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This is the true story of one woman’s journey from the sweeping coastlines of New Zealand to the barren plains of Southern Spain, from youthful hope to deep despair, and from sin to reparation. As a free-spirited university student, Maria’s life stretches before her like a wonderful adventure. It is New Zealand in the mid-seventies and Maria wants to make music, serve theThis is the true story of one woman’s journey from the sweeping coastlines of New Zealand to the barren plains of Southern Spain, from youthful hope to deep despair, and from sin to reparation. As a free-spirited university student, Maria’s life stretches before her like a wonderful adventure. It is New Zealand in the mid-seventies and Maria wants to make music, serve the Lord and spread her wings far beyond the safe familiarity of her homeland. Then, the unthinkable happens: a callous act resulting in an impossible choice that shapes the rest of her life. Heartbroken and in need of a miracle, Maria seeks absolution as a Carmelite nun in the dark, silent cloisters of the Palmarian Catholic Church, one of the world’s most secretive and controversial religious orders. ...

Title : REPARATION: A Spiritual Journey
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 26791597
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 302 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

REPARATION: A Spiritual Journey Reviews

  • Richard Gardner
    2019-05-23 14:31

    '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 until she eventually leaves the religious order after losing her faith. Not before time I would hasten to add.The book is beautifully written and is a very fine accomplishment by a talented author.

  • Lana Kortchik
    2019-05-20 20:31

    This was the first memoir I have ever read and I am so glad I have come across it. This book opened a window into the world that up until now was a complete mystery to me. And yet, the problems the author faced were very much human and relatable. These two factors made the memoir fascinating to read. The raw emotion of this book pulled me in from page one and I found that I couldn't put it down until the very last page. What I found the most inspiring was the author's strength of character and positive outlook. Even in the face of adversity, she never gave up and strived to move forward, to follow her calling, to come to terms with the past. The memoir was a real eye opener about the way of life I knew nothing about. Thanks to this very personal and moving account, it was as if I was able to glimpse this unfamiliar world through the author's eyes. I would recommend this book to everyone who enjoys powerful, emotional and beautifully written stories of strength and survival.

  • J. Schlenker
    2019-04-26 14:25

    I think all spiritual journeys are in a sense paved amidst land mines of human flaws. This author's journey might have been even more so. It seemed like one disappointment after the other. And, why do we stay in situations? It could be a religion, a marriage, a job... In this case, the Catholic religion. It almost seemed destined in this particular situation, a mother who lives for the Catholic Church and a father who follows his wive's lead. In the end, hopefully we are stronger, after negotiating our particular paths of land mines. The author, as this is a memoir, seems to have come out of it a stronger person.

  • Julie Watson
    2019-05-04 15:11

    From the very beginning of Maria's story, I was drawn into her mind, her emotions, her thoughts and her life. An innocent dutiful daughter who is bullied by her mother and encouraged by a priest to become a nun. I felt that Maria was young in heart for her age and wanted to please and not be rebellious. This mind set led her into years of self denial of herself, her true identity and her personality. The years spent in the Palmarian church were to me akin to being in prison or a prisoner of war camp. The post traumatic stress disorder she suffered was evident, both physically, spiritually and emotionally. I was cheering for Maria when she finally broke free although it took years for her to fully overcome her trauma. An absolutely compelling read, well written and touches you on every level. Thank you for sharing your story Maria, for your honesty and courage. I am thrilled that you found yourself and happiness in the end.

  • Julie Haigh
    2019-05-03 15:16

    An amazing memoir, beautifully written, a powerful story.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.

