A moving look at the past and a Sister's life Apr 26, 2007
I was deeply moved by this book. Even though it's classifed as a novel, it is based on a real Sister Luke, her life and the lives of her Sisters. Because I am a Sister myself, I was able to identify with many of the facets of the convent's life and the Sisters' joys and struggles. Gabriel van der Mal entered the convent in the late 1920's full of idealism, love and excitement at giving her life in service to God, especially as a nurse in the Congo. The disciplines, the structures of convent life and later the strict adherance to her vows (especially obedience) were a rude awakening to her, but fueled her determination to succeed Throughout this book we get a truly intimate look behind the walls of an Order of Nuns that is both contemplative in prayer and active in ministry. We see and feel first hand the inner struggles, fears, jealousies, discouragements and joys intricately woven together in a lifetime commitment to serving our Lord. We also receive a wonderful, real look at our world in pre-WWII Europe and the Congo in Africa. It's a book that you'll find hard to put down, as you get more intimately acquainted with the world of many years ago, the Sisters, and Sister Luke. You'll also feel the forces that drive her toward her full maturity as a Nun and as a woman, ultimately facing serious choices and decisions about the rest of her life and her war-time loyalties. Enjoy! You'll get a lot out of this book.