Report repeated from page 203 of the March 1st bulletin. By now this book has acquired a real halo: it is the Book of the...

READ REVIEW

THE NUN'S STORY

Report repeated from page 203 of the March 1st bulletin. By now this book has acquired a real halo: it is the Book of the Month Club selection for September; it is also the Catholic Book Club selection and the Readers Digest Condensed Book Club selection.... ""The nun's story that of Belgian Gebrielle Van der Mal, and her conflict between the dogma of that 'life against nature' and her own independent spirit of service is an unusual story, retold here with warmth and reverence. For Gabrielle, as she became a postulant and then took her vows, was to find the discipline difficult and demanding; she could not easily exercise pride, worldliness, impulsive judgment- which were a constant source of humiliation-and penance. Nor could she accept the Mother Superior's recommendation that she avoid the act of singularization of excelling and fail in her examinations- to humble herself before an envious Sister. She finally achieved her one desire- and was sent to the Congo where in the surgery of agnostic Dr. Fortunati she was to prove a better nurse than nun, saving lifes almost at the expense of her own. It was Fortunati recognizing that she would always be a 'worldly nun', who finally sent her back to Belgium to test her strength- and she was trapped there by the war. With the invasion, her patriotism flared as did her hatred of the Germans; she sinned further in collaborating with the underground and hiding an escapee; and having broken every spiritual covenant, she recognized her failure- as a nun- and went back to the world after the painful last act of secularization... It is, all in all, a quite fascinating story of dedication and self-denial, of the life within walls and its self-effacing strictures, of the inspirational ideal here tempered by an understanding of personal fallibility.

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 1956

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown- A.M.P.

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1956