Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession

Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession

by Anne Rice

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Overview

Anne Rice’s first work of nonfiction—a powerful and haunting memoir that explores her continuing spiritual transformation.
 
Anne Rice was raised in New Orleans as the devout child in a deeply religious Irish Catholic family. Here, she describes how, as she grew up, she lost her belief in God, but not her desire for a meaningful life.  She used her novels—beginning with Interview with a Vampire—to wrestle with otherworldly themes while in her own life, she experienced both loss (the death of her daughter and, later, her beloved husband, Stan Rice) and joys (the birth of her son, Christopher).  And she writes about how, finally, after years of questioning, she experienced the intense conversion and re-embracing of her faith that lie behind her most recent novels about the life of Christ.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307388483
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/09/2010
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 563,268
Product dimensions: 8.08(w) x 5.26(h) x 0.72(d)

About the Author

Anne Rice is the author of twenty-nine books. She lives in Rancho Mirage, California.

Hometown:

Rancho Mirage, California

Date of Birth:

October 4, 1941

Place of Birth:

Rancho Mirage, California

Education:

B.A., San Francisco State University, 1964; M.A., 1971

Read an Excerpt

1This book is about faith in God.For more than twenty centuries, Christianity has given us dazzling works of theology, yet it remains a religion in which the heart is absolutely essential to faith.The appeal of Jesus Christ was first and foremost to the heart.The man knocked on his back on the Road to Damascus experienced a transformation of the heart. St. Francis of Assisi, giving away all of his clothes as he turned to follow Christ, was reflecting a decision of the heart. Mother Teresa founded her world-famous order of nuns because of a decision of the heart.The immensity of these figures finds an imperfect student in me, but not an inattentive one.I want to tell, as simply as I can—and nothing with me as a writer has ever really been simple—the story of how I made my decision of the heart.So here is the story of one path to God.The story has a happy ending because I have found the Transcendent God both intellectually and emotionally. And complete belief in Him and devotion to Him, no matter how interwoven with occasional fear and constant personal failure and imperfection, has become the true story of my life.If this path to God is an illusion, then the story is worthless. If the path is real, then we have something here that may matter to you as well as to me.2Before I can describe how I returned to faith, at the age of fifty-seven, I want to describe how I learned about God as a child.What strikes me now as most important about this experience is that it preceded reading books. Christians are People of the Book, and our religion is often described as a Religion of the Book. And for two thousand years, all that we believe has been handed down in texts.But no doubt many children learned about God as I did—from my mother and from the experience of church which had little or nothing directly to do with knowing how to read.Over the years, I turned out to be a consistently poor reader, and I don’t think I ever read a novel for pleasure until I was in the sixth grade. Even in my college years, I was a poor reader and, in fact, couldn’t major in English because I could not read the amounts of Chaucer or Shakespeare assigned in the classes. I graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in political science, principally because I could understand the historic background I received for political ideas through good lectures.I was twenty-seven before I began to make up an undergraduate degree in English, and thirty-one before I received a master’s in English. Even then I read so slowly and poorly that I took my master’s orals on three authors, Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf, and Ernest Hemingway, without having read all of their works. I couldn’t possibly read all of their works.The reason I’m emphasizing this is because I believe that what we learn through reading is essentially different from what we learn in other ways. And my concept of God came through the spoken words of my mother, and also the intensely beautiful experiences I had in church.It’s important to stress here that my earliest experiences involved beauty; my strongest memories are of beautiful things I saw, things which evoked