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Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession Paperback – March 9, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
CALLED OUT OF DARKNESS opens with the quote "This book is about Faith in God." Rice goes on to present her story, beginning with her childhood, after indicating that she had lost her faith for many years and reclaimed it again at age 57. Born with the unfortunate name of Howard Allen --- she changed it to Anne at an early age --- she lived with her family in a very Catholic section of New Orleans. Her upbringing was extremely Catholic and exclusionary of anything outside this teaching. She was in awe of Catholic churches and held those in authority in the highest regard without questioning anything she was taught or told.
The Catholic world Rice knew was one where priests were esteemed and respected with never any word of scandal surrounding them. During her youth, it was a time when the Catholic Church was deeply respected in America; as she puts it, the Catholic Church was "a cultural force." Living in the Deep South, she recognized that the people in her community were vigorously racist, even though her parents were not. They all accepted segregation as something that had to exist.Read more ›
As a professional writer for more than 30 years, and an avid reader since childhood, it is rare that I take the time to reread novels or non-fiction books. Reading and research have always been one of my most treasured activities -- and I do not make my choices lightly.
Brought up as a Lutheran, I, too, separated from the church during college -- primarily when I discovered that the minister I had grown up with, who taught me the Catechism, performed my confirmation and presented me with my first communion -- had been sexually abusing both young girls and boys in my own confirmation class and had continued to do so for years. When the abuse was discovered in my freshman year, the church simply sent him (and his wife and three children) on to another church in another state. I was appalled! Although my parents tried to explain to me that the pastor was only human and that it should not affect my faith in Christ -- I literally "threw the baby out with the bath water."
But I was also quite miserable -- I had lost something very precious and felt myself floundering, trying to figure out what, if anything, I had to hold on to. I spent many years trying to find answers in many places. Finally, I decided that I did believe -- but could never find a church I could adhere to. And the doubts persisted.
Now in my mid-fifties, I have spent the last few years fascinated with the life of Christ -- and my library reflects that fact.Read more ›
Unfortunately, I ended up rather disappointed in this effort. The majority of the book is made of childhood reminiscences, mostly of the physical details of churches she attended. My guess is trying to recapture those childhood feelings probably led to her returning to the church, but the reminiscences really just weren't all that interesting. I'm sure they were to her, but unfortunately she really wasn't able to communicate that to the reader. You'd think such an acclaimed writer as Rice would have done a better job.
In fact, a lot of the writing seemed rather flat and low-key, even a little offhand. I'm not sure if this reflected her conversion, the very different subject matter, or perhaps a simple need to make some money. I'd even go so far as to say there was some real blunting of affect throughout the book, which I found rather strange.
Her life as an atheist and a writer of semi-occult subjects gets very short shrift. I would have really liked to have seen more on her thoughts about how these two lives of hers interact and intersect. It's quite a leap between the two. You'd think that would have been the main topic of the book, actually.
I also thought her many personal tragedies - including the deaths of her mother (to "the drink"), young daughter, and husband, as well her own brush with death through a diabetic coma - would have merited more attention. Those are the things that real conversions are made of, in my mind.
I am happy I read the book, though, and did get quite a lot out of it. (I also thinks she sounds like an interesting person whom I'd love to talk to and get to know.) It just seems the book could have been so much more.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I did not like this book. I have never read any of Anne Rice's books before but as a Catholic I was interested in why she left the church and why she came back. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Debbie Faulkner
Had read this before and enjoyed it once again. Roman Catholic so can relate to all. Thanks Anne for sharing your story! God's peace.Published 3 months ago by Eunice T
not impressed with this author. Too much detail to wade thru. Good story tho.Published 3 months ago by Lois A. Crawford
a good book for any one who loves anne rice she is a wonderful writer an she has a way of capturing u into what she is telling uPublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Just wanted to know where this great author had come from and her life story. Interesting.Published 6 months ago by Linda Ashleigh