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Changing Habits

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  2,657 Ratings  ·  260 Reviews
A powerful novel of faith and self-discovery follows three very different women--all of whom join an order of nuns, and then leave--as they each embark on extraordinary and emotional journeys to discover their true place in this world and experience the wonders of love. Reprint.
Paperback, 377 pages
Published April 1st 2004 by Mira Books (first published 2003)
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Feb 16, 2012 Dianna rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone who wants to see how it was
Recommended to Dianna by: I am a fan of this author
Shelves: favorites, love
I do not know where to start this review. I already know I am probably going to get some negative feedback, but I really don't care. I am a 65 year old Catholic. I was raised in the church during the time this book is written about. This explains why this religion is almost a thing of the past. The actions of the church is why I stopped going to church and do not believe anything they preached and pounded into our heads. I firmly believe in God, but not the God that they say condemns anyone who ...more
Aug 08, 2014 Marianne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Changing Habits is the 70th stand-alone novel by popular American author, Debbie Macomber. It follows the lives of three women of different ages from their first awareness of a vocation to serve God in the order of St Bridget’s Sisters of the Assumption, through their profession as nuns and their lives in the religious order to their eventual rejection of vows and return to secular life. The period from 1958 to 1972 was a time of great upheaval in the Catholic Church and also saw major changes i ...more
Diane Majeske
May 13, 2012 Diane Majeske rated it really liked it
Angelina, Kathleen and Joanna each had very different reasons for joining St. Bridget's Sisters of the Assumption in the early 1960s. But each was devoted to her faith, and despite the strict, complex rules of the convent and the swirling controversies of the outside world, each stayed true to her call.

But one by one, each woman suffers an unexpected crisis of faith. And ultimately, all three leave the sisterhood for the exciting, confusing world outside the convent walls. It's not an easy choic
Jan 30, 2016 Donna rated it it was amazing
This is a well written, well researched book. I grew up during this time period, and was taught throughout school, largely by nuns. Reading this book gives a clear insight into exactly what these women sacrificed to become nuns, more than I ever realized. It also explains the decline of the profession. The sacrifices and subservience required were too extreme, and led many to question why they were nuns. The book delves into the lives of 3 women who became nuns, became friends, but eventually le ...more
Mary Kenyon
Jun 04, 2016 Mary Kenyon rated it really liked it
I love Debbie Macomber's non-fiction books, but haven 't read a lot of her fiction. I'm guessing she has grown as a writer since this 2003 book was written, and I'm fairly certain there is less sexual content in her later books as she is often referred to as a Christian writer, and this one would definitely not be categorized in that genre. Still mild for a romance. Very intriguing storyline and one I have been curious about since meeting a woman who had once been a nun before she left to get ma ...more
Feb 05, 2009 Tonya rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the first part of the book. I learned about being a nun and even thought the transition from nun to not was interesting. It seemed like she hurried through the end though after having such a rich story in the beginning.
Diane Ferbrache
May 14, 2012 Diane Ferbrache rated it really liked it
Shelves: catholic, nuns
Why would three vital young women choose to enter a convent and take vows of poverty and service? What would make those same three women decide to leave and reenter society? Macomber's novel explores the lives of three young women -- one who becomes a nun against her father's wishes, one who enters the convent after being jilted a month before her wedding, and one who was following the expectations of her family. Their lives intersect, but their stories are really parallel.

Each woman's story is
Mar 17, 2013 Amelia-Irene rated it really liked it
Although this book was written in 2003 (or published anyway), this story line is ending in the 70's, the story line is starting in the late 50's/early 60's when there was so much change coming about in the world, let alone in the Catholic church. The world was changing, the Viet Nam war was gong on and people's attitudes were changing about many things.

