by Mark Salzman
Lying Awake reads like a poem. It is about a middle-aged nun who after years of struggling to feel more spiritual, begins to have intense visions that bring her closer to God in a mystical way. Unfortunately, they're accompanied by terrible headaches that cause her to black out. Her doctor informs her that she's having mild epileptic seizures, a condition easily treatable with surgery. Are her visions a gift from God, or just a symptom of disease? She doesn't want to loose her visions, and foregos surgery to live with the suffering and euphoria of the seizures. But when they begin to be debilitating, the other nuns question her choice and the source of her spiritual inspiration. This is a beautiful and thought-provoking novel, permeated with the quiet scenes of life in a cloistered monastery.
Rating: 4/5 ........ 192 pages, 2001
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