such profound feeling in me that I often felt pain.In fact I remember my early childhood as full of beauty, and no ugly moment from that time has any reality for me. The beauty is the song of those days.I vividly remember knowing about God, that He loved us, made us, took care of us, that we belonged to Him; and I remember loving Jesus as God; and praying to Him and to His Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary, when I was very small.I can’t really associate any one image with Jesus because there were so many around me, from small highly sentimental holy pictures, which we treasured at home, to magnificent images of Jesus in St. Alphonsus Church.I’ll describe the church in a minute, as it takes considerable describing, but first I want to mention a small place where we went often to pray. This was the Chapel of Our Mother of Perpetual Help on Third and Prytania streets, a consecrated Catholic chapel with a tabernacle and an altar, in which Mass was celebrated every day. The chapel was a huge room inside an old Garden District mansion, set in spacious gardens, that was also a high school.My mother had graduated from this high school many years before, and I recall going to a garden party on the grounds when I was a little child. The building itself was impressive, with a central doorway, floor-length windows on the front and on both sides, and colonnettes along the front porch that held up the porch above.Much later in life—during the 1990s—when I was a well-known author, I actually bought this building, as it had tremendous meaning for me. Not only had my mother gone to school there, but my aunts and cousins had gone to school there as well. Some cousins had been married in the chapel. And my strongest religious memories were centered on this place. The story of that purchase and what it meant requires a book, and indeed I wrote a novel using the building as a key backdrop, but that is not my concern just now.This is what it was like in the 1940s to go to the Chapel of Our Mother of Perpetual Help.We left our house at St. Charles and Philip, and walked up the avenue, under the oaks, and almost always to the slow roar of the passing streetcars, and rumble of traffic, then crossed over into the Garden District, a very special neighborhood filled with immense Greek Revival–style homes, many of which had been built before the Civil War. This was an immediate plunge into a form of quiet, because though traffic did move steadily on Prytania Street, it was nothing as loud as the traffic of the avenue. The oaks were bigger and more ancient, and the enormous houses with their Corinthian or Doric columns were monuments in themselves. Everywhere there were flowers. Purple lantana and ice blue plumbago burst through the pickets of black iron fences, and beyond in the more groomed gardens grew the flowers I associated with rich people: multi-petaled camellias and gorgeously defined roses in black beds. It was fine to pick the soft fragrant lantana, and the bunches of plumbago. The finer flowers one left alone.It was often evening when we made this short walk, and I remember the pavements as clearly as I remember the cicadas singing in the trees. The pavements varied; some were herringbone brick, very dark, uneven, and often trimmed in velvet green moss. Other sidewalks were purple flagstone, just like the purple flagstones of our own front yard. Even the rare stretches of raw cement were interesting because the cement had broken and buckled in so many places over the roots of the giant magnolias and the oaks.The walk was two and a half blocks.The chapel stood behind a high black picket fence with its gate permanently open, and a short flight of white marble steps led up to the white marble porch. I don’t recall the chapel ever being locked.The sky during these trips was often bloodred, or purple, and the trees were so thick that one could only see hundreds of fragments of the sky amid clusters of darkening leaves. The color of the sky seemed to me to be connected with the song of the cicadas, and the drowsy shadows playing everywhere on the margins of what was visible, and the distinct feel of the humid air. Even in winter the air was moist, so that the world itself seemed to be pulsing around us, enfolding us, holding us as we moved through it.The chapel had an immense and ornate doorway.Immediately on entering, one smelled the wax of the flickering candles, and the lingering incense from the Tuesday night benediction service and from the daily or Sun- day Mass.These fragrances were associated in my mind with the utter quiet of the chapel, the glow of the candlelight, and the faces of the tall plaster saints that