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Stalking The Divine by Kristin Ohlson

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Review Excerpts

Hartford Courant – December 14, 2003
“In Stalking the Divine, Ohlson’s search unfolds on two tracks. First is her desire to learn what induces women to devote their lives entirely to prayer. But equally compelling – and rewarding –is her personal journey as a ‘long-standing Catholic with a wistfulness for faith'…Although Ohlson is both curious and dubious, she clearly is enchanted with the Poor Clares and their devotion to prayer. For her and the nuns, faith is never automatic. Rather it evolves from silence, openness and a deep desire to encounter the divine.”
-- Bill Williams

Catholic News Service – November 25, 2003
“My job requires me to read a lot of books, and this is simply the best one that I have read in the past 20 years… Stalking the Divine is an exposition of the spiritual life, not only of the sisters but of Ohlson and of whoever reads this fascinating book… Ohlson's account reads like a pilgrimage of discovery both of the lives and vocations of the sisters but also her own call from God as she struggles to encounter God in prayer and belief.
-- Michael Dubruiel

Our Sunday Visitor Magazine – October 2003
“There have been a few books released on the subject [of cloisters] over the past few years, but one of the finest is Stalking the Divine by Cleveland freelance journalist Kristin Ohlson… Her honesty, as well as her appreciation of the unique vocation of the Poor Clares – who sometimes go on the roof of their convent at night, look out at the busy, twinkling lights of the city and answer God's call as they pour out their prayers for all the souls there – is refreshing.”
-- Amy Welborn

Library Journal – October 1, 2003
“Ohlson’s books is notable… for its very spikiness, its refusal to rush to sentimental conclusions… Ohlson’s candor about her own rather languid Catholicism and her moments of boredom and dismay when confronted by some aspects of the Clares’ lives are entirely convincing and winning. She comes away from her visits with the Clares better informed, perhaps wiser, perhaps faintly more faithful – but as much herself as when her journey began. Highly recommended.”

Washington Post – August 17, 2003
“Faith and conviction are the marks of the Catholic women whose stories are ably told by Kristin Ohlson in Stalking the Divine… Ohlson's gracefully written account of the Poor Clares is blended with the narrative of her own search for faith. In the end, does she return to the Catholicism of her childhood? Does she take prayer seriously? Does she, like Balzac's worldly Mme. de Beauseant, bid the good times goodbye and join the convent? Check the final pages to find out.”
-- Colman McCarthy

Rocky Mountain News – August 15, 2003
“Ohlson’s tale is witty and wry, insightful and inspirational - even for the non-Catholic, the non-Christian or those teetering on the heretical… Though Stalking the Divine is interesting for its sketches of St. Paul’s nuns and for its history lessons about St. Clare… it is Ohlson’s humorous and intimate search for faith that gives an erect posture to her story… Ohlson is sincere enough to refrain from placating readers with an ending to her journey or a divine revelation.”
-- L.E. Rich

Booklist – August 2003
“Ohlson was fascinated by the qualities that set [the Poor Clares] apart from the outside world, awed by their seemingly selfless commitment to a higher power. By telling their story she hoped to make sense of her own mixed-up spiritual life… To follow Ohlson as she is allowed into the nuns inner sanctum, as they reluctantly reveal more of themselves and the order, as she discover the meaning of the Poor Clares’ history, as she clarifies her own belief status, is to absorb a quietly moving, surprisingly humorous testament of faith.”
-- June Sawyers

Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) – June 30, 2003
“A longing for belief at midlife has provided endless book material for authors, but Ohlson’s beautiful writing, gritty honesty and parallel story of the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration set this one apart… Ohlson remains insecure about her beliefs, but she finds that the patterns of faith and retreat keep the sparks of her growing faith kindled… Ohlson’s vulnerability about her doubts in the midst of her new commitment will appeal to anyone who has ever yearned to believe.”

Chicago Tribune – June 1, 2003
“One Christmas morning Kristin Ohlson, a journalist and lapsed Christian, happened upon a newspaper ad that mentioned that The Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration would be singing at a downtown Cleveland church… Ohlson was fascinated by these nuns who pray every hour of the day for the sorrows of the world. In this book, she documents her conversations with them and the history of their order, making for a captivating look at a cluster of forgotten women and ultimately a layman’s examination of faith.”
 

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