I’ve just finished reading Anne Rice’s book “Called Out of the Darkness: A Spiritual Confession”, 2008. I’m not sure I would have chosen to read it, but my Book Club picked it and then I was committed…
Anne Rice must be in her early 70’s now and is best known for “Interview With a Vampire” and many other books she wrote on similar topics of other-worldly beings, identity, good, evil, and the quest to belong. She was born Catholic in New Orleans and later left her faith to embrace secular humanism and atheism. She writes at great length about growing up in New Orleans and its Catholic culture, which made the first 2/3 of the book somewhat tedious.
What I found most compelling was the last 1/3 of the book – her testimony of feeling pursued by Christ, her decision to surrender without being able to reconcile all the dilemmas of doctrine and social norms, and her growing realization that her Christianity required a change in her life. An interviewer asked her, “How has your returning to Christ actually influenced your life?” Anne replied, “It demands of me that I love people.”
So simple to say, so difficult to do.
I also appreciated that Anne did not whitewash the challenges of coming to Christ. Quite the opposite. She writes, “This will not be easy, this will not bring comfort. This is not going to make you feel good. This is going to be hard! But this is where you must go.” “My return to Christ was not something simple. And I want to stress this again…it took all the will I had.”
I wish that she had written more about how the death of her daughter and, later, the death of her husband affected her journey. She only allocates a few sentences to issues that would leave a lasting impact on most of us.
In summary, I’d give it 3 of 5 stars. The last few chapters of the book are the most compelling.