The precursor to the bestselling The Spiral Staircase comes Karen Armstrong’s classic memoir of her life as a young woman in a convent. Through the Narrow Gate is Karen Armstrong’s intimate memoir of life inside a Catholic convent. With honesty and clarity, she explains what drove her at age seventeen to devote herself to God. Over the next seven years, she endures the difficulties of convent life—the enforced silence, the lack of friendship and family, her own guilt at not being able to stifle her voracious intelligence—and unveils the secrets of religious life during the post–Vatican II years. Through the Narrow Gate is a moving account of a young woman’s search for God and the experiences that put Karen Armstrong on her way to becoming one of the most admired and most respected interpreters of religious faith.