Saturday, May 2, 2009

Book Review of "The Thrill of the Chaste"

What non-fiction book can rivet your attention so that you suspend normal activities until you have finished it without the 'obligatory sex scenes'?"The Thrill of the Chaste" of course!
Dawn Eden, former agnostic, NYU graduate, Sex in the City practitioner, writer for Rolling Stone, The New York Post and the Daily News was the least likely candidate to become a pro-life, chaste Catholic single woman.

"The Thrill of the Chaste" takes the reader back into her past when she was a typical professional urban woman looking for lasting love in a series of sexual encounters where each found herself lonelier than the last. She found herself holding back more and more of her herself as a relationship became more sexually intimate, in order to prepare for the inevitable emotional wreckage of the breakup. Dawn shares with the reader the poignant details of the emotional cost of the lifestyle which fails to satisfy, and her painful, yet steady climb out of it. Her evocative storytelling ability makes the story a great read as well as a valuable guide to those who are leaving sexual immorality behind for something far better. Her book draws from the wellspring of Pope John Paul's Theology of the Body as she
discovers her true vocation as a single woman and her renewed hopes for a future of true intimacy in married life.
This book should be on the bookshelf of every high school. So many young women today are suffering the painful loneliness inherent in unchaste lifestyles and fear that there is no starting over. Dawn's intimate testimony is proof that God's merciful grace is always sufficient to begin anew, and has awakened hope in thousands who have had the experience of reading it, or attending one of her talks.

I first met Dawn when I lived on Long Island, and she gave a Faith on Tap talk on her book. Because of her 'coming out' as a pro-lifer while working at the New York Post, and subsequently losing her job, I summoned up the courage to come out as a pro-life writer at Suffolk County Community College where I was an adjunct professor. We next met in 2007, as we gave presentations on the Catholic blogosphere at the Annual Meeting of the Catholic Society of Social Scientists at St John's Law School. Dawn has an engaging humility about her, she never acts like the celebrity, no matter when we meet, she warmly remembers me as a fellow blogger, further evidence of her profound conversion. She is a wonderful role model for single Catholic women striving to live a life of grace in a hostile, pornographic society.
Last fall Dawn spent some time in Baltic, my hometown in Eastern CT and was interviewed by Friar Roderick on AIR MARIA. We just met in Washington DC in January in the John Paul II Cultural Center where she was conducting a chastity workshop, and I promised to review her book here. Dawn recently held her own on The Today Show where the Sex and the City practitioners gave her a run for her money.
She blogs at The Dawn Patrol.

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