surrounded us as we moved up the aisle.We went right past the many rows of dark wooden pews on either side, up to the Communion railing, which I think was white marble, and there we knelt on the leather-cushioned step as we said our prayers. We laid down there the flowers we’d picked on our walk. I think my mother told us that Mr. Charlie, who took care of the chapel, would put these flowers in some proper place.The great altar against the back wall, just beyond us, was a masterpiece of white and gilt plasterwork, and the altar proper, the place where Mass was said, was always covered with an ornate lace-bordered white cloth.In a long horizontal glass case in the lower body of the altar, there sat a long series of small plaster statues around a table making up the Last Supper, with Our Lord in the center, and six Apostles on either side. I knew this was Jesus there at the table, facing us. And in later years, I came to realize the figures were arranged in imitation of Da Vinci’s Last Supper. It was detailed and artful and complete.The Body and Blood of Jesus were in the golden tabernacle on the altar above. This was the Blessed Sacrament. A candle burning in a red glass lamp nearby told us that the Blessed Sacrament was there. This was called the sanctuary light.On account of this Presence of Our Lord in the chapel, we moved with reverence, whispering if we had to speak, and kneeling as was proper. This chapel required all the same respect as any large Catholic church.I remember the gold tabernacle had a concave front, and carved doors. The tabernacle was set in a lavish plaster edifice that included small white columns, but the details are now gone from my mind.We said our prayers as we knelt there. We paid our “visit.” And we left as quietly as we had come.I don’t remember being particularly puzzled by these truths, that Our Lord was in the tabernacle, in the form of bread, which was in fact His Body and Blood. I just remember knowing it. He was most definitely there. He was splendidly and miraculously there. He was also completely accessible. We talked to Him. We told Him our prayers and our thoughts.I was accustomed to all this before I could talk or ask a question, and I was as certain that Jesus was there as I was that the streetcars passed our house. I was nourished on the complexity of this, and I suppose I felt quite gently filled with these ideas.Above the tabernacle, in an ornate frame, was an exotic and dark golden picture of Our Mother of Perpetual Help—the Virgin with the Boy Jesus in her lap. This was indeed a distinct image, quite different from anything else in the chapel, and I don’t recall ever asking why.Years later I discovered it was a Russian icon, and that was the reason for its unusual style. What I remember knowing when I was little was that Mary was our Mother as well as the Mother of Jesus, and that in this picture, the Boy Jesus had come to her with a broken sandal, seeking her help.A long time later, I learned the story of the picture—that the Boy Jesus had run to His Mother in fear. Angels on either side of Him, quite visible in the icon, had frightened Him by revealing to Him the cross on which He would one day die, and the nails that would be driven through His hands. These angels hovered in the air with these terrible instruments. Being only a boy, Jesus had run to His Mother for comfort, and with a sorrowful face she embraced Him and sought to give Him the solace He so badly needed.As a little child, I saw all these elements and I understood them in a less narrative way. There was the Child leaning tenderly on His Mother, and there was she, His eternal comfort, and, yes, there were the angels holding the emblems of what Jesus would one day undergo.That Jesus had been crucified, had died, and had risen from the dead was completely understood. One had to look no farther than the Stations of the Cross along the walls to see that story acted out step by step.These Stations, which were square paintings, each richly colored and detailed, were vivid and realistic in style, as was every other image in the church.To me they looked interesting and were irresistibly pretty. There was nothing exotic or abstract about them as there was with the icon.In each picture, Our Lord was serene and infinitely patient, a tall handsome man with long soft brown hair. We felt an immediate sadness when we thought about what Jesus had suffered. But Jesus was now quite beyond all suffering, and what He had suffered, He had suffered on earth among people, and He had suffered it for us.The other important elements in the chapel were the life-size statues, each painted in vivid color. They stood on pedestals along the walls.

