“I’m Jewish, and I don’t really understand the religious references for the most part…but the human relations aspect of this story—how these men adapted or didn’t adapt—how they experienced this life, and each other—was absolutely fascinating. I had trouble putting the book down. I found it one of the most interesting books of nonfiction that I’ve read in recent years.”
Charles E. Becker
Chatham County North Carolina
“Maguire knows when to pause and when to continue in her pacing of her narrative, and her academic preparation does reveal itself—if not in citations—then in the attention to the telling detail, the crafting of a vignette, and the focus on the tumultuous inner quest relentlessly pitted against the deceptively serene outer silence.”
John L. Murphy
Los Angeles, California
“Religious differences evaporate as we join the universal search for understanding of a higher power. This is a coming of age true story that will appeal to all ages, young and old.”
Sue Ann Virchow
Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
“This book was fascinating, beautiful, and engaging. And I’m sorry to have it completed.”
“This book is somewhat of a paradox—a page-turner about a very slow and deliberate community.”
“It’s a page-turner, reading like a novel. It is a cultural history, a coming of age story, a mystery all in one. I was surprised to find myself clarifying my own spiritual beliefs as I read…”
Thanks for this wonderful work, which you, Mrs. Maguire, have created.
Reading this book has made me, a former Trappist, more rich in spirit, and – what is very important – deepened my relation to God again very much.
I am sorry that your husband, Hans Klein (Pater Ignatius) is no more among us.
I am sure that Christ has taken him by His hand to his eternal Jerusalem, from where he – with a smile – looks down on you and calls to you: “don’t be afraid!”
Thank you, Mrs. Maguire!
Xt Edgar Böhme
Duisburg, Germany (October 30, 2018)
“An Infinity of Little Hours” hits it out of the park on all levels. So much “new” information to absorb about a world (before you!) closed to all, and such a beautiful sensitive portrait of what the five young men experienced at Charterhouse, before entering and after. WOW! I truly hated to be finishing “the savoring” of your the book –as I did last night. I feel like I’ve left a close and intimate friend behind.
(For me) your writing is much like the late Bill Maxwell’s: clean and clear—yet with multiple levels of complexity and information on any one page. Truly extraordinary! What a tour de force. Congratulations!!
NED Biosystems (March 25, 2019)
I read An Infinity Of Little Hours three times. I’m super excited to hear there will be a continuation of the story of one of these young men. I’ve always been fascinated with Religious life, the more austere the better. I often pick it up to “spot read“ when my soul need a respite In a contemplative monastery.
Religious Educator (October 2019)
As a business development professional, I purposely sought out this book about monastic life to see what I could do to lessen the noise in my daily life. An Infinity of Little Hours will make the religious and non-religious understand better that long, lonely walk up to the main road to leave everything behind. I visited La Grande Chartreuse in France during my last trip to Geneve to breath their air and to consider whether I am mentally strong enough for life in the desert. This book is been an inspiration about limits, silence, and the commitment required for any path.
International Business Development at Export Portal (December 9, 2019)
“I just finished reading An Infinity of Little Hours. One of the most astonishing and affecting books I’ve ever read. Thank you.”
Llminstter, UK (7/2017)
- “I just finished reading, for the second time, “An Infinity of Little Hours” by Nancy Maguire. I will place this book among others in my book case….and probably will take it down another time to re-read it. I don’t think I have ever been moved so much by a book with the exception of Merton’s: ” Seven Story Mountain “.
– Claude King
- I loved the book and very much admire the author’s mastery of nonfiction narrative, as well as the seeming simplicity of her writing. The “voice” in this book beautifully matches the subject matter. We actually lived near the South Downs when we were in England the first time, so I could picture much of what the author was describing.
- Reading “An Infinity of Little Hours” will take your breath away. Nancy Klein Maguire’s carefully chosen words beckons the reader to a simpler world. Maguire captures the routine of the Carthusian monks, revealing their cloistered days in such detail that they appear to be walking through the book, imparting deep spiritual wisdom as they go. This book is a “must” for any serious reader, especially those on spiritual journeys. I stayed up until 1:30 a.m. to finish reading it, and now I’m reading it a second time.
-Nancy Wright Beasley
Author of Izzy’s Fire: Finding Humanity in the Holocaust.
- Maguire’s book is a thorough view into the hopes, struggles and beliefs of novices entering a charterhouse in the 1960s…a voyage through words, taking a reader to where my film may take the viewer through images and time. A remarkable and touching book.”
Filmmaker, Director of INTO GREAT SILENCE
- Being a cradle Catholic, monastic life has always held a mysterious aura for me. So, too, has contemplative prayer. This year, I have been part of a church group studying this particular type of prayer. When I heard about An Infinity of Little Hours, I was instantly interested. The book was very easy to read. The characters were developed well, so I really cared about what happened to them. And I especially loved all the pictures. They brought the monastery to life. As I was reading, I often thought of friends I wanted to share the book with. In the end, I bought 20 copies. Everyone’s response was the same as mine. We couldn’t get enough of those monks. I, for one, had to read it again. Thanks, Nancy Klein Maguire for sharing all you learned.
