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A Vow of Sanctity
by Veronica Black

Category: Fiction / Mystery
0 pages; ISBN: 0312094086

Rating: 8/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Kathryn Lively


Sister Joan of the Daughters of Compassion is on a summer solo retreat in a small Scottish town, encouraged by her Mother Superior to strengthen her contemplative life and stay out of trouble, as few people in the convent approve of the young nun's propensity for sleuthing. Try as she might, trouble has a way of finding Sister Joan.
She doesn't mind the hollowed-out cave that is to be her summer home; having taken a vow of poverty, Sister Joan is certainly used to much less. What she did not expect, however, was the town's general dislike for all things Catholic, not to mention the silent grumblings of a few monks due to her constant presence at the local monastery to paint some scenery, and the occasional chilling appearance of a shadowed figure called "The Black Morag" who roams the lakeside near the nun's retreat.

In between prayers, Sister Joan manages to become entangled in a rocky romance of sorts between a lapsed Catholic boy, whose long-ago disappearance of his father piques the nun's interest, and the local Protestant minister's daughter. Meanwhile, somebody is stalking the nun, trying to scare her away from the monastery before she sticks her nose where it doesn't belong.

A Vow of Sanctity is the first Sister Joan novel I've read, though it's not the first one written. It's a mild attempt at mystery, seeing as how the truly interesting events are related in dialogue and not action. None the less, this is a short and pleasant read painting a charming view of the Scottish landscape and teaching tolerance among those of different faiths.


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