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Redeemed: Stumbling Toward God, Sanity, and the Peace That Passes AllUnderstanding Paperback – January 27, 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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  • Redeemed: Stumbling Toward God, Sanity, and the Peace That Passes AllUnderstanding
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Editorial Reviews

Review

aThis memoir deserves to be as popular as Elizabeth Gilbertas . . . "Eat, Pray, Love,"a
a"The Boston Globe"
aAs honest and raw as the model of the spiritual memoir, the "Confessions, /I> of St. Augustine.a
a"Los Angeles Times"

"This memoir deserves to be as popular as Elizabeth Gilbert's . . . "Eat, Pray, Love"."
-"The Boston Globe"

"As honest and raw as the model of the spiritual memoir, the "Confessions, /I> of St. Augustine."
-"Los Angeles Times"

About the Author

An attorney turned writer and Catholic convert, Heather King is a commentator for NPR’s All Things Considered and a communicant at St. Basil’s Church in Koreatown, Los Angeles. She is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Parched, the story of her struggle with alcoholism. Her writing has appeared in, among other places, The Utne Reader, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, and the Best American Spiritual Writing anthologies. She lives in Los Angeles, California.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (January 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143115065
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143115069
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #398,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Thomas M. Loarie VINE VOICE on November 8, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In "Redeemed," NPR commentator and Catholic author Heather King offers us a deeply personal and revealing story of her journey from darkness to light, from the edge of death to joy. King's childhood included Sundays at the Congregational Church; her experience with God and religion taught her "to be good" and "He won't hurt you." With time, she grew up not believing in much of anything and stood against God in general and all churches on principle. She avoided God and until age 34, her life consisted of dark barrooms, chain smoking, and men - a life filled with depression, loneliness, boredom, and anxiety.

Then, one day, while in Nashville, she had an experience that caused her to fall to her knees and feel repentance, "the Prodigal Daughter returning home." While the book is filled with each step of the process, she brilliantly shares her inner self, her humanness, and insights revealed on her journey, including:

* God - those who do not believe in God are very invested in how smart they are
* Christ - came to address the deepest mystery of humankind - the mystery of suffering
* the Eucharist - if we do not come through Christ, in contact with Him - which is the reality of my broken self, and my broken brothers and sisters -then we will miss the greatest gift He left for us
* the Catholic Church - previously, Catholicism was unthinkable, taboo
* the Virgin Mary - gave her life completely to serve God
* sex - sacred
* the human body - a temple
* abortion - a terrible wound to the Mystical Body of Christ as a result of deep spiritual poverty
* addiction - a symptom of a soul divided deeply against itself: of mental, emotional, and, above all, spiritual conflict

And there is much more...
Read more ›
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After devouring "Parched," I inhaled "Redeemed." Heather King is a beautiful writer - vulnerably honest, extremely generous and highly intelligent. Her main thesis - that we are lonely and immensely loved - will resound deeply with vulnerable and lonely readers, i.e. absolutely everyone. Discussing this book with a friend, we both agreed that "Redeemed" is a soothing balm for today's prilgrim souls.
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Her explanation of why she ultimately embraced Christianity (Catholicism) really resonated with me. As a highly skeptical, agnostically-inclined, rebellious type (like King), I never stopped to consider that the message of Christianity (which in my opinion has been totally usurped by self-righteous, pious, intolerant crazies for political purposes) might actually hold special meaning for those who constantly struggle with faith and the big questions about what it all means. In other words, her writing, so full of honestly and humility, helped me to see that maybe this faith does not demand of us perfect purity and unwavering certainty in all our beliefs but, like the prodigal son, that we just drag our broken, arrogant, skeptical selves "home" and knock on the door already! King reminds me, in some ways, of Anne LaMott, in that her writing is full of hope in the face of overwhelming uncertainty and explains in such an accessible way how her faith, while embracing the mysterious and eternal, still remains relevant and practical in today's world.
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Heather King is the one repentant sinner spoken of the gospel of Luke and we get to see her happiness in being redeemed. She has descended into some deep spiritual darkness and writes for us about that journey so we don't have to go make that descent ourselves. The book is that most excellent of autobiographies where the author knows there are boring parts to skip over and parts where each detail seems like a fresh discovery. It is so sincere that I realized I'm not as honest with myself as she is with her readers. After you finish reading this, you will take the pledge to read everything she has written or will write.
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Heather King's Redeemed is not only a delightful read by an author with a highly engaging voice, but also a remarkably honest tale of Christian discovery and growth. I've read a lot of memoirs of faith, many of them good, but King's is uniquely vulnerable and raw. Her story is not one of escape to an exotic place or higher spiritual plane, but rather the story of her very earthly battles with issues (including money, marriage, cancer, and death) and the way in which God meets her in these struggles. As a writer, I have the utmost respect for King's craft. As a fellow believer, I have the utmost respect for the humility that allowed her to write in such vivid honesty about her brokenness and the faith that sustains her in it.
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This a very touching story of how God can reach down and touch even the most hopeless case. I highly recommend it for anyone especially those who think God cannot reach down and touch them. It shows how God's providence can work in otherwise hopeless lives.
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This is an easy read that touches upon spirituality in a gentle way. It provides you a peek at a writer who is also an alcoholic stumbling back to the Catholic church. I am none of these but after a recent family death, it kept me going. And I have even since attended church, gone to alanon and started writing.
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