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The Voice That Calls You Home: Inspiration for Life's Journeys Paperback – September 14, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Of the thousands of inspirational books published, it seems most revolve around the age-old question, Why do bad things happen to good people? Raynor's work is no different. Instead of filling chapters with theological hand waving, however, Raynor, a graduate of Harvard Divinity School and a hospice chaplain, offers a simple solution. There is no good answer, she concludes, but we can soothe each other's pain by simply sharing our own stories of grief. After an introductory chapter, the author proceeds to do just that. What follows is a triptych of personal essays categorized into first, her hospice experiences; second, taking the midnight shift as a chaplain at Ground Zero after September 11; and third, being diagnosed with breast cancer. Though there is no single message weaving through each chapter, Raynor emphasizes the strength of friendship and power of a listening ear. Readers will enjoy the author's accessible and elegant prose as well as the power behind her personal encounters with grief. The book is not a theological tour de force, but never claims to be. Its simplicity is the strength behind its eloquent comfort. (Nov. 17)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"This is above all a richly human document in the sense that it confronts us with both the height and the depth of what it is to be human in a dark world and helps to put us closer in touch with our own humanness." -- Frederick Buechner, author of "The Sacred Journey"
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; Reprint edition (September 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416596127
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416596127
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #998,147 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Andrea Raynor a graduate of Harvard Divinity School, is a United Methodist minister, a chaplain, and a cancer survivor. She served as the Chaplain to the Jansen Memorial Hospice in Tuckahoe, New York for over ten years, has worked with the homeless in NYC and Boston, and was a pastor to churches in NY, CT, and MA. In the aftermath of September 11th, she served as a chaplain to the morgue at Ground Zero, offering blessings over remains and support to the many workers there. Her new book, The Voice That Calls You Home, a collection of essays from her life experiences, will be available November 17, 2009. She has lectured throughout the New York area and has appeared as a guest on public television and radio. She currently lives with her family in Westchester, New York, where she is the Chaplain to the Rye Fire Department.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of the best books I have ever read having to do with comfort, grief, and facing the big questions in life. Ms. Raynor writes in a way that instantly draws you in but gives you space to have your own feelings. Although she leads us into difficult territory, she does so with a grace that makes it safe - ultimately bringing us to a place of hope. I highly recommend it for people who are searching regardless of faith tradition or spiritual perspective. It will be my favorite gift to give this year!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was moved to tears before I ever got through the first essay.

Before I get in to the book review, I must tell a brief story about how I came upon this book. I am a perspective divinity school student who is interested in becoming a hospice chaplain. Having no connections to anyone in the field, I have been desperately searching for books that might provide insight into divinity school and chaplaincy. I was ecstatic when I found Rev. Raynor's autobiography, Incognito, which documents her journey through divinity school.

I was enormously disappointed by Incognito, because I did not find what I was looking for - namely, information on the specifics of divinity school - the application process, the courses, the daily schedule, maybe a few tips on how to structure my personal statement...I mean, I was expecting very specific things. In frustration, I returned the book and wrote a horrible, mean review here on Amazon.

Surprisingly, and to my utter despair, Rev. Raynor saw this review, and commented: "would love to have a conversation with you." My heart sank when I saw that comment. There is no worse feeling. "Oh great," I thought, "I done pissed off a priest." Flabbergasted, I incoherently explained with a comment reply, saying that my review was not aimed at her personally (but c'mon, it's an autobiography for gods sake) and that I was sorry if I hurt her feelings.

I didn't know what I was expecting - maybe she would just ignore me. Maybe she would reply back with some subtle jab at my apparent insecurity and dismay. Instead, Rev. Raynor replied with a recommendation of this book, saying I might like it better. She told me that in it, she detailed her experience as a hospice chaplain, her work at Ground Zero and her battle with breast cancer.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is such an intelligent, spiritual and inspiring read. The introduction itself is worth the price of the book. Throughout the book the reader finds the wisdom gained from actual experience in the arena, as well as thoughtful and wise reflection on her experiences. This, coupled with her skilled writing, makes the book a blessing. This book has inspired personal reflection about my everyday experience of God's presence in my life. Her insight about the availability of God's presence to us all is unique and valuable. I read recently that Frederick Buechner was introducing Ms. Raynor at a bookstore signing for "The Voice That Calls You Home," and that is fitting because her writing reminds me of his work. I hope Andrea Raynor continues to write and publish new books. I will purchase all of them. I already include her in my list of favorite authors, along with Mr. Buechner and Barbara Brown Taylor.
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Format: Hardcover
The Voice That Calls You Home: Inspiration for Life's Journeys comes from Reverend Andrea Raynor, whose years as a hospice chaplain allowed her to observe the human spirit and spirituality in the face of death. This collection shares personal stories and offers essays on bringing piece to those crossing over, making for a vivid, inspirational read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just finished reading this book & I absolutely loved it. I knew the author & her family in high school. Andie's book shows that even the strong can get stronger. Things she has seen & gone through....Oh My.......

I highly recommend this book. She is a wife, mother, sister, daughter, cousin & a minister, but this isn't a preachy book. It describes her time working at Ground Zero, her battle with breast cancer & her struggles to make sense of each trial she went through in the most eloquent way I have ever heard. Even if you are a non-believer, I know you will get something out of reading this book.

I am proud to say I knew her "back in the day". Such a talented, strong person. Obviously she hasn't lost her touch. Happy Reading!
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By anonymous on November 13, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book effortlessly soars between tears and laughter, between moments of sublime contact with what is the truest place in us and times of the ego's most outraged posturing. Ms. Raynor's writing causes a sharp intake of breath at some of the scenes (especially the 9/11 images) and then grounds you again in the simple beauty of a child's innocent -- and funny -- comment. I have read it several times but also pick it up to read just a paragraph or two -- it always causes me to reconnect with the unbelievable complexity of life that is, in the end, undeniably beautiful. As a hospice worker, it helps me to keep going, with a deeper love and a deeper grin.
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Format: Paperback
I am not usually the kind of reader who can't put a book down, and this is one that maybe is meant to be read in spurts - a collection of essays works that way, I know. But I can't put this book down! Her stories of her experiences with hospice, at Ground Zero, and in her own life are fascinating. So much to think about, concerning dying and grieving. Well-written, with stories well worth the read!
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