  • Ellie Midwood
    2019-05-15 22:04

    Memoir is one of my favorite genres, and this one certainly didn’t disappoint! Let me begin by saying that I’m Jewish, so for me it was very interesting and intriguing to finally learn new things about the Roman Catholic religion and its ‘sectarian’ (as some people refer to it) branch – the Palmarian Church, which even has its own Pope. Maria’s path was definitely not an easy one, and from the sheltered and innocent young woman studying theology and getting ready to become a nun, she soon finds herself a victim of truly horrible circumstances. Blaming herself for everything that happened, Maria is trying to make peace with herself, or better say, punish herself, and joins a mysterious Palmarian Church, deep in Spain. Following Maria’s experiences in the Church, seeing the inside functioning and principles of the abbey was an incredibly eye-opening experience. I commend the protagonist’s strength for actually being capable to stay there for such a long time, despite what most of us would call the inhumane conditions (no medicine allowed since one has to suffer through their pain is just one example). The saddest part for me was Maria’s bitter disappointment in what she believed to be the place where the love for God and humanity should have been the priority while the love and compassion were the furthest things from everyone’s mind. I absolutely loved the ending, I’m not going to give it away, but I was extremely happy for Maria for finally making amends with herself. A highly recommended read!

  • E.J. Bauer
    2019-05-03 21:25

    I am writing my review of this book only half an hour after finishing it. After only two chapters, I was completely hooked and finished it in just over a day. The author is brave enough to write of some deeply personal details of her life and we follow her journey to find her place, spiritual peace and acceptance in a world she was removed from for many years. Based on her experiences in the traditional Catholic Church and then in the Palmarian Catholic Church in Spain, Maria Hall allows us to share her deepest fears, her guilt and her confusion in a stultifying and isolated community of Carmelite nuns in Seville in the second half of last century. Her journey is a profound one, her road to reparation is at times very difficult to understand and accept, and her eventual lifestyle is a gentle relief for both the author and her reader.

  • Lucinda Clarke
    2019-05-18 21:07

    EXCELLENTI 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.

  • Mark
    2019-05-24 17:22

    The book got off to a rough start for me. Inside of one chapter, the heroine is faced with the novel prospect of living the rest of her life as a nun, something she has never considered doing before, and voila, she’s instantly taken by the idea and decides to upturn her life. I just didn’t buy it; it didn’t seem realistic. What’s more, she had been living up until that time under the strict, overbearing governance of her mother, who was more of a drill sergeant, forcing a religious life down the throat of her child, and doing it in such an oppressive manner, that most anyone would be turned away from a religious life after having it literally beat into one. So why invite more torture on yourself by becoming a nun? Once again the author was striking out with me on the believability front. Keep in mind also that as part of narrative structure and the rules of classic storytelling, the hero/heroine typically refuses the call to duty several times before ultimately giving into the idea, which is what ultimately sets up act 2.But for the very eyebrow raising first chapter, I found myself getting sucked into the story more and more as I read on. I should point out that I’m a lapsed Catholic. But I had to admit that even a third of the way into this book I was reading a far better testimonial for why one would live a devout life than I ever got from a lifetime full of Sunday masses. There really is a lot to be said for the life of a nun. Their vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, which don’t exactly thrill one to read about on the surface, and hardly sound like selling points, bear remarkable fruits. These fruits are called the gifts of the spirit, and they include: love, patience, understanding, joy, peace and wisdom. The author does a remarkable job demonstrating how the nuns’ vows nurture these gifts, and how the life of a nun can indeed lead to an evolution of the soul that many would have to live many lifetimes to accomplish. This is not an easy thing to show, moreover. Our heroine’s journey is remarkable, both because it is ultimately (if not initially) well told from a storytelling viewpoint, and because even for a cynic like myself, I found the appeal to live a spiritual life, or to at least understand why a sane person would want to do so, compelling. Recommended for readers of Christian fiction, or anyone curious to see what all the hubbub is about.

