Monday, November 8, 2010
The Lambs of God
While I was reading The Convent I was reminded of a novel I read years ago, The Lambs of God. It is one of my favorite books. It's a novel about Nuns who tend sheep and knit. Seriously. They pray, they shear and they knit. How is that a novel you want to read?
In Lambs three leftover nuns on a remote island are suddenly confronted by the Church after decades of neglect. Sisters Iphigenia, Margarita and Carla have spent years in prayer and contemplation, tending their sheep and spending the endless nights knitting. Strangers are so rare that when a man arrives on the island, Sister Iphigenia can actually smell him before they ever see him. Father Ignatius has been dispatched to the island to--to what? He's going to shut 'em down. At least that is what the nuns think. These nuns made lead the simple life but they are far from simpletons. They are certainly capable to mounting their own campaign to take care of this intruder. The real reasons for Father Ignatius coming to the convent aren't very spiritual but then he didn't expect to find the convent still in use.
The Lambs of God was written by Marele Day. She does an excellent job giving Lambs a slightly fairy tale quality and at the same time keeping it realistic. The details of the Nun's daily tasks, religious lives, and inner lives are robustly drawn. She also creates a wonderful mix of humor and gravitas. The Sisters are her own version of Macbeth's witches. They know all, see all and maybe they control all.
I loved this novel! I was delighted reading it and it delights me still every time I think about it. I'm sorry to say that The Lambs of God is currently out of print. ~~sigh~~ Your local library might stock it or maybe a used bookstore. If you hunt it down it will be so very worth it!