St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Campbell (The New Faithful: Why Young Adults Are Embracing Christian Orthodoxy, 2002) relates a provocative life story centered on her experiences as a woman in the Catholic church.
Intertwined with the author’s tale is her autobiography as a reader, her experiences with books by and about various saints who have deeply influenced every aspect of her life. Campbell begins with her college years, when she partied hard but knew she wanted more out of life. Starting out as a journalist, she eventually made it to the Beltway as a speechwriter for President George W. Bush. This period in her life was cut short when she left Washington to get married, a decision she describes as having deeply challenged her faith, feminist values and personal pride. The new couple would also face a struggle with infertility, and soon the hope for a child became an all-consuming passion. “Overnight,” she writes, “the imaginary child I had begrudged for cramping my style became the Holy Grail.” This stress was coupled with her father’s swift slide into Alzheimer’s, a struggle Campbell recounts with palpable emotion. While still grieving her father’s death, the author found out she was pregnant with twins; her pregnancy became a harrowing experience from beginning to end. Throughout the book, Campbell describes how various women saints helped her understand her situation and move ahead. In deciding on whether or not to move to Washington, Mary Faustina Kowalska’s journal helped her to have total trust in God. When struggling with infertility, Edith Stein’s works convinced Campbell to use her maternal gifts to make the world a better place.
A charming and instructive communion with saintly sisters.