I was having to go back to what that time period was like. I admit I was in school during that time, but I also remember the trying time that ma
Mar 27, 2013 Lana rated it really liked it
The time is the late 1960s and early 1970s. Three young women have taken theiir vows to become nuns. But it is a turbulent time in the world and within the Catholic church. This story follows each of the three young women, from their decisions to join an order, to their lives within the order, their growing discontent, and their decisions to rejoin the world. We see these women as individuals, seeing beyond the designation of nun. One will leave for love, one out of grief and despair, and one ou ...more
May 07, 2013 Mayda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
In this abridged audio version, the story moves along rather quickly. Two young women enter the convent, each convinced that she is where God intends her to be, each sure of her vocation. But as the years pass, other circumstances intervene to make them question their conviction to their faith. Macomber does a good job in illustrating the struggles these nuns endure as they make life-changing decisions. She also points out some of the problems that plague the Catholic church. A thought provoking ...more
Sher❤ The Fabulous BookLover
Absolutely beautiful! Macomber is such a great storyteller. They way she wove 3 womens lives was wonderful. I wouldn't have thought I would like a "nun" novel but I did. I loved hearing about the church, a nuns life and just the way things were then. There were accurate accounts and it almost felt like a true story. In a weird way this book brought me closer to Jesus. Sometimes the norm, and rituals are not what God requires of us. He requires obiedience and a willing heart. Once again, Debbie M ...more
Aug 04, 2009 Denise rated it really liked it
Well, I guess I re-read this book as it was already in "My Books" but I honestly did not remember the book at all. Go figure.

Having been raised Catholic, I really enjoyed this story about 3 women who became nuns but later left the sisterhood. Each woman had a different experience and reason for becoming a nun and all three had different reasons for leaving.

I learned a lot about what it takes to become a nun. I know I would have never made it!

I enjoyed the book and would recommend it.
Feb 03, 2012 Joanie rated it it was amazing
This book is about 3 women who became nuns-Angelina who left her father and his Italian restaurant-Kathleen who left working at her uncle's "pub" and Joanna who was almost married to a Viet Nam veteran. Kathleen left the convent after being accused of taking money from the church. Joanna ended up taking a leave of absence to sort her feelings out. Angelina's father came one day to the convent and insisted on taking his daughter back home even though the Sister Superior was not going to allow it. ...more
Feb 29, 2012 Deyanne rated it it was ok
Shelves: beach-read
Someone loaned me this last night as the first book that got her "hooked" on reading Debbie Macomber. Well, it didn't "hook" me. I hope that the author has grown in her writing abilities in the last twenty years. This was adolescent at best but even poor if the intended audience was teens. Must confess...I didn't read every word, but I stretched to even read as much as I did.

Oh, well. Wonder what will drop into my life next.
Jan 18, 2011 Brenda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of 3 young girls who joined a Catholic convent in the late 1960's. Within 10 years, one by one the nuns leave the order ... due to circumstances occurring within the Catholic Church and within their own secluded lives. The author took alot of time and effort pulling the reader into each of the girl's lives. Great story ... and I even learned a little bit (coming from a former Catholic turned Baptist)!
Oct 11, 2009 Maria rated it it was ok
This was an ok book. Too much sexual reference. It was interesting to learn some things I didn't know about the Catholic Church. It's about 3 girls who become nuns for different reasons and then they later end up leaving the order. Not sure how I feel about that but can understand their desire to marry and have a family. Kind of a weird book for me.
Monica Gearhart
Feb 03, 2017 Monica Gearhart rated it it was amazing
This book was definitely different then the others. First off, there was sex before marriage. Most of the other books by Debbie Macomber hint about them wanting it but not until after marriage. I wasn't sure how this book was going to be since it was ladies becoming nuns, but I rather enjoyed it. I hope other books by her are not predictable like some of the series are becoming.
Paula Dembeck
Dec 10, 2016 Paula Dembeck rated it it was ok
The time is the late fifties and early sixties, the place a Minneapolis convent. Readers get to glimpse what life was like in a convent during that time and what young girls endured to become a nun. I am not a Catholic and I was shocked to learn what went on behind those walls, how young girls in their teens were humiliated and forced to obey rules which made no sense but ensured they would do as they were told with no questions asked.

The novel follows three young women, Kathleen, Angelina and
Jeanine Lent
Jan 17, 2016 Jeanine Lent rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-drama
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. The author has such a gift for writing stories about women, their lives, their struggles & successes, their loves & families. This particular story was about 3 women, Angelina, Kathleen & Joanna. Each woman became a nun & eventually may or may not leave the convent. The book is broken into several segments. We first see them as young girls, growing up in the 1950s & 60s. In those years, it was not uncommon for girls who were raised Roman Catho ...more
Jul 14, 2010 Drebbles rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
Angelina Marcello, Kathleen O'Shaughnessy, and Joanna Baird all had different reasons for becoming nuns but all shared one thing in common - their love of God and their faith. Nothing about their journey into sisterhood is easy and it is a continual struggle for all three to remain nins in a changing world. All of them will eventually leave the sisterhood, again for different reasons and all must adjust to a world they have long been sheltered from.