  • Nikki Landis
    2019-05-05 20:04

    Reparation is about a journey, albeit a painful and long reaching journey full of trials and tribulation and ultimately leaving its mark on the author. I found this a difficult and challenging read, but not for the reasons you many think. As a memoir the book digs deep into the life and soul of one woman and her experiences over decades of her life. Heavy on religion and self-sacrifice, Reparation dares you to confront your spiritual beliefs and the consequences of sin, denial, hardship, abuse, trauma, and healing. It's not a story for those who are weak and somehow, that's alright because the author is such a strong individual it seems an insult not to forge ahead bravely with her as you read.I'm not a religious individual. I didn't grow up with parents who held that in high regard. But I can imagine what it was like to grow up devoutly Catholic with heavy expectation thrown on your shoulders and a strict upbringing. How? The writing. Digging deep inside her battered and bruised soul, Ms. Hall shares her innermost thoughts and feelings and bares all, revealing her life choices and their repercussions, and their effect on her life. It's soul searching and I have to applaud her courage. Not many of us are brave enough to do that.By the end of the book, her journey has finally come full circle and its those revelations, whether she realizes it or not, that have combined to make her the strong and courageous individual she has become. Life is unexpected but you can return from the past, heal, and be free. I believe she has. The title is interesting and conveys so much. Reparation, by definition, is making amends but I wonder if the author has finally forgiven herself. She endured so much and some of it was self-inflicted, I hope she has found her peace and finds her happiness. As you can tell, I was deeply impacted by this book, even if I couldn't relate to a lot of the religious conversation. I couldn't possibly give Reparation less than 5 stars. It's a read a highly recommend.

  • E.M. Cooper
    2019-04-28 19:05

    Reparation drew me in from the first page and kept me engaged and curious through the entire book. It’s a compelling and uncommon account of a woman’s harrowing journey from early to middle adulthood. Maria was raised in a large and deeply religious, Irish family in New Zealand. After Father McSweeney, the parish priest plants the idea in her head, Maria decides to follow a religious vocation. She finishes her Bachelor of Music degree and joins the Sacred Heart Order at only 22 years. A year later, she travels to Melbourne to continue her training but is forced to wrestle with overwhelming difficulties and under devastating circumstances leaves the order and returns home. Her next leap takes her to Spain and an even more challenging world but one that will eventually lead her to a well-deserved better place.Maria Hall’s writing is honest and direct. Her character in Reparation is easy to love and empathise with and with every page you find yourself hoping she will overcome her formidable demons and win through to find happiness and peace. I thoroughly enjoyed the glimpses of her unusual life and the beautifully described characters that made this story come alive. I would recommend this novel to readers who enjoy human psychology and understanding what makes others tick.

  • Sarah Stuart
    2019-05-14 18:18

    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.

  • Angela Lockwood
    2019-05-13 18:27

    It never ceases to amaze me what people are willing to do or endure in the name of religion. I read this amazing story mostly open mouthed as Maria recounted her story of becoming a nun. It offered a glimpse into a world most of us never enter. Ms Hall has a very engaging style of writing and I was glued to the pages as she took us on her journey from New-Zealand to Australia and Spain. It was fascinating to get a look inside of a strict religious cult I wasn’t even aware off. It spurred me on to read a bit more about the Palmarian Church, which is still going despite its very strict rules.It is also an inspirational story as the young Maria, damaged from her experiences in Australia, tries to find reparation in Spain. It is after her experiences there that she truly starts to rebuild her life and finds her voice and purpose.

  • Bill Ward
    2019-05-02 22:21

    I enjoyed reading this well written memoir although much of the content was difficult to read. The author had to endure some very tough times in her life. I was especially interested by all the details of her life as a Nun. I very much admired the author's strength of character. She showed great courage and determination as a Nun and I am not surprised by her subsequent business success. You can't help but be sad at some of the events in the book but I ultimately found this memoir uplifting. Religion and the author's devout belief in God is at the heart of the book but whatever your religious views this is a fascinating read.

  • Cynthia Morgan
    2019-05-09 14:05

    Based upon the author’s own life, this is a powerfully poignant account of one woman’s journey, the choices she’s made, and the unexpected, often heartbreaking results those choices produced; yet the inexorable strength of the Spirit to transcend trauma and guide the heart toward healing could not be more compellingly communicated. Although I was more than once shocked by her honest descriptions of the unanticipated neglect she endured, Maria has certainly penned a story that lingers in your thoughts long after you read it; one that prompts introspection and exploration alike.

  • Kate Everward
    2019-05-14 22:20

    I usually don’t read books of this kind but I was curious about this one and I wasn’t wrong. It’s a moving story, hard to believe it’s a story of the author’s life. The things she goes through, the decisions she makes in order to find herself…I’m a non religious person but I can imagine what went on in her mind and soul during all these years. In fact you don’t even need to imagine, she’s very open about her journey. If you want to read something a bit different, this is it.

