Synopses & Reviews
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, largely unknown when she died in a Carmelite convent at the age of twenty-four, became-through her posthumously published autobiography-one of the world's most influential religious figures. In Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
, bestselling novelist and memoirist Kathryn Harrison, whose depictions of women have been called "powerful" (The New York Times Book Review
) and "luminously intelligent" (The Boston Sunday Globe
), brings to the saint's life her storytelling gift and deep insight as she reveals the hopes and fears of the young girl behind the religious icon.
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux shows us the pampered daughter of successful and deeply religious tradespeople who-through a personal appeal to the pope-entered a convent at the early age of fifteen. There, Thérèse embraced sacrifice and self-renunciation in a single-minded pursuit of the "nothingness" she felt would bring her closer to God. With feeling, Harrison shows us the sensitive four-year-old whose mother's death haunted her forever and contributed to the ascetic spirituality that strengthened her to embrace even the deadly throes of tuberculosis. Tellingly placed in the context of late-nineteenth-century French social and religious practices, this is a powerful story of a life lived with enormous passion and a searing, triumphant voyage of the spirit.
"Readers may disagree with Harrison's interpretations, but few could quibble with her writing style, which is simply gorgeous....[T]he biography reads like a particularly juicy novella." Publishers Weekly
"An admirably even-tempered biography....[A] bright, sharp essay on the ever-difficult Thérèse." Kirkus Reviews
Bestselling novelist and memoirist Harrison, whose depictions of women have been called "powerful" ("The New York Times Book Review"), brings to the saint's life her storytelling gift and deep insight as she reveals the hopes and fears of the young girl behind the religious icon.
About the Author
Kathryn Harrison is the bestselling author of The Kiss, a memoir, and of the novels Thicker Than Water, Exposure, Poison, The Binding Chair, and The Seal Wife. Her personal essays have appeared in The New Yorker and Harper's magazine and are collected in Seeking Rapture.