The View from the Monastery
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The View from the Monastery

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  79 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Hundreds of tourists visit Blue Cloud Abbey every year, and many more have read Kathleen Norris's accounts of this South Dakota landmark, but few have seen it as it is portrayed here. Brother Benet demystifies a way of life that, to many, seems harsh and restrictive, but which he shows us can be liberating. The Rule of St. Benedict offers a vision of stability, honesty, te...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published May 24th 1999 by Riverhead Hardcover (first published 1999)
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Leah
I loved this book!! You would think reading about the daily life of a bunch of Benedictine monks in South Dakota would be boring but Brother Benet Tvedten brings humor to the subject. There were moments when I actually laughed out loud reading it. The monks are nothing like I imagined- they are not too different from you and I. I highly recommend this little gem!
Ron
Blue Cloud Abbey opened as a Benedictine monastery in 1950 in the rural community of Marvin, South Dakota - about midway between Sioux Falls and Fargo. The author, Brother Benet Tvedten entered as a novitiate in 1958, shortly after graduating from college. In this gracefully and simply written book about monastery life, Tvedten looks back over a half century that was witness to the sweeping changes ushered in by Vatican II.

He recalls the impact of these changes, when English took the place of La...more
Stephen Brooke
Part personal memoir of a Benedictine monk, part history of the Blue Cloud Abbey, part spiritual guide — ‘The View From a Monastery’ is a gentle, unassuming narrative, frequently amusing, usually interesting. There’s nothing extraordinary here. Don’t expect any particularly deep insights.

But on its own merits and its own modest intentions, it stands up well as a glimpse into a lifestyle most of us don’t really know much about. I’d be hard put to name a better introduction to what makes a monk a...more
Laura
Halfway thru this book i was sure i disliked it and the author. By the end I found myself looking up snippets of stories to share and am ready to loan this out to lots of friends. Brother Benet is just an average guy living in a S. Dakota monastery (for the past 40+ years). i realized he is someone i could confide in without fear of judgement or reprisals.
Fig
Unromantic and lovely.
Richard
This was an easy read. The chapters are short, and they are independent so it's not necessary to read the book cover-to-cover.
As far as content, it was overall very enjoyable. The reader sees a life which few modern Americans experience or understand. I have to admit parts of the book where boring, and I jumped past some chapters; however, I would definitely recommend this book to any reader who has even a slight interest in the subject.
David Peters
Exactly what I was looking for, a nice book that talked about what a monastic life is like. I am fascinated by simple living and a minimalist lifestyle and this is a great place for inspiration. Plus he referenced another book, The Cloister Walk? by Kathleen Norris, that my library also had.
Herb
This was a pretty interesting, sometimes amusing, account of life in a Catholic monastery. The author, a long-time resident of monastic life, describes his life as well as the changes made over time regarding liberalization in modern monastic communities. A comfortable read.
Itai
I woke up at dawn and read this pleasant volume from cover to cover. I came away feeling like the author, Br. Benet Tvedten was an old friend of mine and that I'd been privileged to visit the Benedictine abbey he calls home, Blue Cloud Abbey. http://www.bluecloud.org/
Betty
A delightful view of Blue Cloud Abbey in North Dakota. The monks are truly a motley crew; I expect Brother Benet chose to profile them because they are characters.

Living in a monastery presents real challenges.
Dale
While I must disagree with Mr. Hassler (this is not Seven Storey Mountain for a new generation), this is a wonderful volume of stories from a life-long monk out in a prairie abbey. A joy to read.
Paul
This felt Benedictine, with its thoughtful and devoted practicality and frequent allusions and citations to the Rule of Benedict.
Candace Simar
I loved Brother Tvedten's pithy wit and unique observations. It was a delightful read from beginning to end.
Marianna
The writing doesn't flow at times, but the insight to monastic life is intereting.
Jennifer
A fascinating personal account of life in a modern monastery.
Fig
Unromantic and lovely.
Kimberly
Inspirational and motivating.
Sarah
A very enjoyable read!
Margaret
Margaret marked it as to-read
Jul 25, 2014
Jen
Jen added it
Aug 27, 2014
Marcie
Marcie marked it as to-read
May 16, 2014
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