Willie Krischke's Reviews > Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life

Acedia & Me by Kathleen Norris
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U 50x66
's review
Nov 02, 2009

it was ok

Norris says in the introduction to this book that she's been working on it for a long, long time, gathering materials, reading, and writing. I suspect that what she was waiting for - consciously or intuitively - was an organizing structure. She never found it.

"Acedia & Me" is full of lots of wisdom and reflection on the spiritual problem of depression/apathy/boredom/distraction, as well as a smattering of wonderful quotes and stories from church literature that has been largely forgotten by the church, and stories about her husband's illnesses, and her own battles with depression (etc.) and quotes from modern authors about society's ills, and... anything else that managed to fall into her file marked "Acedia" over the years.

The problem is that it's barely organized at all. And at 327 pages, it's an awful lot of unorganized notes and thoughts. Some things repeat almost verbatim; often variations on the same theme are twenty pages apart. It gets kind of hard to keep plugging through after the first hundred pages or so; while new stuff does turn up now and then, maintaining a sense of progression through the book is almost impossible.

There is an awful lot of great stuff here. Norris has diagnosed a problem in society and written some excellent words of insight and reflection about it.

Too bad she never found that organizing structure.
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