost accidental discovery of her faith or relationship with God. However, it is such an honest and hilarious account of her journey that you find yourself routing for her the way you do some kind of great anti-hero protagonist from your favorite novel instead of just reading a memoir. Most spiritual books take themselves seriously, but when Heather King finds God (and naturally herself as well in the process) she finds him while making dry, witty, sarcastic remarks under her breath. She not only admits to being lost but celebrates it with grace in a way that only someone who has done their spiritual homework can. Long story short, it's just as funny and serious and engrossing as the last best novel you read, but when you finish it the book sticks with you and as a result, your own faith that maybe there is hope for the rest of us is restored a little.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. Simmons on July 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Something all lapsed Catholics love to do at any opportunity is to slam the church, and anything dimly related to it. We have a kind of secret club.....and anyone can belong..... particularly if you went to Catholic school and ever had a nun or priest smack you or send you to the 'cloak room' to sit out a punishment for some trivial childhood offense. So it was with hesitation that I started reading Heather King's new book 'Redeemed'. I'd loved 'Parched', and consider her a brilliant writer, but this was going a bit far. Clearly this new book wouldn't contain the zany antics of a drunk Heather King, clawing her way through a haze of booze-soaked misadventures to ultimately sober up and become the funny sensitive woman I came to love in the first book. I must say though, this book is probably the only secular religious tome ever written. I don't know how King managed to convince me so gracefully that she had found in Catholicism another level of spiritual peace very much like her previous miracle of sobriety. I guess that's what really grabbed me about this book. It's all about miracles. Now, THERE'S something I can sink my teeth into! Catholic, Jew, Hindu, Atheist, Anyone....will relate to this very human phenonenon of finding something larger than themselves to lend purpose and freedom to a life that would be rather empty without it. Loved the book....you will too.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Edna Millay on July 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I loved King's first book, Parched, which documented her upbringing in a puritanical New England town, her young adult descent into alcoholism, and her struggle back to the light - literally, because this woman spent serious time in some of the darkest dives in Boston. Sounds depressing, but it isn't, because King's writing is filled with a rare hilarity and humility that make the book a joy to read.

In Redeemed, the reader gets to join King as she relocates to Los Angeles, specifically Koreatown, about as far as she could get from those cold and austere beginnings. As she struggles to make sense of her life, her career (a lawyer!), her marriage, and her physical and mental health, she finds a faith that grips her - and the reader - to the core. The contrast is both obvious and profound between the empty cross of her childhood church and the Catholic depiction of Christ on the cross, with wounded suffering on full display. Here King finds her home and her salvation, and we are all richer for sharing the ride. Highly recommended.
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