Mary E. Hunt of Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual, Washington, D.C.

“. . . a needed history and a brilliantly told tale.”


Bernard Palmer, The Church Times, London, England

“. . . her book makes for enthralling reading. . . . O’Dell certainly has the novelist’s gift of making her story come alive and in maintaining her readers’ interest, even though they already know how it will end.”


Bill Tammeus, National Catholic Reporter

“For readers who want excellent storytelling and a narrative that draws deep meaning out of the movement that led the Episcopal Church to allow for ordination of female priests, the book to read is The Story of the Philadelphia Eleven.”


Katharine Salmon, Catholic Women’s Ordination, Leeds

“. . . they came to life as she wrote.”


The Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, 26th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church

“Forty years after the event, few really know the full story of the struggle to ordain the first women priests. O’Dell’s book is a gripping read and a telling account that celebrates the courage of all the principled ‘rule breakers’ who helped to move The Episcopal Church beyond the plea to ‘study and pray’ some more before acting. It was a bold and risky move, not unlike Jesus overturning the tables in the Temple, and the consequences were almost as dangerous. Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest this narrative, take heart–and give thanks.”


Dan Carter, author of Scottsboro: A Tragedy of the American South 

“With the gifts of a scholar and novelist, Darlene O’Dell has told the story of the Philadelphia Eleven and the Washington Four who defied The Episcopal Church they cherished and shattered the barrier of male priesthood in 1974 and 1975. If this book is their story, it is also an account of a critical moment in our nation’s history when a group of courageous women challenged theological and cultural patriarchy in a way that may have enraged critics, but ultimately inspired a generation of American women.”