What’s it about?
Abandoning her dreams of becoming an actress or a writer, Maggie Walsh embraces Church teaching, believing the convent is the path to perfection.
Two reviews of the book
“For those who grew up Catholic during that tectonic shift in the Church following the changes wrought by Vatican II — particularly for those who felt the allure of religious life — Perfection is a refreshing book, reflecting the questions that dog those on a path to personal faithfulness. For everyone else, Perfection is simply a tender love story – not just between a man and a woman, but within a family, among friends, and most importantly, between our authentic selves and that Divine Mystery most simply called God – that Mystery endlessly calling us home to the full embrace of love itself. Read this book, but be forewarned: Its engaging prose will make it hard to put down.”
~ Barbara Lyghtel Rohrer, author & consultant
“Honest and searching, Perfection is one young woman’s surprising spiritual adventure into her life’s true work. Wade’s richly observed characters and intelligent storytelling charm and inspire.”
~ Karen Novak, author of Innocence
The synopsis of “Perfection“
Maggie Walsh has entered the convent. Her brother thinks she’s wasting her life. Her sister doubts she has what it takes. Her mother is heartbroken; her father is happy. Her boyfriend pledges to wait until she “gets it out of her system.”
Abandoning her dreams to be an actress or a writer, Maggie embraces Church teaching that says the convent is the path to Perfection. She sets out to prove – to herself and her family – that she can do it. She’ll follow her higher calling, no matter what.
It is 1960. Church reform is a few years away, but when it comes, radical changes unfold swiftly. Maggie embraces that change. Her brother, Jack, who tries at every turn to get Maggie to come to her senses, involves her in civil-rights and anti-war activities – forcing her into conflict with her superiors. Should she keep the peace in the convent or follow her conscience?
A charismatic fellow teacher, Will, captures Maggie’s time and attention. Then her first love, Stan, returns home from a Navy tour. Seeking Perfection seemed so simple; now, it is anything but. Maggie must choose: A solitary life with God or the exclusive love of another person?
More about Kathleen Wade, the author:
Kathleen Wade has enjoyed a thirty-year teaching career, receiving many awards, including the Teacher Achievement Award in the State of Ohio. She served for ten years as a writer, teacher, facilitator and Executive Director of Women Writing for (a) Change, a writing community for women, girls, and men in Cincinnati. Most recently, she served as Director of leadership-development programs for women religious and their associates.
Her poems and essays have appeared in many anthologies, and her full-length, non-fiction book, Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives, features the lives of lay people who are associates of religious communities. She was a member of a religious community of sisters for over a decade. She continues to consult with religious communities and lives with her husband in Cincinnati.