The Story of a Soul Book Review

This past Saturday, October 1st, was the beautiful feast of St. Thérèse. I recently read her autobiography, The Story of a Soul (Paraclete Heritage Edition). This book is a treasure and it was a joy to read!

From the introduction by Robert J. Edmonson, translator and editor: “Just before St. Thérèse died, she told her sisters that she would spend her time in heaven doing good on earth and would send a shower of grace, what she called a ‘shower of roses’ to those on earth…”

I’ve known many (myself included) who have recited novenas to St. Thérèse and have had these prayers answered with roses.

St. Thérèse was only four years old when her mother died. She and her sisters were raised by their saintly father. Her sister, Pauline, was like a second mother to her. Thérèse was heartbroken when her sister, Pauline, entered the Carmelite convent. Thérèse entered the convent at the age of 14.

One of the most inspiring passages is from the chapter entitled “Profession to the Offering of Love,” in which St. Thérèse says, “I don’t desire suffering or death, either, and yet I love both of them. But it is love alone that draws me…for a long time, I desired them both. I possessed suffering and I thought I was touching the shores of heaven. I thought that the little flower would be gathered in its springtime…Now it’s abandonment alone that guides me – I have no other compass. I can ask for nothing fervently any more except the perfect accomplishment of God’s will in my soul.”

St. Thérèse has always been one of my favorite saints and this book illustrates why. She was a holy and virtuous young woman, but also very human. She was witty, charming and down to earth. I especially appreciated that these are St. Thérèse’s own words, in her unique voice and sometimes humorous expressions.

I highly recommend this beautiful book.

Thanks to Paraclete Press for the review copy.

Copyright 2011 Ellen Gable Hrkach


5 thoughts on “The Story of a Soul Book Review

  1. The Story of a Soul is one of the first spiritual books I ever read. At first, I found Therese’ hard to relate to, but by the end of the book, I’d fallen in love with her. I often ask her to pray for me – that I may love Jesus as much as she did. I love the way she could take something seemingly mundane and use it as a beautiful, spiritual exercise.

  2. St. Therese is one of my favorite saints, too, Ellen. She is much braver than I could ever be. I wonder why she was “heartbroken” when her older sister entered the convent first. You would think she would have been more impatient than heartbroken when her sister left. Of course, I don’t know how long between her sister’s entering the convent and Therese’s entering the convent. Thanks for recommending this book. I’ll have to check it out.
    ~Victoria Marie Lees

  3. Great review. I have read this book about 4 times! I have a great devotion to St Therese – she was my “first” saint (I am a convert). Her spirituality of the Little Way really speaks to me and she has sent me many roses! God bless!

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