Disorderly House By Stuart Lauder – 1996

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Gothic, grim, humane, humorous, controversial, devout – it is impossible to fit any single epithet to this gripping story, which opens, after a prologue, with an announcement over the loudspeakers at a railway station: ‘Will Mrs. Bate please call at the Station Master’s office?’ – and outside the station entrance, in his Rolls Royce, the exquisitely austere Dom Peter is waiting for her in his flowing robes and a shovel hat…. Thus, dramatically, Vera Bate receives the call to duty. She is a strong-minded, sensible and devout Catholic worker, trusted in delicate and confidential matters. Dom Peter’s Bishop has a problem on his hands

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Pre-owned. In a remote industrial suburb of his diocese is the convent of an enclosed order of nuns, the Clementines, severed from the Mother House in Alsace. The Bishop suspects that, within the enclosure, all is not well. His own pastoral visit takes place only once a year; the nuns, who have seen nothing of the world for years, are hidden from the serving priest by a screen across the chapel; visitors to the convent can speak to them only through a curtained grille. Their aged, wealthy and autocratic Prioress is away on a journey, and the Bishop would like Mrs. Bate to enter the convent as a lay worker. She might also care to report her findings. She is admitted – but under protest from the nuns – and with every step beyond the wall she finds the situation more complex and more terrifying. Their awesome Prioress, who has imposed her Rule on the house, is daily expected back. Is she a monster, a heretic or a saint? And are the starving Clementines, who have rejected cleanliness and joy, utterly demented – or simply more clear-sighted than their opponents? These are the questions Mrs. Bate must decide. Her attempts to resolve the problem involve her in actual physical danger, and when she calls in outside help and the Hierarchy moves to her assistance, the situation explodes…. The Flavour of this novel is unique; it is a story of extraordinary powerful and remarkable quality. First Edition. In good condition with a little tanning and foxing, and some slight tearing to the dust jacket as can be expected of a book of this age. Hardcover. Published by Longmans 1966

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Weight 0.381 kg