I've loved this author's writing - the perfect stillness she seems to generate throughout the book in its atmosphere of the cloister, but with all the noise, danger and petty slights and jealousies of the human race thrown in as well.
This story introduces one to the order of the Bethanie (a new one for me as well) and wasn't it educative. An order of nuns in a secluded house doing prison counselling and upliftment of women amongst the most hardened prisoners of the day. We have Sister Lise herself with a colorful background and one which she would like to keep hidden and then a host of other Sisters all equally powerful in their own right and all very necessary for the smooth and efficient functioning of the house as well.
The individual stories of the characters in this story meld beautifully. Each one is intricate, complicated and with a dark history but in the confines of the convent, each person reaches a state of peace, contentment and happiness which is enviable. I doubt that any of the individuals should they be living a more public life would be able to live so serenely the way they did, if it was not for the religion and beliefs which powered them.
As usual Ms. Godden's work is stellar. This is a book I will read again and again.
Sent to me by Open Road Integrated Media courtesy of Netgalley for an unbiased review.