Scott's Reviews > The Cloister Walk

The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris
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Jul 06, 10

Read in June, 2010

Kathleen Norris is a poet and prose author who, in spite of her Protestant religious background, became an Oblate of Saint Benedict, a station of life open to those who want to lead a more prayerful life in a secular world through association with a Catholic, Benedictine monastery.

Chapters are often very short and easily read in less than five minutes. However, I resisted the temptation to sail through several in a single sitting. Norris's sparse prose reveals large ideas. As I have felt many times when reading prose by poets, Norris chooses every word carefully and invests them with import that must be savored, digested, and contemplated.

While some of the writing is feminist and explicitly addressed to women, this is a book for men as well. It is about community, spirituality, endurance, suffering, death, and life (often thematically intermixed and in no particular programmatic order). I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to think about these topics, and who appreciates finding the truth in communities of practice.
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