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Called Out of Darkness 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
melthornegbeast More than 1 year ago
I was eagerly awaiting Anne Rice's first memoir and my expectations weren't only met, they were greatly surpassed. This is a wonderfully detailed and elegiac account of Rice's loss of faith, her more than thirty years of athiesism, and her eventual re-embrace of faith. I've read Rice's books for more than thirty years now, and have witnessed the outsider searching for light, for meaning throughout her many, many great books on vampires and witches, among others, books which will be read and admired for generations to come. The explorer finally found what she was looking for, and her readers are the fortunate beneficiaries of the lessons learned from her journey. Read. Enjoy. Share. This is a terrific book!
booklover4476 More than 1 year ago
A great exploration of the author's life faith-experience from her childhood through adult rejection and eventual return to her faith. The book creates a challenge on the part reader to explore his/her faith beliefs and how these beliefs formed and are a part of his/her individual personality. I applaud the author's openness and honesty in describing her beliefs. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will probably re-read it in the future.
SugarCookie More than 1 year ago
At first this memoir seems too much of a ramble for those of us accustomed to the plot and pace of Anne Rice's formidable novels. The scenes of childhood would be especially unclear to those without a bit of Catholicism or awareness of its rites and rituals. She resists the urge to tell the tale of her mother's drinking. Rice says she never really read books as a child - huh? We are treated to cloudy images of processions and novenas, to hints of childhood activities, but we never get a really clear picture. For those who persevere, the book begins to coalesce around the end of chapter 5. As Anne emerges as an adult, we can more easily recognize the beginning, middle, and end of a story. And with that story, loyal readers are treated to a few brief but insightful paragraphs about her fantastic stories, and the author's concise reports of their essential truths. Rice's return to Catholic devotion should not be a surprise to those familiar with her work; however, most of us would not have thought it to be the difficult journey which she describes it as. Eventually it is a tale of how she evolved, how the Church has evolved, and yet how both have retained a sameness that is assuring and magical.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When her truth touched my heart, tears ran down my face.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a disappointing book on two fronts. It is rambling and disjointed in style - does not compare with the best of her fiction. Secondly, her take on the Catholic church seems mostly self-focused, a reexperiencing of her happy childhood with her devout mother. If the reader is expecting another Seven Story Mountain, this will disappoint. The second half is more like an evangelical testimony -not a bad thing but not typical of expressions of faith in the Catholic community. Her dismissal of Biblical scholarship is troubling.She seems to have embarked on designing her own credal and codal version of Catholicism, while embracing its cultic/liturgical forms.
eileenkny More than 1 year ago
Ms. Rice's journey away from and back to her faith is the story of so many of us in the same generation. Who hasn't questioned their own faith? The fact that she is able to put down in words what so many of us feel. Kudos.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed the book. Brought back many memories of my own Catholic upbringing. Thanks for sharing your journey.
CyndiM More than 1 year ago
Anne Rice has once again produced a clear, concise easy read that is well worth reading. I found this book to be a strong, compelling report of one person's return to Christianity. I have always felt that Ms. Rice had a very deep spiritual center and that it came through in the Vampire series. "Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession" represents a turn away from fiction to reality. Her writing is honest and direct and gives one a lot of food for thought. This book held my interest and showed me that it is never to late.
queenmother More than 1 year ago
In a world where ridiculing the Bride of Christ is considered not only okay but almost mandatory, it is refreshing to see that Ms. Rice truly did find her way out of the darkness, called by her heart and the Holy Spirit. This is why, in the age of secular humanism, so many Catholics remain Catholics...because they know and understand truth. Kudos to Anne Rice, a captivating read, for even the most fervent Vampire Chronicler!
hermit on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a spiritual memoir by the author of many novels on vampires, sexuality and pagan themes; Anne Rice. Rice begins by recounting her devout Catholic upbringing in New Orleans where as a child she had considered becoming a sister cloistered within a convent. The author is descriptive of her childhood life in New Orleans and the Catholic upbringing she had. She shares her fascination of various saints she was drawn too. She was a Catholic up until the time she went off to California to attend college.The author then seems to lose detail and gives a brief glimpse of her loss of faith and turning to the atheism she proclaimed for decades. There is not an explanation of what jolted her to not only question her faith, but to turn her back on Christ. Though she reference a key turning point was a comment from a single person which I found as a simple excuses to not explore the real reasons she ran into the darkness. But then again she was attending the great liberal colleges of today, in the author's case these were the San Francisco State College and University of California Berkeley, where peer pressure most have been great especially during the 1960's..As the memoir quickly moves beyond this part of her life, thirty-eight years, she starts what I believe is the reason she wrote this book. To share her path back to the light, faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ. With the words of a well versed novelist she shares of her desire to travel and how where ever she went she always sought out Catholic churches to visit and how they moved her. The imagery that brought back the memories of her childhood faith that would drive her to seek what was missing in her life, the Word. She shares openly her hard road back to her faith and the one true Apostolic Church of Christ where she renews her faith and rejoin the body of Christ in the Roman Catholic Church.As Mrs. Rice open her private life and struggles with faith to the world I see it as another step she feels she must take on the right path to developing her true faith. And if by chance it aids others to not only understand the transformation she is going through but perhaps even think for themselves and read or re-read the Gospels she would have accomplished her unspoken goal.It does not matter if you agree with the author, for this is her memoir and struggle with her personal faith. The book reads as an honest self examination that she needed to see in the written word in order to aid her in her quest to reclaim her christian faith. I pray that this writing has helped her in her spiritual growth and that it may help others in theirs. And as she found a renewed faith in God she where learned that Christ commands us to love one another.
