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Extended Audio Sample Vows: The Story of a Priest, a Nun, and Their Son, 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 Lawlo Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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. "

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About the Author
Author Peter Manseau

Peter Manseau is the author of the novel Songs for the Butcher’s Daughter, the memoir Vows, and the travelogue Rag and Bone. He is also the coauthor, with Jeff Sharlet, of Killing the Buddha. His writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post, and on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.” Manseau is also founding editor of the award-winning webzine KillingTheBuddha.com, and lives with his wife and two daughters in Washington, DC, where he studies religion and teaches writing at Georgetown University.