Whatever Kate O'Brien writes has great distinction of both feeling and manner. I loved this book, laid within the walls of a French -- Irish convent in Ireland. Fastidiously perceived and transcribed, it has understanding and reality and compassion. The story revolves around the personality of the head of a French sisterhood, a woman of great reserve, well suited to deal with the administrative problems, but recognizing in herself the intolerance and hardness which has grown since she discovered that her adored father was a homosexual. Now in Ireland, after his death she faces herself, acknowledges her denials of ""the young, the weak, the sentimental"" and finds new life through her love of a six year old child, which brings her peace and understanding. A moving story, difficult to appraise as to market. Naturally, the Catholic market is its strong-hold, but there should be a wide and tolerant general market of discriminating readers.