The author of Dead Man Walking and the nation's foremost leader in efforts to abolish the death penalty, shares the story of her growth as a spiritual leader, speaks out about the challenges of the Catholic Church, and shows that joy and religion are not mutually exclusive.
Unlike other recent memoirs by former nuns who look back, if not in anger, but at least in disgust, Prejean’s work shows how she’s remained a faithful, although at times combative, religious sister, reflecting pensively on her past and how it has shaped her current outlook. This account reads almost like a letter from a friend; the author is candid about intimate details of her life, ruminating on the trials and tribulations she experienced in adapting to the changes wrought by the Second Vatican Council, and not shying away from speaking about the sexual revolution and its effect on many religions ... A moving portrait of one Sister’s journey through change, and a meditation on how individuals and institutions grow and adapt. This will appeal to anyone who enjoys a forthright autobiography.
... illuminating and candid ... what River of Fire does so well is explain how deeply culture infuses and informs how we see disparity and injustice. It shows how difficult it is to break free from its limitations.
... riveting ... [Prejean] she persuasively shows why some choose the convent life ... Providing a window into the upheaval in the church during the 1960s and ’70s, Prejean’s engrossing memoir also fleshes out how she rose to be an influential voice within the church before becoming a renowned proponent of abolishing the death penalty. Informing and entertaining, Prejean’s exceptional memoir will be of special interest to Catholics and social justice advocates.