Saturday, February 23, 2013

My Sisters the Saints

I recently finished the book My Sisters the Saints: A Spiritual Memoir by Colleen Carrol Campbell, the first book I chose from my earlier What I Want to Read post. And what a book it was! I loved it.

My Sisters the Saints is the story of Colleen's life beginning in college until about her mid-thirties. During that time she faces many struggles including overcoming the emptiness of living a lifestyle focused on temporal pleasures, her father's more than a decade long struggle with Alzheimer's disease, searching for what it truly means to be feminine and how that affects work/life choices, as well as a long, difficult struggle with infertility. Throughout this time she discovers the lives of 6 different women saints who show up in her life (usually in the form of a book given to her) at just the time she needs them. Through their life stories she discovers insights into how to deal with the very real difficulties she was then facing. For instance, the father of St. Therese of Lisieux also battled and died from Alzheimer's. The example of a very holy woman facing the exact same cross in her life provided unmeasurable consolation and strength for Colleen as she watched her dad's condition slowly degenerate. You'll be inspired, as well, by Colleen's dad himself. If I can be a parent to my children the way her dad was to his and suffer with as much love and dignity as he did, then I know I will have done well and pleased God with my life.

This book is very well written, seamlessly weaving the details of the lives of saints into the narrative and making Colleen's personal struggles come alive. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and often had a hard time putting it down so that I could get some sleep. I very highly recommend it!