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The Ear of the Heart: An Actress' Journey from Hollywood to Holy Vows Hardcover – May 7, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"What a joy to be in the company of Mother Dolores Hart. She is a compassionate narrator, from her childhood days, darkened by parental alcoholism, to her Hollywood career and her calling as a Catholic nun. Mother Dolores talks candidly about the difficulty of becoming a cloistered, Benedictine nun. The struggle with years of discipline and the rigorous farm work at the Abbey of Regina Laudis. We learn there was something in her deepest heart she sought." ----Pia Lindstrom, television journalist, daughter of Ingrid Bergman

"The Ear of the Heart is a story of courage, sacrifice, dedication, and fulfillment. With grace and good humor in a voice as clear as the mountain spring, Mother Dolores Hart illuminates her lifelong quest for a state of tranquility and the joy of living in the presence of God.The book will lift your heart and mind in admiration. A call to a religious life is filled with mystery and wonder and at long last understanding and acceptance. Mother Dolores Hart shows us with her energy, word, and deed that her journey has led her to a live she could not have lived any other way. The truths she has found for herself resonate like the bells of the morning." ----James Drury,The Virginian

"A beautiful movie star gives up a successful Hollywood career to enter a traditional cloistered monastery. Can't happen? It did. In this heartfelt and moving memoir, Mother Dolores Hart explains how by listening with the 'ear of the heart' she heard God's call and dared to respond. Her journey powerfully demonstrates that we must be willing to lose our lives and forfeit our plans to discover our true purpose. The fascinating story of Dolores Hart also teaches us to be seek God regardless of where we are-in a summer storm, in prayer, or even in front of a camera." ----Raymond Arroyo, New York Times Bestselling Author, Host of The World Over Live and EWTN News Director
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 539 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press; 1st edition (May 7, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586177478
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586177478
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (381 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,273 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 71 people found the following review helpful By William K. Knotts on May 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have waited many years for this autobiography of Reverend Mother Dolores Hart and knew it would be one of those marvelous tomes that, once you picked it up, you would have a difficult time putting it down, and re-reading certain passsages over and over again. The life story of this extraordinary woman, who gave up so much for so little, yet so much more, is not told as a remarkable tale of a person who was struck by lightning and immediately converted to religion, but it is a warm, at times funny, at times heartbreaking, life story of a young girl who came from a broken home but achieved fame and fortune in her late teens and early twenties as a film and stage actress of renown who eventually found that certain something that had been missing in her life, and decided to attempt a career switch that still has people scratching their heads and asking that all-important question, WHY?

Reverend Mother Dolores, along with longtime friend Richard DeNeut, details her decision that was anything but overnight, and draws us into her search, meeting some truly marvelous people along the way. Her struggles with life as a young actrress and later, her life as a young novice are poured out for us as she bares her soul for all to see. She talks of the tears she shed at night wondering if she did indeed make the right decision to enter the religious life, or if she made a terrible mistake, and how, after many years, realized that she's in the right place.

After 39 years of correspondence with this special lady, I was anxious to find the answers to questions I never asked her in my many letters to her.
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61 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Jean M. Heimann on June 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover
"Listen and attend with the ear of your heart." ~ Saint Benedict

Growing up in the 40's and 50's, Dolores dreamed of becoming an actress. She tells us that it is the only thing she ever wanted to be. Yet, at the peak of a promising acting career, she abandoned her childhood dream and left Hollywood to enter a cloistered monastery.

In her memoir, The Ear of the Heart, Benedictine nun Mother Dolores Hart, Prioress of Regina Laudis Abbey in Bethlehem, Connecticut, shares the remarkable account of her calling to the monastic life and the reasons why she has remained steadfast in her vocation for half a century. Her lifelong friend, publicist Dick De Neut assists in disclosing the details, providing a second voice to the narrative. There is a question and answer format that runs through the story, which makes one feel as if they are listening in on the conversation of two friends, as they reminisce over the good old days of Hollywood when Anthony Quinn, Gary Cooper, and Elvis Presley were all the rage. In fact, it was Dolores Hart who gave Elvis his first onscreen kiss in her first film entitled Loving You. And, the answer is, yes, Mother Dolores does tell us what it was like to kiss Elvis. She also describes what it was like to work with Anthony Quinn and to interact with Gary Cooper.

The Ear of the Heart provides so many insights and depth into Dolores Hart's life on a variety of levels-- spiritual, physical, emotional, and psychological.
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Kathy Schroeder on May 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I remember Delores Hart in the movies and when she left Hollywood for the monastery. It is fascinating to read about her journey from conversion to the religious life and it's meaning to her. The biography also provides insight into the difficulties she experienced as a child, star, adult woman and a religious. It is not light reading, but is reality based with memories and documentation from her life and others who not only knew and worked with her but knew her in the deepest sense of the word.
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Format: Hardcover
Daunting! Terrifying!...these thoughts have consumed me for the past two weeks as I have tried to write my review of Mother Dolores Hart, O.S. B., and Richard DeNeut's inspirational "The Ear of the Heart: An Actress's Journey from Hollywood to Holy Vows." My relationship with Mother Dolores began in September 2011 when I invited her to participate as a guest speaker for the Diocese of Oakland's 2012-2013 Catholics@Work Speakers Series, [...] She unexpectedly called on a Sunday afternoon in November apologizing for the long delay in responding. "Your letter was buried and I just found it."

We spoke for an hour, mostly about Chicago, Regina Laudis and the difficultly of travel for one committed to the contemplative life. But she left the door open. She was working on a biography with her close friend, Richard DeNeut, and may need to come to San Francisco to discuss the book with Ignatius Press. She promised to arrange something if she came my way. We talked periodically to see how the book was progressing and learned in early 2013 that it was soon to be published...but to my great disappointment, there would be no visit.

I did get an early copy but did not begin to read "The Ear of the Heart" in earnest until after we met at the Napa Institute in 2013 where she talked about the book and answered questions. I introduced myself the "Catholics@Work guy" and she gave me a radiant smile that could only come from a person of God.

I then called her several weeks ago when I finished the book, told her I loved it and was about to write my review. She was very pleased then asked me to call Dick to share what I thought about their effort. While she has received hundreds of letters on the book, they could not be passed along to Dick.
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