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3.73  ·  Rating details ·  265 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
An NPR commentator's story of an unlikely epiphany and the healing power of faith. After years of sleeping around, working as a waitress, and suffering booze-induced blackouts, Heather King settled into sobriety, marriage, and a financially lucrative but unfulfilling career in a Beverly Hills law firm. As someone who had reached middle age "never believing in much of anyth ...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published February 14th 2008 by Viking Books (first published 2008)
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Rating details
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Aug 15, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had such high hopes for this book! I had read one of King's essays in The Sun magazine's "The Mysterious Life of the Heart," and then I heard that she was a commentator on NPR. Finally, reviews of the book compared her to Anne Lamott, and compared the book itself to "Eat, Pray, Love." How in God's name could it go so very very wrong???

This was nothing like Anne Lamott and nothing like "Eat, Pray, Love." The book begins with an almost-proselytizing preface in which the author explains that Jesu
Marie Geisel
This book was an interesting memoir and the author was brave to share her story. However, I had some major issues with the book. Firstly, the author used the "R" word to refer to a presumably developmentally delayed co-worked. Perhaps this was considered less of an issue in 2008 but that alone soured the book for me.

Secondly, I felt that King was poorly formed in Catholic Faith and there were some glaring issues with her theology. She put the writing of Thomas Keating on the same plane as St. J
Jul 24, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is an amazing and interesting book. This story of one woman's spiritual journey, and the then her subsequent writing journey, made a huge impact on me. I kept writing down quotes that struck me so much - ex:

"I was stowing all those details away... like a seed storing sunlight... it had been a long, long winter, and though I didn't know it yet, I was biding my time for Spring."

and: "The opposite of holding onto control isn't letting go - it's participating in something that is bigger than ou
inspiring. comforting. very genuine and down to earth. alternately funny and moving. in the vein of anne lamott. i love spiritual journey books from people who are not in the saint category and reveal that the path towards holiness is for all of us.
Sep 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After leaving behind the alcoholism described in her first book, Heather King marries and moves out to L.A. where she starts working as a lawyer. Then she becomes Catholic and a lot of life happens. Her father dies. She quits lawyering and starts writing. She gets divorced.

It's a rich, reflective book full of the kinds of details and lessons to be found in any personal conversion story. I'd refer to more details except I've already passed my copy along. Instead here are a couple things that I'll
Dec 22, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Another in my recent spate of spiritual memoir reading, this was a choppy collection of anecdotes about the writer's journey into Catholicism. It was also about alcoholism and breast cancer, and while the individual chapters have some nice moments, on the whole, the book did not hang together for me and felt more like an assemblage of short essays. Her idea of religion is very strident and strict, and sometimes this made her come across as extremely judgmental. Again, however, there are some nic ...more
Aug 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not usually into memoirs, but I'd recommend this one as an honest and intimate look at the difference faith makes in the way one relates to the world. From her recovery from alcoholism to her short-lived career as a high-earning lawyer, her conversion to Catholicism and journey as a writer, Heather King's insights break the mold in terms of your typical conservative vs. liberal discussions of Catholicism and the Church, with an honesty that I find refreshing. Finally, there's very much an el ...more
Dec 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heather King so beautifully describes our journey discovering God's grace and our true identity. Having read her memoir, Parched, I could deeply feel her desire for a new identity and experienced her a-ha moments with her, reminiscing of my own changes and insights when I was a new Christian.