saskreader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Being a former Anne Rice fan who hasn't picked up one of her new releases since Memnoch the Devil, I was initially interested in reading this memoir to find out how Rice feels about writing her decidedly un-Christian novels now that she is once again a practicing Catholic. Rice wrote of supernatural beings such as vampires and witches living in a Godless world engaging in perversion and violence. She also wrote several erotic novels under pseudonyms. How does she now feel about continuing to collect royalties from these "profane" works? Essentially, she is not apologetic for her past works but instead believes that her faith in God now is all that matters and she has committed herself to writing for God.I wonder if Rice's turning away from God in her college years would have happened if not for two influences in her life: (1) living in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco in the 60s when everyone was questioning everything anyway; and (2) the death of her young daughter at this time. Rice feels that her novels reflect her subconscious journey from question-filled atheism back to a meaningful understanding of God.
zimbawilson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A very dissapointing book in my opinion. Rice spends far too much time describing her childhood and the Catholic Church and not nearly enough time explaining what drew her back. She writes about all the rituals and practices of the Church as well as descibing in great detail seemingly ever single building she ever walked into between the ages of 5-18. Then she glosses over her 38 years of atheism before talking about her miracle reconversion. She speaks of world trips she took where she began feeling God haunting her until she just gave in and went back to church. What is missing is any real insight into what propelled her mind into this state. She barely mentions the death of her daughter and what effect it may have played on her mental state. As a lapsed Catholic myself, I was hoping for something I could relate to but found virtually nothing. I came away feeling like Anne Rice could really benefit from some serious pyschotherapy and actually delve into a number of issues from childhood to the present that have made her who she is. I think she is just as lost as she was when she was an atheist.
Cecilturtle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In this autobiography, Rice describes her upbringing in the Catholic religion, her subsequent renunciation and final reconciliation. What struck me in this book, is that Rice has always been profoundly religious, mystical even, but cannot envision faith outside of organized religion. She is an extremely sensorial being, responding to the stimuli of the church: paintings, music, colour and smells are all part of the religious experience. These are what makes her fiction so appealing - this constant call to the senses. She moves in the world very intuitively and seeks the guidance of a god to explain it - it's an appealing, albeit not very rational, way of explaining life and its experiences. I'm not sure this book is very convincing for non-believers, however, because Rice feels rather than thinks her surroundings.
chrystal on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. Being a lifelong Anne Rice fan and a convert to Catholocism, this was a book I wanted to read. Her story of childhood in the church, middle age atheism, and now her return to the church was inspiring. She still struggles with the questions. The impact of this book, the miracle that she points out and I had never thought of before, is that God came to earth in the form of Jesus as a BABY. He went through the human experience. I don' t think I had ever grasped the significance of this before until she spelled it out. And also, that LOVE is the basis of all, you must love everyone, and yes, that is very difficult but if you can try, won't your life be so much better? I will recommend to all my catholic friends.
SamSattler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Anne Rice seemed to come out of nowhere in 1976 when she struck publishing gold with Interview with the Vampire, the novel that opened the door for the countless vampire novels and movies that have followed it. Rice had been published before under the name Anne Rampling, and had even published some erotica as A.N. Roquelaure, but with the help of Vampire Lestat, she became a star in the publishing world. Her huge success with the first novel would lead to some fifteen novels on vampires and witches.By the time Rice wrote Interview with the Vampire, she had lost her faith in Catholicism and was an atheist. Anne Rice was, in fact, an atheist for 38 years of her life despite the unusually strong ties she and her family have with the Catholic Church. It was only in the late nineties that she felt that her ¿faith in atheism was cracking,¿ and that she needed to return to her Christianity. Rice¿s conversion did not take place in some magical flash of insight, or even in a matter of days or weeks. It was a gradual process, and as she puts it, ¿It wasn¿t until the summer of 2002 that my commitment to Jesus Christ became complete.¿Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession is Anne Rice¿s story. It begins with her upbringing in New Orleans deep in the heart of a neighborhood in which everyone she knew or ran across was Catholic. Rice was so dedicated to a religious life that, as a young girl, she decided that she wanted to be a Catholic priest. She attended Catholic schools, went to church several times a week, and was so ready to spend her life in the service of the Church that she did not even consider settling for a position as a nun - and was shocked to learn that spending her life as a Catholic priest would be impossible.Rice would finally be exposed to a wider world when she moved to Denton, Texas, to study at Texas Woman¿s University. There Rice found herself surrounded by students who had a much better sense of contemporary literature and who discussed topics that had never concerned her. She would begin to lose her faith almost immediately, but it was a well-meaning Catholic priest who, upon learning of her childhood background, pushed her over the edge toward atheism by strongly advising her that she could ¿never be happy outside the Catholic Church. You¿ll find nothing but misery outside the Catholic Church. For a Catholic like you, there is no life outside the Catholic Church.