Bianco, a photojournalist and former Maryknoll seminarian, lived for periods of time in various Trappist monasteries in the United States and France, interviewing the monks freely and taking candid photographs. While not the first time that a non-monk was allowed to live with the Trappists and write about it--Henri Nouwen's Genesee Diary (Doubleday, 1976) records his stay at a Trappist abbey--it is probably the first time a lay person was allowed such intimate contact. Bianco shows a journalist's care for setting misconceptions straight (silence is a practice, not a ``vow''), and for openly presenting what he experienced, both good and bad. The monks come across as men who are no less human for having chosen a life that is so unusual. Though he has respected the monks' privacy by changing some names and locations and presenting some composite portraits, Bianco has nevertheless presented an intimate look at a much misunderstood life.-- Augustine J. Curley, O.S.B., Newark Abbey, N.J.