Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Drama Mystery Genre
A Nun In The Closet by Dorothy Gilman
The Abbey of St. Tabitha has seventeen nuns living there in Pennsylvania. It has been in PA since 1955 and lived by the rules of St. Benedict and would never appeal for funds. Mother Clothilde had come from Switzerland and was jointed by eighteen American sisters. Unfortunately, Mother Clothilde and Sister Emma died from serum hepatitis within a week of digging out a septic tank. No new nuns joined them.
The health food craze saved the nuns as their homemade bread became very popular in the nearby community. Out of the blue, the sisters inherit some property from Joseph Moretti who was a total stranger to them. The property is located in upper New York State, a few hundred miles from the Abbey. They take a vote and Sister John is elected to go see the property. She chooses Sister Hyacinthe to go with her. Sister Hyacinthe knows how to use herbs, weeds and ground nuts to make dinner and as the book progresses other useful things.
When they get to the property, they find there is electricity working but no water. They go down a path from the house and find a well. They meet Brill and Naomi who have been camping on the property. They are part of a group that lives off the land and eventually will be a great help to the nuns. The Sisters, alone again, discover a suitcase of money which has been hidden in the well. They take it into the house and here a noise and find a man upstairs who has been shot. He asks for sanctuary. This man soon becomes Sister Ursula, the Nun in the Closet. The house has a hidden passageway and a wine cellar. There is also this substance in the pantry's sugar jars that isn't sugar.
Before the book ends, the Sisters learn who Mr. Moretti was and his connection to the Abbey, what the substance was in the jars and the real identity of Sister Ursula. The townspeople, the "hippies", and migrant workers are help the Sisters before they return to the Abbey.
It is easy for the reader to guess what the white substance is and to know that some of the people they meet are not all they seem to be. It is much harder for the Sisters as they are not aware of all the reader is. This is the second non-Mrs Pollifax book, I have read and enjoyed as much as the Mrs. Pollifax books. I feel others will enjoy them also.