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Reparation: A spiritual Journey Paperback – 14 Oct 2015

4.9 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Haven Publishing; 1 edition (14 Oct. 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0473336804
  • ISBN-13: 978-0473336806
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 547,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

Maria Hall was born into an Irish Catholic family in Auckland, New Zealand. After leaving school she completed a Bachelor of Music at Auckland University and a Diploma of Teaching at Auckland College of Education, before studying Theology and Scripture at Chanel Institute (Auckland) and Yarra Theological College (Melbourne, Australia). Her decision to enter the convent took her around the world, eventually leading her to Seville, Spain. Her first book: Reparation – a spiritual journey, is aptly titled and deeply personal.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was reading another book at the time I started this. I just had a quick dip in it to take a look-the fact that the author is an ex-nun intrigued me and I wanted to know more. I just had to keep on reading and I couldn't put it down! I finished it in a couple of days. She has an amazing story to tell, but wow does she know how to tell it and keep you engrossed. It's beautifully written. So emotional, so powerful.

Profound. A memoir which will really make you think, and feel. You can't fail to be touched by this and remember it for a long time after you've read it. An amazing memoir which absolutely blew me away.
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The description of Reparation: A Spiritual Journey, caught my interest, and so did the “look inside” feature on Amazon. Catholic Irish immigrant Father McSweeney, a Capuchin monk, is vividly drawn as he uses the “trap” of the confessional for his first attempt to persuade twenty-year-old Maria that God is calling her to become a nun. I was suspicious long before Maria admitted to the feeling that something was badly wrong. Nuns, surely, are kind and compassionate, yet young Maria is excluded by them all, including the one appointed to instruct her privately. Lonely and forbidden contact with her family she looks on this treatment as a test of her faith. This is an emotively-written book that draws forth a myriad of reactions from the reader: sympathy, disbelief, fury, hope, joy… Maria Hall shows herself as a very talented author with that achievement. A fascinating, honest, story that is well=worth reading.
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I suspect there will be some readers who will not appreciate the mind set of Maria as she tries for years to make reparation for the ‘sin’ she committed in her early twenties. I understood it perfectly, her desperation for approval, for God’s love for a sense of worth. Despite being a highly educated woman, she was so naive in other ways – not her fault but a combination of her parents who did not prepare her for modern life and the church with many outdated attitudes towards women and their worth. I was astounded at the lengths she went to in penance for something that was hardly her fault. I felt for her and I felt a lot of anger at how she was treated. If I am being a little vague here, it’s because I don’t want to give any spoilers. I have nothing but admiration for this woman and besides her many other talents, in music, running a business, caring for her parents, and showing the compassion and love which those who in effect abused her, she can also write. It is one of those books I began and did not stop until the final page and then went on to research. I only wish I could give it 6 stars.
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Maria Hall, an educated and thoughtful young woman, tries to navigate her way through life as best she can. But growing up in a devout Catholic family, who do not seem all that worldly-wise, she is easily influenced. And when the local priest suggests that she may be a good candidate to become a nun, Maria is easily swayed. She trains to become a teacher, all the while leading a double life as a nun. She is sent to Melbourne, where feeling isolated and alone, she is abused.

By the time she returns home to New Zealand, with her self-esteem at an all-time low, her family have become members of a cult - a discredited Catholic sect led by a charlatan. To try to atone for her sins, Maria decides to move to Spain to become a devotee of the breakaway sect and become a nun in a silent order. For eight years Maria endures the hardships required of the devout: only to find that the leader of the sect, blah blah is a fake.
Reparation is a clear-eyed and honest account of one woman's ability to turn her life around after all the suffering she endured. It is written without a shred of self-pity or melodrama and stayed with me long after I finished reading it.
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I normally read fiction where it doesn't matter how bad things are - it's not real. The last memoir I read was Wild Swans by Jung Chang which gave a great insight into the hardship of women adapting to communism in China. This book is also a journey, and in this one, a woman is brought up in a strict Catholic family, doing what they expected of her. A life pressurised by her faith, and controlled by her church. This woman is not a robot, she is an intelligent individual who thinks deeply, she wants understanding and forgiveness instead of strict unbending obedience. She matures into a woman fighting to free herself from suffocating control to find and have her own self-determination. Heart-breaking stuff.
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Great story detailing the author's religious vocation at the age of twenty. An authentic, fearless examination of religious indoctrination and belief, and a woman's journey into self-discovery and individual choice. Some emotionally raw and searing moments here, faithfully reported by the author in this frank account of her time in a nunnery.
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Reparation is a story about faith, courage and finally disillusionment. The book is a fascinating insight into the life of a Carmelite nun who is often bullied, ignored and down trodden. Maria though manages to face all that is thrown at her with great courage until she eventually leaves the religious order behind for good. Not before time I would hasten to add.
The book is beautifully written and is a very fine accomplishment from a talented author.
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