Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Book Review: Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession by Anne Rice

Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession is a memoir of author Anne Rice’s conversion from atheism to Catholicism. Anne Rice is probably most known for her novels about vampires. Her first book, Interview with the Vampire, was made into a major motion picture starring Tom Cruise. Many of her books have featured vampires.

In 2005, she departed from her previous themes and wrote Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt: A Novel. She revealed that she was no longer an atheist. In 2008, her novel Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana (Christ the Lord) was published.

When I first heard that Anne Rice had written a book about Jesus, I was skeptical. I wondered why she would go from unholy vampires to the holy Son of God. So I did not read either of her books about Jesus. When I saw this memoir, I was intrigued. I wanted to find out what happened.

Called Out of Darkness begins with her Catholic upbringing. She goes into great detail describing the Catholic churches and schools that shaped her early life. She describes how much the icons and sacraments of the Church meant to her as a child.

She describes how her faith started to fade away when she went to college. She wanted to explore knowledge. She wanted to escape the sense of sin. Because she wanted away from the Church, she quit believing in God. She lived that way for 38 years.

The last third of the book describes her journey back to God. She describes herself as being “Christ haunted.” Creation spoke to her of God. Music and art spoke to her of God. She could not get away from the question of who Jesus was and why people were obsessed with Him.

In December of 1998, she came back to God. In her words, “…what I recall most vividly is surrender – a determination to give in to something deeply believed and deeply felt. I loved God. I loved Him with my whole heart. I loved Him in the Person of Jesus Christ, and I wanted to go back to Him.” So she did. She went back to church and to God.

Her story does not end there. Between 1998 and 2002, she went to church and grew in her faith. But she did not really change her writing. In 2002, she had a sort of awakening. She knew that she needed to write for God. So she wrote about Jesus’ early life.

I found the book very interesting. It seems to me that she got burnt out by all the rules and completely rebelled against God and the Church. She came back when she re-discovered the love of Jesus.

The only thing that I did not care for was the lack of continuity. She would be describing an event and then jump forward or backward in time. This happened many times. I was a little frustrated trying to figure out what order the events happened.

As I read this book, I was reminded of something that I heard in church recently. We need to pray for famous people. We need to pray for our favorite authors, actors and musicians who are not Christians. We may not have the opportunity to personally talk to them about Christ but God can use our prayers to bring other Christians into their lives.

Overall, I would recommend this book. I am also planning on reading her novels about Jesus.

4 out of 5 stars

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