The Nun's Story - Kathryn HulmeLondon: Frederick Muller, 1956, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Good — in Poor Dust Wrapper. Dust wrapper worn at the edges, a little loss to the spine ends and corners, with a sticker to the foot of the spine. A little age-toning to the edges of the text block and the blanks. The contents complete, clean and tight otherwise.
From the cover: “The Nun’s Story, true in all its essentials, is the portrait of a Belgian girl who at the age of twenty-one turned away from her suitor and family to enter an ancient nursing order. This book is the record of her dedicated life in Europe and in the Congo and of her struggle in self-renunciation.
When her hair was cropped and she donned for the first time the garb of a novice, Gabrielle became Sister Luke, the name under which she was known in the Order. It was her ambition to be sent to a mission in the Belgian Congo, but first she had to learn that perfect obedience and self-discipline which is required of all nuns before they are permitted to go forth into the world. At the School of Tropical Medicine in Brussels in many ways she was the most promising of the students, but her spirit was prouder than she suspected, and at the end of her study she was assigned to a psychiatric institution to nurse the insane. There she discovered how imperfect still was her obedience. At last she was called back to the Mother House to take her final vows, and was sent out to the Belgian Congo, where she gave herself unsparingly to the little hospital.
In the spring of 1935 Sister Luke’s health gave way to the heat and merciless routine. She was sent back to Europe, where, because she was senior in nursing, she was assigned to a hospital on the Dutch border, a hospital which under the Nazi occupation became a sanctuary in the Underground. Sister Luke’s father had been killed in ministering to the refugees, and as resentment and hatred of the Ger-mans welled up in her, she came to the bitter conclusion that she was a nun in outward appearance only. This crisis in spirit which had lain in wait for her ever since she entered the convent took every ounce of her courage to resolve. Should she ask to be returned to the world, and if the Archbishop freed her from her vows, would she find on her return to civilian life that she was still a nun at heart? Compellingly, irresistibly, The Nun’s Story unfolds an inner struggle of extreme emotional intensity.”