Twelve Stones: Notes on a Miraculous Journey, is the memoir of Barbara Carole, who was inspired to share her amazing journey of failures, frustrations and faith.
I found this book to be very intense – her experiences and the way she writes about them, made it hard to put the book down. Barbara shares openly and honestly about her heartache along the path she took to finding God and includes some very personal details of her life such as an unexpected pregnancy and involuntary abortion at the age of 15, a failed marriage, and her life as a single working mother in Los Angeles.
In her book, Barbara writes “This book is my altar of 12 stones for the God who protects His people time and time again. He does no less for me. I write to remember the miracles that remind me that He works in ways contrary to the ways of the world. I write to remember, and to honor what God has done. She based the title on the Old Testament account in the Bible where Joshua took 12 stones from the Jordan and built an altar to the Lord. The stones were to remind them of the God who opened the Red Sea to save the Israelites. “My own altar of 12 stones is built by 12 chapters, which are called ‘Stone I, Stone II, Stone III and so forth,” she said. “I pile my stones one upon the other to remember and to honor what God has done for me, how he took a mess and made something beautiful of it.”
As a child growing up in the only Jewish family in an Italian Catholic neighborhood, Barbara endured the taunts of the other children calling her “Christ killer” at the tender age of 5. After moving from the Bronx to Long Island, where her parents buy their first home, Barbara meets Camilla, (her Italian Catholic neighbor) who invites her along to confession. This experience confuses Barbara and makes her wonder about God. She begins her long quest of looking for the answers to her questions in all of the wrong places.
Her travels take her various places around the world and include experiences like living in a Muslim village, later working with Jacques Cousteau and eventually ending up in Los Angeles. I found the book easy to read. In fact, it was hard not to get lost in the story as Barbara’s descriptions of her journeys allowed me to picture in my mind exactly where she was, what she was doing and the emotions she felt. Personally, I think that if done correctly, this book could be made into a powerful movie, in which Barbara’s story could be shared with those who might not pick up the book and read it.
When asked what would intrigue a non-Christian, or non religious person about her book - Barbara's response was this: "I find it interesting (hopefully you will, too) that even the most intelligent among us often act in ways destructive to our wholeness and joy. I was one of those, but I wanted to understand why, and my quest is one that led to growth.
Destructive love affairs, a colorful career, life in various countries and cultures around the world, and my exploration of spiritual realities... any of these might intrigue you. And, given my stereotypes and misconceptions, what I found inside the church community - another foreign culture - might be as surprising to you as it was to me.
If you don't believe in God - or don't believe in Him the same way I do - you will easily identify with my worldly and all-too-human imperfections and with the antipathy I felt towards any faith - Christianity in particular. Faith was the last thing I thought I'd ever seek or want. You would understand, better than anyone, that nothing short of miracles could bring a person like me to her knees before God."
If you are interested in learning more about Barbara Carole, you can watch her video interview here:http://www.barbaracarole.com/video/index.html