The Cloister Walk Review
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It’s not your typical spiritual path. Kathleen Norris, who had grown up Protestant but then left church for years, tells in this meditative memoir how she rediscovered Christian faith through Benedictine monks, having found herself staying at a monastery in Minnesota for two extended stays.

She brings a unique perspective to this book as the seemingly most unlikely of monastery guests—a poet and a married woman with a strong Protestant background and a lot of doubt. She becomes what she calls a Benedictine Presbyterian—she joins the monastery as an oblate, which is a layperson associated with the monastery.

In this New York Times best-selling book, Norris tells in dense poetic prose about what she’s learned from the profoundly coun
ter-cultural world of the monastery—about liturgy, about prayer, about discipline, about living in community, and about the values and difficulties of celibacy. She discusses the role of monasteries in today’s culture and the tension between faith and doubt and mystery. Kathleen brings her excellent writing skills and poetic perspective to an often-overlooked subject.

This book is well worth the read, though its rich prose may make you want to read short sections at a time to give you an opportunity to savor the language and digest the ideas.

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