Friday, August 12, 2016

#Review: A Change of Habit by Patty Ptak Kogutek #AdultBooks #Memoir

A Change of Habit recounts a spiritual journey that started when a religious eddy hurls seventeen-year-old Patty into a convent in the 1960s. Her deeply embedded guilt drives her to obey the Catholic Church, please her earthly father, and say yes to her heavenly Father. But in the convent, she fails to find happiness in religious rites and rules. Her time in the convent parallels changes wrought in religious life by Vatican II, including changes of names and attire. After leaving the convent following seven years of service, she assumes she can pick up her life and move on. But once the religious habit comes off , long-practiced habits of poverty, chastity, and obedience dog her into married life. Finally facing the reality mirror, she breaks out the debilitating patterns learned in the convent.

My review:
When I first saw this author's book being advertised somewhere, I knew I just had to read it. I did not want to read it because of the funky-sexy nun on the cover or for the title. I did not even want to read it because she lives here in my state. No, I wanted to read it because of this byline: "...Sister Mary Kateri to Sister Mary Vodka." 

The truth is, I have known and seen many nuns/sisters in my life-time so, I thought this one had to be just absolutely crazy to write such a book or downright funny. I was a bit wrong on both accounts.

The author writes a heartfelt and sometimes heartbreaking account as her life as a nun. She does not hold anything back as far as her concerns before entering the convent, her concerns during her time there, and her time after. She makes it clear to the reader the things that took place behind closed doors, that only the sisters were privy and not privy to, and that being in love with God was a whole different ball game than working for Him.

She writes about her Mother and Father who were incredibly supportive, especially her Father. He supported the convent while she was interned there but ironically or maybe not so ironically, she was unaware of how much her Father actually supported until years later after she left. Again, no holds barred.

She shares photos of herself as a sister that were just incredible to see. In full habit, she looked quite a bit different than the photo she presents for this book. Wow! Check out page 133!)

Later, she tells about her first marriage that turned out disastrous as she could not shake the life she had lead. Eventually though, she will meet the love of her life, of whom, she is still with and traveling around today. She speaks of him with as much passion as she does of being in the convent. I loved that!

Throughout the book, and the overall purpose of her writing was to share her seven secrets of how to get through life guilt free. Her life is poured out as she moves through each step. It is easy for me to follow.

So, was there any humor in the book? Well, yes, at times there was, and I easily chuckled. I recall her mentioning the convent as the "nunnery" at one point. That made me laugh out loud!

I really enjoyed this memoir and although my initial reason for wanting read the book was false, I came away with an excellent read.

This book gets 5 stars from me.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my open and honest opinion. The views here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~M.M. aka Naila Moon

Where to find the author:

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~Naila Moon