Review by Booklist Review
Best-selling author and former Episcopal priest Taylor returns with another thoughtful book. This time Taylor confronts head-on faith and, most significantly, the dark night of the soul. But really this is a meditation on darkness itself more a journal, she emphasizes, than a manual. What does Taylor mean by darkness? Darkness, she writes, is shorthand for anything that scares me. That could include something as profound as the absence of God to the fear of dementia to the loss of family and friends, as well as that nagging question of what it will feel like to die. She recounts how she became impatient with church teachings that accentuated the light while denying the existence of darkness, and comments on the difference between faith and belief, certainty and trust. An elegant writer with the common touch, Taylor is always a wonderful guide to the spiritual world, and this book is no exception. Here she encourages us to turn out the lights and embrace the spiritual darkness, for it is in the dark, she maintains, that one can truly see.--Sawyers, June Copyright 2014 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
On the cover of Taylor's well-wrought guidebook, the light of the moon gives trees slim shadows, poppies bleed on the ground, and an owl gazes, as the book's title laces itself among the trees. Taylor (An Altar in the World) observes these moonlit elements well: "I have learned things in the dark that I could never have learned in the light...," she writes. Ever the teacher (Piedmont College and Columbia Theological Seminary), she passes on her knowledge, whether purposefully studied or accidentally absorbed, of living with loss. Among these lunar lessons are antipathy to "full solar spirituality," that is, seeing God as light alone, leaving dark to the devil; and sympathy toward the ever-changing moon (imagined as a Sabbath bride, she mirrors the soul better than does the steady sun). Taylor considers "endarkenment," light bulbs, blotted stars, and Our Lady of the Underground beneath Chartres Cathedral. Taylor's intimate voice makes good points and asks good questions, especially in the last chapter's dialogue. She writes exemplars of exposition (narration, description, argumentation), and pens poetry in her similes and metaphors. Agent: Tom Grady. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review
Taylor (religion, Piedmont Coll.; An Altar in the World) continues her unconventional, outside-the-pulpit Episcopalian ministry, so successful in her best-selling Altar, by showing readers how she has learned from the darkness: learning to cross the street as if blind; looking for God's nocturnal appearances in the Bible; wondering at the Black Madonna; and contemplating the dark night of the soul. VERDICT Taylor writes with consistent charm and an un-obtrusive faith in God; her work is certain to appeal to some church groups and to fans of Annie Dillard and Anne Lamott. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.