The nuns who enter a medieval Norfolk convent are told to renounce the world, but the world still finds ways to trouble them, whether it is through fire, floods, pestilence, a collapsing spire, jealous rivalries, a priest with a secret or a plague of caterpillars. As we follow their daily lives over three centuries, this masterpiece of historical fiction re-creates a world run by women. ‘As an act of imagined history this novel has few rivals.
Also, as it happens, a work of high, frequent comedy’ George Steiner, The Times Literary Supplement
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