  • Iva Kenaz
    2019-05-06 14:14

    This was a nice, spiritual journey of the author's life, and an interesting pondering of different religions and philosophies. I like that the author shares her personal story, and admire her for writing it. Although I found it a big too long and voluminous for my taste, I still think it's a good story and recommend it to people who enjoy reading about spirituality.

  • Paul Lovell
    2019-05-04 20:34

    Just finished this memoir. A story about a woman's personal and very private struggles. Not something I would normally read. Themed around religious beliefs and the conflict facing Maria's vocation of becoming/being a nun. Starting in New Zealand the daughter of ardent Catholic parents, decides, almost on a whim to devote herself to God. Trouble is, a young girl with spirit doesn't really fit the strict and often cruel regime of die-hard nuns. Attempts to do so are knocked back, ignored or even obstructed by rules that conflict with sweetness and light. Subsequently, despite her best intentions Maria becomes a bit of a miss-fit. More so when life outside the order interferes. Thus beginning a search much further afield. Maria moves to Spain joining a break-away sect of Carmelite Nuns and the harshness intensifies. I won't say much more than that other than to state, this is enough to make anyone question why. Like all true stories there are a lot of whys. The actions of one may not always suit that of the many. I myself was uncomfortable on a few issues, I suppose this is what makes it a very memorable memoir. For me the best thing about this book is the REVEAL... Opening up a locked door. Showing me things I know nothing about, which I was more than happy to view, at a distance. Congratulations Maria Hall on an excellent story and thanks for sharing it.

  • Diana Febry
    2019-05-23 14:19

    I was fascinated by such an honest and clear insight into a way of life so completely alien to my own. Although of a similar age to the author the experiences that shaped and nearly destroyed her were a real eye-opener. Despite portraying events so different to those of my own life and attitudes I found hard to relate to, the book is incredibly well-written and I was able to fully understand the author's dilemmas and decisions. It is a story that not only takes the lid off life within a religious order but one that really made me think. How would I have reacted in Maria's position? Would I have even had the strength to endure? Would my more selfish attitude caused self-preservation to kick in earlier? How could I possibly know having been brought up in a very different environment?Overall it is a story of disappointment, betrayal and isolation but also one of love, courage and resilience. I felt it an honour to be allowed into the mind of the author as she recounts her experiences without sugar coating. A powerful and interesting read. If you enjoy reading memoirs I guarantee this one will challenge some of your assumptions and shock you in places.

  • Alison Cubitt
    2019-05-04 15:17

    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 targeted by an abuser. 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 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.

  • Joss Landry
    2019-04-28 18:31

    JOURNEY OF LOVE!I enjoyed this book. I recognized a lot of the same situations I experienced while growing up in a very Catholic Family. A journey in the form of a memoir is a very personal recount of a person's life. I found Maria Hall portrayed her story with poignancy, humility and was able to keep me hooked until the end. Of course, would I have loved to read more about the controversy of the Seville Schism within the Church. Yes. However, this story concerned our heroine and not the politics of why these events occurred or who was at the heart of the controversy or what became of the politics behind the scene.I loved the journey itself of her relationship with her family, and was happy that the immense sacrifice she felt she needed to endure for reparation was well worth the wait. There is joy to be shared when even one of us finds our way to reuniting our spiritual and physical selves as one entity. A must read to open our thoughts and become more enlightened. God job! To find out more about Maria Hall, simply visit her Amazon page.

  • Carissa Lynch
    2019-05-09 15:32

    The unforgettable true story of a young girl's spiritual journey. Raised in the Catholic Church and a student of theology, she seeks refuge in a convent with a small, private sector of the religion called the Palmarian Church. What she experiences and suffers was harrowing at times, uplifting at others. Some paths she chooses for herself, others are forced upon her.Parts of this book were so disturbing, but they felt raw and genuine, and I just couldn't stop myself from reading more. I also found the book to be highly insightful into the religion itself; stuff i never knew, especially about the Palmarian Catholic Church. It was so interesting, yet bizarre. I found myself sucked into the story and invested in the main character. I had to know how it ended for her.She fearlessly tells her story, no holds barred. I commend the author for her strength and openness. Her story was inspiring and educational, and the writing was impeccable. Definitely a 5 star read.

