GOD AND THE GENERAL'S DAUGHTER by Anne Heagney

GOD AND THE GENERAL'S DAUGHTER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This biography of Ethan Allen's daughter Frances who became New England's first Catholic Nun, has such good elements of construction that it is hard to distinguish story from theory and recognize the doctrinal elements for what they are. Life like narration gives an on the scene picture all the way through the book. Frances, as a student at Vermont State College at the beginning of the nineteenth century, and as a firm believer in her father's adherence to the power of reason, looks forward to a happy secular life as the wife of young Harry Dennison. Then, because it will be part of Harry's business life, Frances decides to learn French at a convent in Montreal. Knowing Frances more for a person whose faith is in reason rather than one who reasons, Harry has fears about her going. For the first months Frances' open but never malicious rebellion against the seemingly stupid convent rules, the apparently evasive answers to questions of doctrine and independent thinking, almost lead to expulsion. But her warm feelings for the nuns and students as persons and her innocent intentions remain firm and when Frences is given another chance, it is not long before she has a revelation. A dutiful year at home as Harry's fiances convinces Frances of her true calling and she reenters the convent to become a nursing sister. Skillfully, at times beautifully told, this presents strong arguments for the secular side too, but emotion strengthens Frances' convictions and adds to the persusive aspects of a strongly appealing book.

Pub Date: June 15th, 1953
Publisher: Bruce