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Seeking Rapture: Scenes from a Woman's Life

3.32  ·  Rating Details ·  117 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews

In this exquisite book of personal reflections on a woman’s life as a child, wife, and mother, Kathryn Harrison, “a writer of extraordinary gifts” (Tobias Wolff), recalls episodes in her life, exploring how the experiences of childhood recur in memory, to be transformed and sometimes healed through the lives we lead as adults. At the heart of S
ebook, 208 pages
Published July 6th 2011 by Random House (first published 2003)
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Ellen Keim
Jun 23, 2013 Ellen Keim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Harrison has a style that is unflinchingly honest; that was obvious in her memoir about her affair with her father (The Kiss). This book is also a memoir of sorts: it doesn't cover all of her life--she doesn't touch on her relationship with her father, for instance--but it does focus on her relationships with her mother, her grandmother and her daughter; i.e., scenes from a woman's life.

I almost didn't finish Seeking Rapture. Sometimes the author's honesty is a little hard to take, especially wh
Natalie Bowers
Jul 24, 2011 Natalie Bowers rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
I don't often read memoirs, mostly because they can be a little too intimate to me. I sometimes feel uncomfortable (in a squicky kind of way that I don't feel when I read fiction) knowing the nitty-gritty, hitherto-private details of real people's lives. Still, I read them occasionally because they are interesting, and I know I should read as widely as possible. Seeking Rapture was one of those memoirs that made me ill at ease. It was very honest, and that was part of the problem. I just didn't ...more
Jan 29, 2015 Audrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fic, american, memoir
Harrison leaves no wound unprobed, no savage glee uncelebrated, no nit unpicked (literally) EXCEPT the part of her life where she had an affair with her own father!!! How could this be left out?! Well, she did write a whole book about the affair. These essays mainly address her life as a daughter/granddaughter, a wife, and mother. That might not sound so riveting by comparison, but Harrison is ruthless, as the subject and as her own chronicler. She unpacks her childhood and her relationship to t ...more
Feb 10, 2013 Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Breathtaking memoir. I read this entire book on my way to England from California and I could hardly put it down. Her writing style is magnetic and her story is very compelling. She writes honestly and sometimes harshly about a life that took her into strange yet beautiful circumstances. Good book for a book club too.
Dec 05, 2009 kathi marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Another book from the author of "The Kiss". I didn't read the book but thumbed through it and read her defending the affair she had with her father. I thought, "no way" I returned it to the library and will not check it out again. I am so glad I didn't buy this book from Amazon !
Feb 02, 2013 Kim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Found the book a bit disjointed, jumping back and forth in time. Also the author's relationship with her mother and grandmother and her lack of self-esteem made for uncomfortable reading at times and I didn't really enjoy the style or the way it was written.
John Youngblood
Oct 05, 2013 John Youngblood rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I so appreciate Kathryn's honesty and writing. Her prose is arresting and inspiring.
Beth Shields-Szostak
first edition, signed by author
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Kathryn Harrison is the author of the novels Envy, The Seal Wife, The Binding Chair, Poison, Exposure, and Thicker Than Water.

She has also written memoirs, The Kiss and The Mother Knot, a travel memoir, The Road To Santiago, a biography, Saint Therese Of Lisieux, and a collection of personal essays, Seeking Rapture.

Ms. Harrison is a frequent reviewer for The New York Times Book Review; her essay
More about Kathryn Harrison...

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