26/03/2001

A Prize for Sister Catherine (by Kathleen Rowntree)

Having enjoyed 'Tell Mrs Poole I'm sorry', I was pleased to find some more books by Kathleen Rowntree at a second-hand bookshop.

'A Prize for Sister Catherine' (also published as 'The Directrix') is set in a nunnery. The book revolves around the conflict between two nuns who are given joint administrative roles. Margaret is a forward-thinking, rather capitalist nun, who wants to make the priory financially viable. Catherine, by contrast, cares more for the individuals.

Their power struggles pervade the novel with a fact-paced plot and believable characters. In the end, Catherine does not gain what she hopes for, bu receives a different reward.

A bit heavy-going in places, but certainly worth reading.

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