Gift of the Red Bird: The Story of a Divine Encounter (New York: Crossroad, 1996)

When she was only 27 years old, tragedy struck Paula D’Arcy’s life, when an accident took the life of her husband and her daughter, leaving Paula a young, pregnant widow. She gave birth the following spring and began a profound journey of grief and spiritual discovery, beautifully chronicled in this deceptively simple book. The Gift of the Red Bird is suffused with nature mysticism in the best sense of the word, culminating with a vision-quest retreat in the Texas wilderness, nearly fourteen years after the accident. D’Arcy understands that spiritual writing ultimately tells a love story between the author and God, and she does so beautifully in this short but rich book, filled with longing, insight and wildness. When the author emerges from the wilderness and writes that she has been changed, we the readers can feel it — and perhaps we have been changed as well.

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