Night’s Bright Darkness

A Modern Conversion Story

Written by Sally Read

Street Date: October 2016


A beautifully written story about a British poet’s conversion from staunch atheism to devout Catholicism, all in the space of nine electric months. In Spring of 2010 Sally Read was heralded as one of the bright young writers of the British poetry scene. Feminist, atheist and deeply anti-Catholic, she was writing a book about women’s reproduction and sexuality when, during her research, she spoke with a Catholic priest. That mysterious encounter led Sally on a dramatic journey of spiritual quest and discovery which ended up at the Vatican itself, where she was received into the Catholic Church in December of that year.

This story of her conversion is one that, unsurprisingly, has the vivid flavor and beauty of poetry. Read relates her encounters with the Father, the Spirit and then the Son, exactly in the way they were given to her—timely, revelatory and compelling. These transforming events throw new light onto the experiences of her past—her father’s death, her work as a psychiatric nurse, her life as a single woman in London, as a mother and as a writer. She reveals how she developed a close intimacy with the new love that erupted into her life, Christ himself, and how she comes to accept and embrace a doctrine she had previously rejected as bigoted and stifling.

Read confronts head on the burning question for God that every true Christian harbors: “What do you want me to do?” In an age of increasing secularism, and in the wake of disillusionment with the Catholic Church following disclosures of abuse, the book takes us to the core of what the Church is all about: Christ and the yearning to be near him.

Read’s book captures the ecstasy of first knowing God’s love and charts how it changes us. It takes the massive energy that was given her during those nine initial months of conversion and crystallizes it so others can taste it. It is a testimony to the powerhouse of Christianity: love and the life-changing encounter with Christ.


To purchase the book from Ignatius Press, click here.

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