Nancy's Reviews > Lying Awake

Lying Awake by Mark Salzman
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's review
Jul 11, 2015

really liked it
bookshelves: favorites
Read in November, 2009

When I am wavering between stars, I have decided to rate 'up.' This is a short and rather provocative - in that it is thought-provoking - little read. The story is pretty narrow, in that it is about a Carmelite nun, so there is not a lot of extraneous material, fitting the spare life of the nun. Questions are raised about faith and personal quests to find God. I liked learning about Sister John of the Cross's history, a little about how she came to live the life of a religious, her struggle to find meaning in her service, her openness to the idea of God in everything. Not being Catholic, some of the events had less meaning to me than they probably would to a Catholic, but it was all within reach of my understanding. The idea that the close relationship with God she has finally found - after so many, many years - is probably a result of a kind of epilepsy that can be cured by the removal of a small tumor, raises questions in her of whether she is willing to be healed and thereby give up that relationship that she has given her life for. One of my favorite parts is where the other sisters come to 'watch with her' as she prays to know whether or not to have the surgery.

***Spoiler Alert***
The way the author wrote Sister John's perceptions does not change after the surgery, which leads me to believe that she did not entirely lose the gifts she had been enjoying because of the tumor. But that is an unanswered question and, really, is of less importance than the overall lesson of her life of devotion.

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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Dynamodb (new) - added it

Dynamodb Okay, you made me want to read this one. I will add it to my list. Thanks.

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