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Download Vows: The Story of a Priest, a Nun, and Their Son Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Vows: The Story of a Priest, a Nun, and Their Son Audiobook, by Peter Manseau Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (135 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Peter Manseau Narrator: Patrick Lawlor Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2005 ISBN: 9781400171972
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Vows is a compelling story of one family’s unshakable faith that to be called is to serve, however high the cost may be. Peter Manseau’s riveting evocation of his parents’ parallel childhoods, their similar callings, their experiences in the seminary and convent, and how they met while tending to the homeless of Roxbury, Massachusetts, during the riot-prone 1960s is a page-turning meditation on the effect that love can have on profound faith.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Manseau’s memoir returns to the 1950s, the early years of his parents’ devotion to the church, and their eventual straying…Lawlor stakes out a tone part nostalgic, part removed and part regretful, nicely duplicating the feel of Manseau’s book and its conflicted feelings about the Church that so thoroughly dominated its protagonists’ lives.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “This is a strange and marvelous story, told with unerring grace. In the Manseau family, the call to religious service is like the call of the ancient Sirens. And yet they survive. Peter Manseau’s writing is keen-eyed, lyrical, muscular, and more, and while Vows is a story about big ideas—religion, devotion, sacrifice—it is above all a love letter to his own family.”

    Stephen J. Dubner, coauthor of Freakonomics and author of Turbulent Souls

  • “An elegant, sonorous story of how faith can turn and bite you clear through, from a son of the bitten.…Manseau feels intellectually and emotionally drawn to religion. His quest provides a study in contrast with that of his parents, yet the final chapter shows how close they remain. Quiet yet resounding testament to genuine religious striving.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Johanna | 2/5/2014

    " This book was interesting but I would have prefered to read the story from the mother or father's point of view and not the son's. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ellen | 1/21/2014

    " The thoughtful and well written story of the author's parents, a priest and a nun, who married during the turbulent post Vatican II era. One sees the secretive and powerful institutional structure which hid abusive priests which so damaged the church's faithful. Fascinating book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marilyn | 1/20/2014

    " Very thought provoking - certainly a different religious experience than I grew up with. Author was able to examine a very complex, emotional, and personal issue while maintaining an objective presentation. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lmbrence | 1/19/2014

    " Wow, finished reading it yesterday. A must read if from Boston with any family from Dorchester. Sad some of the story of of the abuses of priests, sad it ever even happened. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lori | 12/26/2013

    " Great story of a priest with a family, written by the son. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa Hayes | 12/18/2013

    " Not as interesting as I'd hoped--still I'm a sucker for "Nun lit" "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz | 12/2/2013

    " He is so loving of his family, and he uses the church and social developments as a frame. Could work? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ellen | 11/17/2013

    " Provides background of Peter Manseau, aughor of Songs for the Butcher's daughter. Fascinating, well written story of his parents' hard choices to maintain their faith while chosing each other. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike | 11/16/2013

    " A book showing some of the best people have to offer and some of the worst religion has to offer. Celibacy just isn't natural and is no virtue. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ellen | 10/11/2013

    " Excellent, very interesting especially for anyone who grew up Catholic. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Judy Abdallah | 10/3/2013

    " Just OK. I didn't find it as interesting as I expected. Too much of it is just chronological. His parents seem to be interesting characters - I would have liked to read more about their personalities in detail. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Martha Johnson | 10/1/2013

    " A well told and complex story of the calamities of the catholic church and some of its servants. Manseau did a lovely job telling a tale that is so close to him. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah Brannon | 7/18/2013

    " Long and sometimes boring, but still worth a read if religion (and its associated politics) interests you. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tyler | 7/14/2013

    " For those raised in Catholic homes, this is a great book. It drags on a bit... but I think it is interesting and filled with insight into the church, and those that devote their lives to God. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Corrie | 9/22/2012

    " Very well written and it's done from a completely new perspective. Definitely recommend it if you have even a passing interest in religion. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jncperrin | 8/24/2012

    " This book gives a lot of background into the Catholic church. I also learned that those Priests who chose to marry were considered to be a part of the sex scandal in the Catholic church. Really good read! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 3/20/2011

    " Long and sometimes boring, but still worth a read if religion (and its associated politics) interests you. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ellen | 9/24/2010

    " Provides background of Peter Manseau, aughor of Songs for the Butcher's daughter. Fascinating, well written story of his parents' hard choices to maintain their faith while chosing each other. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lori | 3/17/2010

    " Great story of a priest with a family, written by the son. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 michelle | 10/17/2009

    " not what i was hoping for or expecting -- too much about the priest scandals & not as much about the couple & family life "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike | 9/6/2009

    " A book showing some of the best people have to offer and some of the worst religion has to offer. Celibacy just isn't natural and is no virtue. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marilyn | 8/3/2009

    " Very thought provoking - certainly a different religious experience than I grew up with. Author was able to examine a very complex, emotional, and personal issue while maintaining an objective presentation. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 1/26/2009

    " Not as interesting as I'd hoped--still I'm a sucker for "Nun lit" "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Johanna | 10/11/2008

    " This book was interesting but I would have prefered to read the story from the mother or father's point of view and not the son's. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ellen | 8/24/2008

    " The thoughtful and well written story of the author's parents, a priest and a nun, who married during the turbulent post Vatican II era. One sees the secretive and powerful institutional structure which hid abusive priests which so damaged the church's faithful. Fascinating book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jncperrin | 7/12/2008

    " This book gives a lot of background into the Catholic church. I also learned that those Priests who chose to marry were considered to be a part of the sex scandal in the Catholic church. Really good read! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gina | 7/7/2008

    " This book contains way more about the scandals in the Church than I anticipated. I wanted to know more about the relationships in the families. "

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About the Author
Author Peter ManseauPeter Manseau holds a doctorate in religion from Georgetown University and currently serves as the first-ever Curator of American Religious History at the Smithsonian. He is the author of Rag and Bone, Songs for the Butcher's Daughter, and Vows. He lives in Annapolis, Maryland.
About the Narrator

Patrick Lawlor, an award-winning narrator, is also an accomplished stage actor, director, and combat choreographer. He has worked extensively off Broadway and has been an actor and stuntman in both film and television. He has been an Audie Award finalist multiple times and has garnered several AudioFile Earphones Awards, a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award, and many Library Journal and Kirkus starred audio reviews.