Ring Around the Rosary – Gretchen Grossman

Ring around the Rosary by Gretchen Grossman

I received a copy of “Ring Around the Rosary” two years ago in exchange for an honest review. This memoir is about an American woman who became a nun at the tender age of seventeen. She left five years later, married again, had two gorgeous boys, and taught school for twenty years. This tale touched my heart and soul in momentous ways, as many of the struggles Ms. Grossman endured overlapped issues in my life. Some have been critical of this true story, stating that it is harmful to the church. As a Catholic, I do not see it that way at all. When I was a teenager, raised in an abusive family, I wanted to be a nun as well. Had this memoir been available when I grappled with my own decision, also at seventeen, I would have been glad to read it. I appreciate it on many levels, but primarily because it would have afforded me a glimpse into the life, I almost claimed as my own. What harm does it do for a girl to know the exact nature of the training to which she might pledge? Why should she not know the day-to-day routines that would envelop her days? With my history of abuse, neglect, beatings, humiliation, and my parents confining me to an attic and basement repeatedly, a choice to enter the convent could have ended my life. Ms. Grossman’s memoir moved me to sadness, alarm, anger, shock, and love. ·I do not regret reading a single word. In fact, this is a vital and revealing piece of literature to me, a truly a fine read. Finally, I would be remiss not to mention its historic importance as well, especially through her travels in Europe with her husband, moments that include crossing from East to West Berlin and being gifted documents signed by Adolf Hitler. With sixty-six five-star ratings, you could never go wrong.

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