I loved especially that King is Catholic, which for Christians can sometimes come with the assumption that they lack of a personal relationship with Jesus. King is honest, direct, and genuine, giving the re
Brendan Hodge
Jan 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heather King's second memoir, Redeemed, picks up where Parched left off, after she has gone sober. Redeemed focuses on King's search for peace in a life after alcohol and describes her marriage, legal career, her turn to professional writing and her conversation to Catholicism. Movingly written, it is more theme driven than plot driven, more focused on her quest for meaning than on a "what happened next" narrative. In the process, King addresses themes such as the meaning of humility and the ess ...more
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heather King's very personal essays work beautifully to form an interesting memoir. I really admire King for having the courage to say no to both a legal career and cancer treatment. Perhaps she'd say that saying no to addiction was more important. King is a very intelligent reader and uses her insights from authors she loves throughout the book. My friends here in Georgia like her because she really understands Flannery O'Connor, our great fiction writer.
Kirk Duckers
An interesting follow-up to King's first book, Parched, but not quite as engaging. I appreciated that she carried some of the later information from her last book into the discussion of why she started this journey towards a spiritual life and a search for God in her life, but it started to fizzle out a bit around 3/4 of the way through the book. I do appreciate her prose style because it is smooth; I also relate to much of her journey, especially in her first book.
Looking for sweet spirituality, an affirmation that your bourgeois life is good enough, or preacher lies to warm your toes? Keep moving. This book is NOT for you. Instead, King gives us herself (in all of her messy humanity) in confrontation with the merciful face of Jesus Christ. I'm just a few chapters in, but looking forward to reading more tomorrow.
Mar 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christianity
I'd first read another of King's books, Shirt of Flame, and liked it very much. This is the author's story of her recovery from alcoholism and finding God and the Church. There are a few points of Church teaching on which she puts her own interpretations, but overall it's a beautiful journey to read.
Mar 27, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
I can't say that I was very keen on this book. King is rigid, self-absorbed, and while she does try to be funny about it (shades of Anne Lamott) she fails miserably. She discusses her conversion and faith journey in small vignettes, and the stories do not tie together well. Overall, a bit of a dud, I'd say.
Emilia P
Pretty serviceable.
I think maybe it would have helped to have read Parched first.
The religion stuff didn't really feel integrated with the memoir except for maybe the fact that she is sort of a lonely lady and there is some holiness to that. Some good,insightful, and shockingly intimate stuff about suffering and dying though. Hm.
Diana Irvine
Apr 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"We live in a society that glorifies autonomy. But autonomy doesn't free us from bondage to ourselves and our desires--humility does."

At first, I found Heather King's writing style annoying. But I was miles from home and this was my reading choice as I awaited my fate as a prospective juror. The quote above hooked me. I enjoyed her experiences, her insights, and her refreshing honesty.
Apr 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. Even if one has not been through the alcoholism and loss that the author has experienced, I believe that everyone has struggles in their life and many find peace in God and the church as the author did with Catholicism.
Nov 13, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I admire her enthusiasm for her new found faith but it was a little silly at times and she contradicted herself. Now, I am not saying there isn't room in religion for a little good hearted contradiction but in this case it sort of put me off.
Jul 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am so impressed by Heather King's writing. She is funny and brave and incredibly honest, and you don't have to share her beliefs to be enriched by her story. Read Parched too if you haven't. She's a wonderful writer and it is an amazing story.
I read it too quickly, but, from what I gathered, Ms. King is a woman that uses the examples given to her through life experience and the Catholic Church's teachings to deal with her own emotional and interpersonal problems.
May 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As someone who grew up Catholic, but drifted away from the church as I got older, I really enjoyed this book. The author describes how her newfound faith helped her through a bout with cancer and divorce. A good book to read if you are questioning your faith or spirituality.
Oct 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality
A beautifully spiritual memoir, rooted in a deep love of God and the suffering and difficulties of everyday life. Honest, compassionate, and uplifting.
More like talking to a friend than reading a memoir. Inspiring though.
Trish Ryan
Jun 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an amazing book: funny, touching, honest. And King can really write...her pages pulled me in and made me skip things like dinner and sleep.
Colleen Duggan
Loved some of her insights but can't recommend it because she missed the boat in her discussion on abortion.
Tim Lozier
Jun 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved her first memoir, Parched, and so far this one is wonderful!!
May 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed her writing style... very much like Anne Lamott... though not as funny. oh well. Still a lot of salient points made! looking forward now to reading her book about money.
Jackie M
Dec 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This woman speaks clearly to me
Moira Russell
Her sobriety memoir was great, but this was plain awful.
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Heather King is an essayist, memoirist, and blogger. Raised on the coast of New Hampshire, she struggled with alcoholism for many years, got sober in 1987, and converted to Catholicism in 1996.

She is the author of nine books of essay and memoir, and has recorded over 30 slice-of-life commentaries for National Public Radio's "All Things Considered."

She also speaks nationwide, writes a weekly arts
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