  • Billy McLaughlin
    2019-04-26 20:07

    I'm not a fan of misery memoirs but I did go into this one with an open mind. I won't say it was a pleasant surprise but it was a surprise. To call it pleasant would be misguided.It tells the story of Maria as she tries to make amends for something that She despairs over in her teen years. As she turns to god we see the world through her eyes. It's not always a pretty sight.This is beautifully written and layered with so much sadness that I don't think I've gotten through all of the feelings yet. However it does also give a sense of hope when Maria is able to revisit her past.I would definitely recommend this book to anybody who likes a few tears with their bedtime reading.

  • Max Power
    2019-05-10 20:26

    I'm not often delighted with a book choice as I read a lot and have high standards. This was a true gem. Hats off the Maria hall for a masterclass in writing a memoir that touched me deeply. I was completely engaged from start to finish. As a lapsed Irish Catholic who grew up in the seventies, I am not unfamiliar with the often twisted nature of the church to which I was born into. Maria's frank, harrowing and often jaw dropping account of this period of her life was striking not just for the fact that what she relates here is true, but more importantly, she has avoided the pitfalls of mawkishness to create a truly wonderful read that I can highly reccoment without a momments hestitation.

  • Dermot Davis
    2019-05-11 19:22

    This is an honest and informative memoir of a young woman's odyssey on a very winding path to becoming a nun in a little-known and controversial (they have their own pope?) branch of the Catholic church. Written in a simple style which complements the story, the voice rings true and honest. I learned so much about the inner workings of the convents she inhabited in a circuitous route from New Zealand all the way to Spain and back again (this time as a civilian, thankfully). This should be required reading for any young person considering a vocation in the Catholic church, or perhaps any church for that matter.

  • Jana Petken
    2019-05-09 19:14

    I absolutely loved this memoir and true story. As a student in theology and looking forward to becoming a nun, Ms Hall's faith and experiences are tested to the very limits of endurance. The Palmarian church is a sect within the Catholic church. She enters its convent to seek refuge, feel closer to God, serve him, and go on a spiritual journey, only to find anything but a God loving environment.Her harrowing story was wonderfully told, poignant, at times, gritty, and a real eye opener. I admire the author for her courage in writing such a book, and in her devotion to the path she chose.

  • Marian Thornley
    2019-05-06 21:31

    Unput-down-able is an overused word in the world of book reviews but in this case it was true. This autobiography of a girl who grew up in a Catholic household in New Zealand and who spent many years as a nun is honest and written from the heart. As a study in the psychology of control and as an insight into the world of Catholicism and organised religion it is unparalleled. I was horrified at what I was reading yet could not put the book down as I was eager to find out what happens at the end. It is well written too, without too much unnecessary religious content. I loved it.

  • Melissa Craven
    2019-04-26 20:06

    I wasn’t sure I would enjoy this book as much as I did. It was well written and the personal, spiritual journey of the main character was enjoyable, although sometimes horrifying. The characters that spoke with accents kind of felt overdone to me. I stumbled quite a bit over the phonetically spelled dialogue. Once I got used to it, it wasn’t as much of an issue. Overall, Reparation is a memoir you shouldn’t miss.

  • Astrid Arditi
    2019-05-15 18:11

    Maria Hall opens a window usually left shut in this novel about religion, devotion and psychological abuse. Through her incredible life story, we learn of a world of silence, faith, hopes and regrets, of a religious sect that may have started with the best intentions but ended up stifling pure and naive souls like her own. Her journey is inspiring, her self growth a marvel to behold. So glad she got her happy ending!

  • Beth Hale
    2019-04-26 18:16

    I had never heard of the Palmarian Church before reading this book, so that was a nice plus to reading such a well-written, poignant story. I followed Maria along her path in life, at times pitying her and at others, marveling at her inner strength to overcome obstacles. Maria Hall has penned a memoir that exudes honesty, spirituality, and the determination of a woman seeking to find herself.