Book Summary

Benedictus, the story of Sister Anne is a compelling and controversial love story of both divine and human dimensions. The story of Sister Anne is also the story of Joseph, her psychologist. A labyrinthian path brought these two clashing personalities together in an unlikely and courageous search for truth and healing that dramatically changed both their lives. Twenty years of conflict over her vocation had taken this nun into a void of darkness that she called a place of Nothing. Her love-driven desire to do God's will never falters, but the no within to the life she had chosen would not be silenced. Nonetheless, in the deepest recesses of her soul, she held the unwavering belief that, at some point in time, someone would come to help her discern the truth of this spiritual conflict that was robbing her of life itself.

Against all odds, Sister Anne's faith was manifested in reality as someone did come, and during the most critical time when she hovered on the edge of death. He came into her life but not as she had imagined and not in a way that the world would easily accept. It took someone like Joseph, who was willing to risk all things professionally and personally, to extend a hand and pull her out of that void. Sister Anne's risk was nothing less for she had to hold on and meet him every step of the way. No door was left unopened in the search for the lost inner self, sparing her nothing. She walked through them all, and when the last door closed behind her, Sister Anne knew a choice had to be made. No matter what the cost.

Filled with poignant descriptions that will captivate even the most cynical of minds, this unique romance is told in an intense and gripping style which makes for remarkable literary prose.


The story of Anne & Joseph continues with sequel: Sea for Two, A Journal.

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ISBN 13 (TP): 978-1-4653-6408-1
ISBN 13 (HB): 978-1-4653-6409-8
ISBN 13 (eBook): 978-1-4653-6410-4



Sea For Two

“What! You want us to leave all this and go …where? Gualala!” Anne is aghast. She had left convent life not that many years ago and Joseph’s proposal sounded like they might be moving to a cloister in the wilderness. It took much weighing of the pros and cons before the two of them could share the same perspective: their world would change, but this time it would be for two – two and the sea. In the end, she was the one to find the remote ocean bluff house, a fixer-upper they named THE SEA COTTAGE. Anne picks up her pen and records life as it happens in her journal - from the storms rumbling in from the Pacific to the perils of hanging wallpaper together. Always there are the TWO, dancing to the ebb and flow of the tides, tides that eventually would carry them elsewhere.


Anne O’Neill perceives this book of poetry to be a literary roadmap for the many diverse places she has lived over the past 40 years: The Southern California and Oregon coasts, the High Sierras, the deserts of the Southwest and, in particular, Gualala on the remote coast of Northern California. Each location possesses a unique beauty that became a powerful muse for poetic expression, the language of the soul. In this sense, the selection of poems is a roadmap for the interior life as well, revealing a depth of insights and emotions. The poems are free form, bound only by a sense of rhythm, according to O’Neill. She includes a sprinkling of haiku with its stringent rules to create a contrasting balance.