Through the Narrow Gate is Karen Armstrong's memoir of life inside a Catholic convent in the 1960's.
With gentleness and honesty, Armstrong takes her readers on a revelatory journey that begins with her decision, at the age of seventeen, to devote her life to God as a nun. yet once she embarked upon her spiritual training, she encountered a frightening and oppressive world, fossilized by tradition, which moulded, isolated and pushed her to the limit of what she could endure.
* `This articulate and sensitive writer spares no punches in her account of the agonising fight to find herself under the weight of rules and expectations, lies and aggression... Through the Narrow Gate is written as racily and as emotionally as a novel... the picture of convent life is vivid and terrifying.' Good Housekeeping.
* `Painful and honest... Karen Armstrong's simple account of her struggles - both in pursuit of that self-death that the true religious craves and, later, against her unconscious rejection of life in an ultra-strict Order - says a great deal about destructive trends in modern life... A very moving book.' Daily Telegraph
* `Seldom has a story of personal inspiration and tragedy radiated such warmth, freshness and candour... As beautifully recounted as it is heart-rending.' Irish Press
* The strength of this unself-pitying chronicle is the author's capacity to convey the overwhelming attraction of the life she sought, even as she documents its shattering effect on the human personality... A scrupulous record of one woman's spiritual journey, excellently written and profoundly moving.' Cosmopolitan