Synopses & Reviews
A bestselling memoirist bravely tells the story of the night evil paid her a visit—and how prayer chased evil away
Beverly Donofrio had already lived two lives, first as a scrappy young mother on the streets of the East Village and later as the bestselling author of Riding in Cars with Boys. By the time she reached her fifties, she thought she had seen it all.
Now, even though she was living in a vibrant, picturesque Mexican town, where she practiced yoga, drank margaritas in her backyard, and took salsa lessons, she felt lost and was searching for monasteries to visit. The religious practice that had nourished her for several years had faded. She missed God. Then one night she woke to find a rapist holding a knife to her throat. So begins the memoir that charts Donofrio’s journey—a long and twisting road through denial, mourning, anger, vulnerability, and retreat at five very different monasteries.
Told through Donofrio’s brutally honest, often ribald, emotionally unsparing voice, Astonished is a tender and hopeful narrative of healing and learning to love life again.
Praise for Astonished by Beverly Donofrio:
"As beautiful as it is authentic, Astonished is one of the most compelling, appealing, and instructive spiritual autobiographies I have read in many a year." —Phyllis Tickle, author of The Great Emergence: How Christianity Is Changing and Why
“To me, Beverly Donofrio is part Abigail Thomas, part Anne Lamott, part Kathleen Norris, and 100 percent original. Terrifying and, at moments, terribly funny. Candid, compelling, and, above all else, wise. Here's Beverly Donofrio, the rebellious teenager and tough single mother from Riding in Cars with Boys, forty years later, still vulnerable, still resilient, tested and tempered by life, and finally forging her own peace. Astonished is a seeker's and writing woman's spiritual journey through doubt and despair, emerging in cowboy boots, green tights, and prayer.” —Sara Pritchard, author of Crackpots and Help Wanted: Female
Entering her fortieth year, Beverly Donofrio, a "lapsed Catholic," inexplicably begins collecting Virgin Mary memorabilia at yard sales. Her search for kitsch, however, soon becomes a spiritual quest, leading her to make a pilgrimage to the holy city of Medjugorje. There, she learns that Mary comes into your life only when pride steps out and receives a bonus: hope. In Looking for Mary, Donofrio offers the universal story about a woman who-in a quest for the Blessed Mother-finds herself.
A conversion story told by a recognizable girl-like-you-and-me narrator, an irreverent look at the "cult of Mary", and a genuinely moving memoir, "Looking for Mary" is the story of one woman's stumble from darkness into the light.
About the Author
Beverly Donofrio’s first memoir, Riding in Cars with Boys
, has been translated into sixteen languages and made into a popular motion picture. Her second memoir, Looking for Mary
, began as a documentary on NPR and was chosen as a Discover Book at Barnes & Noble. She lived for four years as a lay Carmelite at Nada Hermitage in Colorado, where she began this book.