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0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Beverly Donofrio Narrator: Janet Donofri Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A bestselling memoirist bravely tells the story of the night evil paid her a visit—and how prayer chased evil away.

Beverly Donofrio had already lived two lives, first as a scrappy young mother on the streets of the East Village and later as the bestselling author of Riding in Cars with Boys. By the time she reached her fifties, she thought she had seen it all.

Now, even though she was living in a vibrant, picturesque Mexican town, where she practiced yoga, drank margaritas in her backyard, and took salsa lessons, she felt lost and was searching for monasteries to visit. The religious practice that had nourished her for several years had faded. She missed God. Then one night she woke to find a rapist holding a knife to her throat. So begins the memoir that charts Donofrio’s journey—a long and twisting road through denial, mourning, anger, vulnerability, and retreat at five very different monasteries.

Told through Donofrio’s brutally honest, often ribald, emotionally unsparing voice, Astonished is a tender and hopeful narrative of healing and learning to love life again.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Reading Donofrio’s memoir, Astonished, is, in itself, an astonishing experience. She grapples with her faith in ways and in words that startle, move, mesmerize, wrench, enliven, and thrill the reader. It is a narrative composed of brutal honesty, tenderness, and an aching love for God. I could not put it down.”

    Sue Monk Kidd, New York Times bestselling author

  • “The brutally honest author of Riding in Cars with Boys reveals how a terrifying brush with a rapist sparked her spirituality and set her on a journey of recovery paved with prayer.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “A smart, funny memoir about a woman seeking answers to some very hard questions…Donofrio’s intelligent and down-to-earth delivery gives [Astonished] a meditative feel. For her, ‘bringing God into the picture makes me pay closer attention.’ Her writing does the same thing for us. Her bravery helps. She holds nothing back.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “What’s most compelling, besides Donofrio’s simultaneously warm and tough-as-nails voice, is the openness of her heart toward good old-fashioned faith and her willingness to accept God into her life, if she could only figure Him out…The fact that she was able to take such ugliness and transform it into the beauty of this book is a stunning accomplishment.”

    Daily Beast

  • “[An] insightful, candidly unfolding, soul-bearing journey to grace.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Honest, engaging, and cathartic.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Donofrio’s journey around the country and into her inner life is compelling material beautifully written. Perpetually humble, searching, honest, and wry, Donofrio is a fine companion for a spiritual journey.”


  • “It is an unsparing but also hopeful account of evil and misery and suffering as well as joy and goodness and forgiveness. ‘Don’t run from the pain,’ Donofrio writes. She doesn’t. Instead, Astonished transcends it.”


  • “Donofrio recounts facing down her subsequent anger and fearfulness and learning to embrace life, even as she spent time in five monasteries hoping to touch the face of God."

    Library Journal

  • “As beautiful as it is authentic, Astonished is one of the most compelling, appealing, and instructive spiritual autobiographies I have read in many a year.”

    Phyllis Tickle, author of The Great Emergence: How Christianity Is Changing and Why

  • Astonished is a seeker’s and writing woman’s spiritual journey through doubt and despair, emerging in cowboy boots, green tights, and prayer.”

    Sara Pritchard, author of Crackpots and Help Wanted: Female

  • “The subject of rape is presented in such a way that the author’s personal experience becomes enlightening and valuable. Narrator Janet Donofrio introduces her sister’s powerful message in tones of anger, fear, and the hunger to comprehend why terrible events occur. But this is actually a hopeful story. As the author comes to terms with what happened, the narrator’s tone changes to one of forgiveness and compassion. Ultimately, the author says, the rape strengthened her faith and led to her belief that there’s a significant reason behind each difficult occurrence in our lives.”


  • A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2013 in Nonfiction
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