"Linda Anne Smith deftly unfolds the

drama of a person who enters religious

life in search of God and gradually

realizes she is becoming estranged not

only from society but also from herself.

The story takes the reader into the

secluded world of women religious who

create a counterculture by living the

vows of poverty, chastity and obedience

in community while devoting themselves

to educating children. The reader

admires the exemplary commitment

embodied in a spectrum of characters.

Smith's sympathetic depiction of these

figures accounts for the poignancy of

the shadows that emerge from within

the best of people. The narrative

illustrates how a benevolent community

can become a web in which no one

speaks her own mind with the result

that everyone is diminished. In a

perfect world, freedom is terrifying

indeed.... This book belongs both

in the hands of every layperson,

woman religious, priest and bishop

and also in the library of every

diocese, parish, religious house

and seminary in North America."


Michael Duggan PhD

Professor of Religious Studies

St. Mary's University

Calgary, Alberta