“Changing Habits” is a different type of book f
Feb 14, 2017 Barbi rated it really liked it
This was a very interesting book and not one that I am used to reading.
This book focuses around 3 women, Kathleen, Joanna, and Angelina. It goes through their lives from teenagers to nuns to life after being a nun. It was neat to see them going through things like women's rights, Vietnam and life in general.
I loved that there were Bible verses throughout the book.
A. R.
Nov 19, 2012 A. R. rated it liked it
I was particularly interested in this book because I attended a catholic school from kindergarten through high school. And even though I wasn't catholic, at one time I also wanted to be a nun. (I think it had something to do with wanting to be a teacher.) So I found the background stories of the three women in this book intriguing. I was extremely interested in why they chose to join a religious order and what their lives were like once they did.

I don't know how accurate the portrayal was, but i
Apr 09, 2012 Mina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Story of three women and their separate journeys into, and eventually out of, the convent during the 50s, 60s, and 70s. I liked each story individually, and it was also interesting to read what it may have been like to be so connected to the Catholic Church during that time of social change. I thought the 3 main characters were well developed and likeable. I really enjoyed this book.

But the VERY end sent this down from a 4 star to a 3 star rating. These stories were largely NOT intertwined, alth
Dec 09, 2007 Michelle rated it liked it
Changing Habits
Debbie Macomber
365 pages

They were sisters once.

Almost forty years ago, in a more innocent time, two girls enter the convent. Angelina and Joanna come from vastly different backgrounds, but they have one thing in common -- a desire to serve, to join in the community of sisters.

Despite the relative seclusion of the convent house in Minneapolis, they're not immune to what's happening in the world around them. In 1972 Angie's involvement with a pregnant teenager triggers a cris
May 03, 2014 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Is it more stressful to enter a convent or more stressful to leave one? This question is probably not answered in this book. However, this fictional account of three young women entering an order and then eventually leaving it was compelling reading. It was so interesting to see both the maturity and immaturity of these women as they grappled with their faith and their future. I really liked the final chapter in that all three of the women concluded that there was something of incredible value t ...more
April Suter
Oct 30, 2011 April Suter rated it really liked it
Continuing my Debbie Macomber book-a-thon. I think I have read this before, but I enjoyed it again. I have however think I'm in a rut, I have given way too may 4's in a row.

Anyway Debbie did well writing this novel, which has a strand of history throughout. It also challenges you to stand by your faith and support what you believe with the Bible. The story is about three young ladies who choose to become a bride of Christ and become Catholic nuns. Angelina leaves her father and Italian restauran
Jan 19, 2011 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having grown up in a Catholic neighborhood in the Northeast I had a "feel" for the Catholic religion, even though this was not what I practiced. This is was attracted me to read this novel as well as the time in history that I could identify. It's a story of 3 young women who enter the convent, leave the convent, and pursue a different life. What I did not know was the customs of a convent - "Custody of Eyes" where they were to keep their eyes lowered - especially around men, every day they were ...more
Apr 27, 2010 Janne rated it liked it
Another good book - very different from the Blossom Street series, but the same attention to detail!
I'm not Catholic and I learned some things about that religion.. I think the book was interesting and informative about Nuns - becoming one and what it took to be one during that late 50's to 60's time frame.
The book addressed some negative church issues, but I felt it was respectful and insightful.
One of the things I've never understood about Catholics is the single lifestyle required of priests
Sara Pauff
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This a story of three women who joined the convent for the usual coventional reason, unlucky in love, brainwashed by parents and the pull of a real calling to the service of the church. In th e end they all left for better reasons all having to do with personal decisions.

What I found intriguing about the story was the fact that it took place in the era of dawning feminism and the women's lives change in many ways for that reason. It also spotlights some of the reasons there is a crisis in the Ca
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Debbie Macomber is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and one of today’s most popular writers with more than 200 million copies of her books in print worldwide. In her novels, Macomber brings to life compelling relationships that embrace family and enduring friendships, uplifting her readers with stories of connection and hope. Macomber’s novels have spent over 990 weeks on the New York Times ...more
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