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Stalking the Divine

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  156 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
One lonely Christmas morning, Kristin Ohlson wandered into a downtown Cleveland church for mass. Once there, she was moved by the traditions of her childhood, but more than that, her curiosity was captured by a group of cloistered nuns. They were the Poor Clares a tiny, threadbare congregation of elderly nuns with one mission: to pray day and night for the sorrows of the w ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published December 28th 2004 by Plume (first published 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 357)
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Aug 31, 2014 Caren rated it liked it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
I picked up this book because I recently read an interesting essay written by Kristin Ohlson and thought I'd like to see what else she had written. (The essay, by the way, about memories in childhood, is here: )

From the cover, I see that this book won an American Society of Journalists & Authors Nonfiction Book award. The book was published more than ten years ago (in 2003). The author, who had been raised Catholic, had moved away from any church-going
Nov 16, 2012 Jen rated it really liked it
I am not at all above checking out and reading books solely based on their titles or illustrations. This is a memoir, of sorts, mixed with a telling of the history of the Poor Clare order. Ohlson recounts her own various encounters of stalking faith (this really is quite a good description of it) after having stumbled into a Christmas Mass looking for something rather less tangible in her life. She works with and interviews the nuns of the convent, trying to use their faith to construct any of h ...more
Feb 13, 2012 Beryl rated it really liked it
Kristin Ohlson stumbled onto the Poor Clares at just the right moment. It was Christmas morning and she was feeling bereft. A former Catholic who no longer believed in God, she impulsively decided to attend Mass at a church where she could hear the Poor Clares singing. Thus begins this intriguing saga of a search for faith and a newspaper story.

I would call this Divine Providence. Others might call it serendipity. Ohlson needed inspiration, and the Poor Clares needed the attention her journalis
Jul 03, 2009 MichelleMarie rated it liked it
This book was not at all what I expected but I enjoyed it just the same. Rather than being didactic it was more of a personal journey of an ex-catholic returning to faith.
More than anything I enjoyed the glimpse into the lives of the Poor Clares. I often tell my husband that if I didn't have him or children I would become a nun. Learning about their (often very strict ways) fascinates me... alientating themselves from the world in order to be more intimate with God. The Poor Clares are especial
Lisa Lewis
One day in Goodwill this book jumped off the shelf at me. Not literally, but the subtitle, "Contemplating faith with the Poor Clares" caught my attention. Having only recently learned of this order of Catholic nuns, a female branch of the Fransiscans (some of my favorite religious order folks), I was curious to learn more.
The book is partly a somewhat typical spiritual memoir, with the author describing her process of seeking God and maybe, but not quite, finding Him. The really interesting qual
Jan 06, 2013 Jennifer rated it really liked it
While Stalking the Divine offers readers a glimpse of the secret lives of cloistered nuns, this book is just as much about author Kristin Ohlson's search for authentic faith. She certainly doesn't try to hide that.

I found Ohlson's honesty refreshing. As a Christian, I appreciate occasional reminders about how devotion to God and Jesus Christ appears to folks who arenât quite as sure as I like to think I am. Truth is, we all have room to grow in our knowledge, understanding and experience of fait
Mar 17, 2008 Kate rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: someone interested in cloistered nuns
Shelves: memoirs
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 20, 2009 Havilah rated it liked it
I have always been fascinated by religion, so I knew that I would be interested in a book that delves into faith, especially that of an order of nuns that are as devout as these. I really enjoyed the book. There were parts that started to lose me, but for the most part it was an interesting look at woman who give up their lives for their faith and who devote themselves to praying for all of us. Even while I write this, the nuns of this order are praying for me and you. Interesting...
Bethany McKay
Jan 07, 2014 Bethany McKay rated it really liked it
"Stalking the Divine" wasn't what I expected, but it was a well-written book. As a journalist and Catholic, I partially related to Kristin. I love how she tied in her feelings bad perspectives, the stories of the nuns and some history and book quotes. If you ever questioned your Catholic faith or upbringing, I think "Stalking the Divine" is a good read.
Jan 23, 2009 Anne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of a lapsed Catholic unexpectedly rediscovering her faith when she stumbles upon the Saint Paul Shrine, a little-known cloister of Poor Clare nuns in Cleveland. The story is intriguing both as an exploration of faith (what is faith, and how does one find it in oneself?) and as a study of the cloister. The mini-profiles of some of the sisters and what brought them to the monastery in the first place is fascinating.
Melissa Henderson
May 09, 2015 Melissa Henderson rated it really liked it
I was mostly fascinated by the nuns' stories, and how a vocation could be decades in the making.
Sep 29, 2014 Katherine rated it liked it
I've seen this book on my parents' bookshelf for years and was inspired to pick it up and read it thanks to a recent visit to a Cistercian Monastery. I am fascinated by the lives of those who've devoted themselves to God, and this memoir/investigative journalism piece provided a window into an order of religious women that I hadn't heard of before, the Poor Clares.
Julie M
Nov 09, 2010 Julie M rated it liked it
Good glimpse of this Order of 'Poor Claires' - nuns in Cleveland who spend their entire existence in prayer for the world--that is their only calling. As far as the author's search to recapture her own spirituality, well, that's HER journey -- I was unintentionally less interested in THAT as I neared the end of this book.
Nov 15, 2007 Catherine rated it liked it
Kristin Ohlson shares her experiences interviewing the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration, a group of cloistered nuns in Cleveland. Unfortunately, I didn't really learn very much about the subjects, other than the obvious, which was the Poor Clare's love and devotion to God.
Apr 25, 2008 Michelle rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-books
It's a book about nuns and their austere life, which is so not what I'm about, and yet I found myself drawn to it and drawn to the simplicity that they found for themselves. It was very well crafted, and I felt like a better person after I read it.
May 26, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
A memoir of the author's crisis of faith interwoven with the history of the Poor Clares, a group of nuns, interwoven with stories of a group of Poor Clares living in Cleveland.
May 03, 2008 Natasha is currently reading it
i'm only a couple of chapters in , but so far i like it because i can relate to this author's feeling of being both inextricably connected to and hopelessly alienated from faith.
Aug 10, 2007 Christy rated it really liked it
This book follows one woman's search for understanding and meaning. It's not overtly or annoyingly religious, but explores the theme of spirituality and faith.
Mar 06, 2011 Cindy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Mediocre account of local author's research into the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration, at St. Paul's at East 40th and Euclid Avenus.
Kristin Ohlson studies the Poor Clares and her outsider/insider views of religion and spirituality bring a new perspective.
Jan 02, 2011 Teddie rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. The author writes well and I felt as if I knew this sisters by the way the author wrote.
Aug 18, 2011 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, religion, catholic
I appreciate honesty, and the author of this book was honest in her belief and struggle with belief.
Feb 06, 2010 Lauren rated it really liked it
Shelves: impactful
I loved this and read it when Kristen was still on Readerville. Great book.
Feb 02, 2010 Amy rated it it was amazing
Humorous and real.... oved this read!
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