¿ Something in the 18-year old student revolted at those words, and ¿when she left the room,¿ Anne Rice was no longer a Catholic ¿ nor would she be for the next 38 years.Called Out of Darkness is a remarkable memoir, one in which its author shares the intimate details of her upbringing, including the tragedy of her alcoholic mother, her tremendous problems with learning to read effectively, her marriage, the death of her young daughter and her husband, and her deep relationship with the city of New Orleans and its architecture. Anne Rice has lived a fascinating life, one of which most of her longtime fans have only been vaguely aware up to now. This memoir explains her rather jarring transition, one that startled her readers, from writing novels about vampires and witches to writing fiction dedicated to telling the story of Christianity (Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana and Angel Time: The Song of the Seraphim, Book 1). Anne Rice fans will find this memoir particularly interesting, but her story is so unusual that even those who have not read her novels will be fascinated by what she has to say.Rated at: 4.0
judithrs on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Called out of Darkness: a Spiritual Confession. Anne Rice. 2008. This is the first Anne Rice book I have read. I tried to read one that Angela and Chris liked that was set in New Orleans, but just couldn¿t get into it. However, Rice¿s return to Catholicism intrigued me. I really enjoyed reading about her childhood in New Orleans and her college years during which she left the church and became an intellectual atheist. I find it hard to believe that she knew so little about the changes in the Church after Vatican II since I was aware of them long before I ever had any thoughts of becoming a Catholic. Her return was a matter of finally letting go and coming to truly believe that EVERYTHING is in God¿s hands, which is what we all struggle to do.
phoenixcomet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Anne Rice has always been and always will be a talented writer. For 37 years, she abandoned Catholicism for Atheism after a deeply rich Catholic upbringing. In her late 50's her heart opens again to the mysteries and richness of God and how she personally changed her life to support her renewed faith.
StephenBarkley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What does it take for an atheist who authored the famous Vampire novels to return to the faith of her childhood¿and to live out that faith in her publishing commitments? Nothing but the love of Jesus.This book will move you. There¿s an honest simplicity to it that many spiritual works lack. In her words:"If this path to God is an illusion, then the story is worthless. If the path is real, then we have something here that may matter to you as well as to me."
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Kovar306J More than 1 year ago
Anne Rice's memoir, Called out of Darkness, is a unique way to see the personal life of a famous American author. Rice makes connections with people of every age in what she calls her "spiritual confession." She describes her loving connection with God and Catholicism in an interesting and unique narrative style while simultaneously creating an intimate atmosphere. Readers feel as though they are part of Rice's life as she details her childhood experiences and their connection to her religion. Readers similarly see the ways and reasons behind Rice's loss of faith as she chronicles her college years and the influence of the modern world on her traditional beliefs. Her return to faith creates a memoir with coherent connection from beginning to end. The first five chapters of Rice's novel describe her childhood experiences with God and Catholicism. Rice makes a connection with her audience in this section as she describes how her religion impacted her life before she could even read. The world she portrays in her description of the chapel she went to as a child is full of beautiful imagery and meaning. Her argument in this first portion of her book is that, "as scientists tell us, what we learn through pictures or icons is strikingly different from what we learn through the written word" (Rice 14-15). Since a large portion of Christianity (and especially Catholicism) is taught from the Bible, this point shows Rice's unique connection and devotion to God before she even got into the bulk of what her religion was comprised. This fragment of the novel makes connections with an older crowd, reliving the days without washing machines and dryers, refrigeration, or television. The descriptions of the past create a unique imagery that may be difficult for a younger crowd to mentally create, but her descriptions of the feelings and activities of this time are easy for a younger crowd to connect to. The next section of the memoir is only one chapter long, but catalogues Rice's college years and the different reasons why Rice left the church. This section connects strongly with a college crowd because students at this age are currently experiencing the same trials and tribulations that Rice discusses. Rice talks about her struggles to remain faithful to the Catholic church while being a young woman, "hungry for knowledge, hungry for information, hungry for facts" (Rice 120). Rice attributes her choice to leave the church not to sexuality or pressure to abandon her morals, but to the influence of the modern world on her traditional values and their constant strain on her daily life. Readers can connect with Rice as she chronicles her peer education in college and the influence of her classmates on her views of Catholicism. She tells of her loss of faith and the experiences that followed, including her introduction into the literary world and the writing of her first novel, Interview with the Vampire. The last section of the book discusses Rice's abandonment of atheism and her decision to return to a new and reformed Catholic church. While Rice discusses her atheism in this section, she also comments that it was never really existent. Even in her novels that supposedly upheld the concept of a Godless society, there was a strong religious undertone. In the ending portion of the memoir, Rice discusses her experience in returning to faith, using excerpts from her diary and the themes that she intended in her more famous novels as proof to this p
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