I feel now that if confronted with questions from non-Catholics, I have some ammunition to allow myself to be engaged in a discussion (with the help of the Holy Spirit of course), and not be so afraid.
Overall, I enjoyed reading the conversion stories in "Surprised by Truth", and I would recommend the book to anyone who is trying to discern whether to become Catholic or trying to understand the reasons why people might go from Protestantism to Catholicism.
In most of the cases, the converts had been or had become Christians of some denomination before becoming Catholic. As a result, most of them had a pretty thorough understanding of the Christian faith prior to considering Roman Catholicism. Also, many of them have good credentials and have gone on to do serious Catholic apologetics.
What stood out the most was the fact that most of the stories recounted long periods of careful, thoughtful deliberation and research. In other words, these conversion stories weren't the result of cultural, aesthetic, or emotional attraction. Rather, they came about through patient consideration.
I also liked the fact that most of the stories avoided attacks on Protestantism - most were fairly civil. Given the serious and emotional nature of conversions, I found this to be impressive.
I give it four stars because I would have liked to have heard more stories, but there are websites as well as other additions of the book which help to supplement the stories here.
Words cannot express the emotion you feel when reading these two books 1 and 2. As a Catholic trying to explain to my fiancé of another faith - just trying to answer his questions was beyond difficult, I felt like I was under attack because he memorized the bible, the bible doesn't even mention ANY where sola scriptura - bible alone, it is tradition and the wonderful bible. Until I read these two books. I am a cradle Catholic (born into my faith not a convert) and I have to admit I took so many things for granted! I saw through the eyes of these converts the most beautiful religion in the world (MINE) and the only one traced all the way back to Jesus when He made Peter the first Pope. Thank God for my faith!