Arlington Heights, Illinois
- “When my wife is weary, I read to her. An Infinity of Little Hours has been an inspiration to us… there is something of the spirituality you capture so brilliantly that speaks to us in our present state … I read it as a confused Christian, and am greatly sustained by its power and empathetic exploration of the relationship of Carthusian and God… It is wonderful.”
-Husband of wife dying of cancer
- “About a week ago, I finished reading An Infinity of Little Hours, but I haven’t finished thinking about it. It was one of the most personally satisfying books I have read. It is also one of the most useful books as well. Without simplifying too much your efforts, it causes me to question more frequently whether a decision or ‘fight’ is really that important or worth it in the context of one’s life.”
Morrison Associates, Ltd.
- “If you want to see inside the mind of the solitary contemplative or if you want to be inspired by human determination to succeed in the face of spiritual trials, you will be as moved by this book as I am. Ex-members of religious orders (and they are many!) will be delighted and encouraged by the way this book presents apparent vocational failures as a stage in a lifelong journey of the soul. . . .The monastic contemplative life is here exposed, warts and all, in the form of a thoroughly compelling read. It is also bursting with quotes from the Carthusian tradition and actual statements from the monks (and ex-monks) of Parkminster that give much material for meditation and reflection.”
-Norman R. Davies
Granada, Spain, Visitor to Parkminster in 1974
- “I think the minutiae of monastic life is where the book gets its start and its energy. Those that stay, now those are the interesting ones, even those who stay for a few years because they take this routine and this new life experience, and mingle it all in their growth and new experiences at the monastery. These men are real and interesting to know about.”
-Julie Van Doren
- “I kept on reading. All the unfamiliar Catholic words just swept right by me. I am fascinated that these men vowed to silence liked to talk so much! They each had different ways of coping. Dom Philip seemed to use his brain to cope.”
-Dr. Patricia Hammick
- Nancy Klein Maguire’s latest book is a tapestry of impeccable research, design, and writing workmanship. It tells the dramatic story of a rich and mysterious way of contemplative life, which may well soon disappear forever, and to which no one outside the Carthusian Order had ever before been granted such intimate access. It is a spiritually uplifting book, and should be, I believe, of particular interest to those who know little about monastic and contemplative life, and may be curious because they themselves are so “interconnected” that they barely have time to retire into their own thoughts. It is a superb history of religious rites dating back, almost unchanged, to the 11th century. Most of all, it is a suspenseful adventure story about five young men, who during the era of Vietnam and the Cold War, undertook a remarkable quest, and about what they encountered along the way. It is a rare and pleasurable reading experience to encounter all those elements artfully and powerfully combined in one book. I have reread it several times, and will do so again.
Author and Management Consultant
- “An Infinity of Little Hours had special meaning for me because I left high school in 1961 to enter the seminary at a Benedictine Monastery in Cullman, Alabama. . . . The contemplative monastic routine is an attractive escape from the survival pressures of world living. Having finally chosen the chaotic worldly course and by society’s standard becoming highly successful, I found An Infinity of Little Hours reinforcing the basic values that underlie my life successes causing me to re-focus on those foundation years at St. Bernard’s.”
-John C. Erickson
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Erickson Retirement Communities
- “An Infinity of Little Hours was a great help to John when he was dying. He was fascinated by the austere life which almost seemed a prison of God. He felt it was great to capture the monks’ thoughts.”
-Widow of ALS Victim
- One woman wrote: “my husband suggested that I read your book. To be honest, I was not enthusiastic-a history of monks did not appeal to me. However I gave it a try and was absolutely enthralled.”
-Wife of an historian
- “Having been fascinated by the Carthusians for many years now, I was particularly keen to read about the sort of people who were called to their lifestyle. I was not disappointed. It was a glorious read-spiritual and yet human.”
- “[Maguire] seems to feel a genuine rapport with the people whose lives and thoughts she describes. She really gets into their skin and explains both their pleasures and their pain with affection and understanding.”
-Newhousenewnewjob.blogspot.com (June, 2007)
- “We are cloistered nuns. Your book is amazing! You have been able to get to the core of contemplative life like no outsider ever has. I saw myself in every page… my struggles, joys, boredoms and crisis were all there. I laughed at the infinity of details that we have in common with the Carthusians. And, yes, I’m very familiar with “the dark force” that kept reappearing throughout the book as regularly as it does around here! Thank you for writing such a wonderful book. I think it should be “required reading” in our Novitiate!”
-A Discalced Carmelite
- “You know that wonderful sensation of reading an extremely well written book–how it just seems to flow effortlessly as you read, and then lingers with you when you’re done? That was Infinity for me. In the end, we are enchanted by the monks who persevere in the life, but also embrace the men who leave, fully sharing their relief. Maguire is a gifted writer; her prose is like freshly made butter, smooth and delicious. I think I could read anything she chose to write next, and plan to.”-Mark Asselin
Government Manager and Independent Scholar
- “I just finished An Infinity of Little Hours and it knocked my socks off. I live with a former monk; he read it as well and in typical understated fashion pronounced it pretty accurate.”-Janet Reid
New York, New York