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Five for Sorrow Ten for Joy: A Virago Modern Classic (VMC) [Paperback]

Rumer Godden
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: £9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

7 Feb 2013 VMC (Book 200)
The Sisters of Béthanie, a French order of Dominican nuns, dedicate themselves to caring for the outcasts of society - criminals, prostitutes and drug addicts. Lise, an English girl who after the liberation of Paris was employed in one of the city's smartest brothels and rose to become a successful madame, finds herself joining the Sisters. Master storyteller Rumer Godden weaves a deeply moving tale of Lise's prison sentence, her conversion and the agonising work among women whose traumatic experiences often outstrip even her own.

Frequently Bought Together

Five for Sorrow Ten for Joy: A Virago Modern Classic (VMC) + In this House of Brede: A Virago Modern Classic (VMC) + China Court: A Virago Modern Classic (VMC)
Price For All Three: £27.96

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Virago (7 Feb 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844088596
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844088591
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.8 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 257,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

A gripping novel about convent life from master storyteller Rumer Godden.

From the Back Cover

'One of our best and most captivating novelists' Philip Hensher

The Sisters of Béthanie, a French order of Dominican nuns, dedicate themselves to caring for the outcasts of society: criminals, prostitutes and drug addicts. Lise, an English girl who after the liberation of Paris was employed in one of the city's smartest brothels and rose to become a successful madame, finds her life at a turning point as she joins the Sisters. Master storyteller Rumer Godden weaves a vivid and deeply moving tale of Lise's prison sentence, her conversion and the agonising work among women whose traumatic experiences often outstrip even her own.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read this because the writer was recommended, rather than because the theme appealed (I'm an agnostic at best), and I was quickly drawn in by the quality of the writing. Effortless to read but compelling once started, you begin with the recollections of a convicted murderer who at no point attempts to defend her crime, but finds a way to redeem herself through her faith. As her tale unfolds the characters who make up her world emerge, and current day and memories interweave to reveal a woman who has survived adversity, paid her dues to society and found a justified peace. Will she keep it in the face of a final, terrible challenge?

I will be reading more Rumer Godden on the strength of this story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars it is beautifully written. 3 Sep 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found this book quite difficult to engage with as I read it, partly because it follows the life of a woman with a religious vocation and that is such a long way from my own mind-set. However, I have thought about it quite a lot since reading it, so it clearly made more of an impact on me than I realised. It is certainly thought-provoking, has an interesting storyline and as always with Rumer Godden, it is beautifully written.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five for Sorrow 16 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was captivated by this story of the religious life.The women who became nuns in this particular French Order all had horrifying early lives, so had a remarkable ability for empathising with the female prison inmates whom they visited.The descriptions of the extraordinary life inside the nunnery,and the way Lise's life there progresses makes for a really wonderful read.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a lovely book 10 Jun 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Loved this book - almost as much as this author`s other book about nuns "In This House of Brede" Highly recommeded
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars I thoroughly enjoyed the book 5 Aug 2014
By Dwightsan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The book describes life behind the convent walls of The Dominican Sisters of Bethany. It is the only order of nuns that accepted women who had served prison terms. The founder had given a mission at a womens' prison in France. He exposed the Blessed Sacrament for adoration and then knelt, expecting to be alone in the chapel the entire night. To his surprise the women divided into two groups and each spent four hours in adoration. After this the priest understood that the women deserved second chances and the order was founded, cloistered, except for two nuns who visited prisons to let the woman know that there were options.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It is a novel with a murder and some descriptions of life in a fancy bordello, as well as loving descriptions of the cloistered life. The order is almost gone now, but in Massachusetts a group of Third Order Dominicans has been established, founded by a former member and inspired by the Dominican Sisters of Bethany.
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