The first half of Rice’s book is devoted to her childhood. She writes about her life with her family in New Orleans and tells of her Catholic experiences growing up. As a child, Rice and her mother attended prayer services and Mass at various churches and chapels throughout the city. Rice recalls her senses being enlivened by the sights, sounds, smells of the churches and chapels she visited. She tells of the statues, the incense, the stain glass windows, the decorations of the altars, the vestments, and many other items connected with the Catholic Church of the 1940s and 50s. These were wonderful memories to her.
Rice also discusses throughout the biography her difficulty with reading. She could read and write but she could not read and retain or enjoy reading because she was more of a visual learner – which, she admits – is probably why memories of visiting churches have stuck with her so long and have made such an impact on her.
This reviewer thinks that after the death of Rice’s mother is when she began to question her faith and started becoming an atheist. Rice used her famous vampire stories as a way to work out her faith issues. It was a bit amusing for this reviewer that while he was reading her description of feeling the presence of God as if someone was there with her and then turning the next page and she describes the feeling like what is described in the famous poem. God is always with us even if we are not aware of his presence; Blessed Teresa of Calcutta shows us that. Rice goes into depth about this feeling of a presence in her biography.