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Of Human Clay: The Making and Breaking of a Nun [Kindle Edition]

Aimee Wise
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 303 pages
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Book Description

Aimee Wise's life has been far from the norm, and her memoir, Of Human Clay, will touch the hearts of the faithful and agnostics alike. This is foremost a love story, first with her God, and later in Africa with the people of Malawi—and a young priest. This story will break open your appreciation of the twists and turns of life, and put a human face on one person's spiritual journey.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4905 KB
  • Print Length: 303 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00J3U2IBM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #419,848 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved this book what a lovely but very sad story very well written and would highly recomend reading it
You are an amazing lady Aimee and what a amazing story.
I live only a mile away from Blantyre in Scotland uk and found it very interesting.hearing about your work in Mawali
and all the good work that is going on in that poor country.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good read 8 Sept. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I wish they would have married but maybe it was meant to be..did Aimee ever marry? I would have liked to know more ..still a lovely love story really xx
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, Stunning, and Heartbreaking 14 Oct. 2013
By Joan Z Rough - Published on
"Of Human Clay," is a glorious read. I had a difficult time putting it down when I finished reading the final pages. I wanted more. It was like a delicious meal that you don't want to end. The first words that came to mind when I finally let it go were beautiful, stunning, and heartbreaking. It's a remarkable love story, not only between a man and woman, but also between a woman, her God, and the people she loved and served for seventeen months as a medical missionary in Malawi, one of the poorest nations in Africa.

Aimee's story begins with her Irish Catholic upbringing and her search for a meaningful life as she enters the convent to become a nun. She spends years preparing herself to become a medical missionary. Later, finding herself in a small, forgotten nation, living among people who have been virtually ignored by a patronizing church, Aimee finds herself facing a patriarchal governing body regulated by Rome and its often hypocritical views of what caring for others is really all about. When she shares her thoughts with a young priest whose feelings are similar to her own, they fall in love, lost in a world of diminishing returns as they each, singularly try to maintain their balance, vows, and the passion they feel for each other and their work.

Filled with important questions about life, love, and caring for others, Aimee's story led me back to my own experiences as a child in the Catholic church and my families dismissal when priests in our parish discovered that my parents had been married by a justice of peace in Maryland, on Valentine's Day in 1942. The next day my father went to war and eventually became a hero in our country's fight to bring peace to a world at war. Told that they were living in sin and that my brothers and I were bastards, my parents left the church never entering the doors of any religious organization again. Even as a child of eight, I felt the stigma and inaccessibility to those who wanted to teach me what and how to believe in a spiritual deity.

I highly recommend this book to anyone immersed in their own spiritual journey. It touches the essence and hearts of all of us whether we follow a traditional faith or have invented our own way of believing or disbelieving.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and insightful 29 Nov. 2013
By MAM - Published on
Aimee's book sheds light on a very personal time for her and keeps your interest as the story unfolds before you. The dedication she had for her mission and her occupation goes "above and beyond" the call of duty. Yet the final chapters show how the breaking of a nun becomes a prime example of how others can affect your life no matter how hard you try or what you consider important. Aimee should be congratulated for having the courage to tell her story for all to read.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Extraordinary Memoir 8 Oct. 2013
By AngelikaDancer - Published on
In this deeply engaging memoir, the author tells fascinating stories of her external adventures as well as moving accounts of her internal struggles. As I followed her from idealistic, innocent childhood to her life as a disillusioned, shattered young adult, I was moved to tears.

Ms. Wise has the gift of drawing the reader into a vivid experience of several subcultures: a smart and pretty girl growing up in the embrace of a loving family and a strong Irish Catholic community; the challenging but rewarding path to final vows; college life in civilian garb; living within a community of old-fashioned, stalwart Dutch Catholic nuns dedicating their lives to medical work in impoverished sub-Saharan Malawi; joining a motley group of young, idealistic, international religious men and women working to understand and participate in the lives of Malawians; and the world of the Malawian people themselves.

Throughout a richly detailed and fascinating account of events, the reader is invited into Aimee Wise's inner world as she shares poignant, perceptive excerpts from her diaries and letters. She always asks the right questions of herself, of the world in which she finds herself, and of God.

Her spiritual reflections and her evolving understanding of her religious mission are fascinating and moving to follow. She paints a persuasive picture of her awakening to the contradictions between the real lives - and real needs - of the people, whether Malawians or American nuns, and the Catholic Church's attitudes and practices toward them. She often sees the Christian mantra of love and compassion squashed by fear-inspired institutional rigidity.

Last but not least, this is also a dramatic and touching love story between a man and a woman who face seemingly insurmountable obstacles to fulfillment of their dreams as lovers and as missionaries.

The book is the true story of only one young person, yet as in great poetry, the universal is reflected in the particular. The story conveys deep truths and is told with an authenticity that gives it universal meaning about the condition of being human.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars too much expected 25 Sept. 2013
By Michael Kuhar - Published on
Verified Purchase
This book by Aimee Wise is a heartfelt and remarkably honest memoir of her time as an idealistic, religious, young adult nun, and medical missionary to Malawi in Africa. It is an exceptionally poor country without the most basic necessities. The book depicts a struggle among her personal values of service and compassion with those of the catholic church and the realities of her work in Malawi. It is a descriptive chronicle of life and conditions endured by some missionaries and valuable for that reason. The author expresses regret over many events, but this reviewer feels only that too much was asked of her. Her path was a holy one.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure of a book! 9 Dec. 2013
By A. M. Polich - Published on
I could hardly put this book down. Aimee writes about her early life being raised Catholic in a large family - a reminder of my own personal history. In fact, we had the same name (mine is Anne Marie) and nickname (hers Rie, mine Ree).

This is a love story between a nun and her faith, between a man and a woman and a woman with her destiny as a Medical Mission Sister. It is also heartbreaking as she questions who she is becoming as a young woman and what the church has taught her to believe when she is trying to help the poorest of the poor. I hope Aimee writes another book and continues her story!
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