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Lambs of God [Large Print] [Hardcover]

Marele Day
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov 1998
Vegetation grows out of the mouths of stone angels, and sheep wander through the chapel. For Iphigenia, Margarita and Carla, the rhythm of nature and the rituals of the Church have joined to make an encompassing whole. They pray, they do their daily tasks and, at the nightly knitting circle, they tell stories - stitching into their work the bright colours of fairy tale and myth. Brambles have enclosed the monastery and the three nuns have forgotten the world outside. Until Father Ignatius pushes his way through the undergrowth in the hope of finding prime real estate. In seeking to protect the life they so cherish, the nuns find themselves capable of drawing on unimagined depths of resourcefulness. Rich in smells and texture, and often wildly funny, Lambs of God draws on beliefs and fears deep within us and weaves them into a tapestry of dazzling originality.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Thomas T Beeler; Largeprint edition (Nov 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1864422386
  • ISBN-13: 978-1864422382
  • Product Dimensions: 24.8 x 16.5 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

About the Author

Marele Day grew up in Sydney and graduated from Sydney University with BA (Hons). Her work experience ranges from fruit picking to academic teaching and she has travelled extensively, taking up temporary residence in Italy, France and Ireland. Coming after her bestselling, award-winning crime novels featuring Claudia Valentine, Lambs of God marks an exciting new direction for this talented writer. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The nuns at my school were never like this 12 Jan 2003
By Joseph Haschka HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
"They were unkempt, practically savages. Their teeth were yellow, their skin lined and leathery. They wore no shoes. Everything about them suggested that they let nature just take its course."
Such is the disconcerting observation concerning Sister Iphigenia, Sister Margarita, and Sister Carla by Father Ignatius in LAMBS OF GOD. (No immaculately white wimples here!) When I was a young lad attending Catholic elementary school, the nuns, though occasionally intimidating, were blessedly cut from different cloth.
Fr. Ignatius is the bishop's private secretary sent to reconnoiter the property of a deserted and forgotten island abbey (presumably in Ireland, though the book never states). The diocese wants to sell the site to a land developer, which has plans to create a posh resort. To the cleric's consternation, the abbey is still inhabited by the three named nuns and their flock of sheep. The sisters believe the sheep harbor the souls of the nunnery's deceased members. Isolation from the rest of the world has rendered the three just a little ... well, touched in the head, and their religious observances a peculiar blend of pagan and Christian. When Ignatius announces that the nuns are to be relocated and the sheep butchered, it doesn't go over well.
This novel by Marele Day is a gentle and low key fable of confrontation between the religious women, determined not to lose the only life they know, and the ambitious, young priest from the mainland. Managing to incapacitate the cleric and hold him incommunicado, it's their intent to "convert" him to their community lifestyle. On the other hand, Ignatius knows that to escape, he must divide and conquer, so to speak. In the course of this test of wills, we discover some deep and startling secrets harbored by the sisterhood.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book 23 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I loved this! Its very funny and very moving, an unusual story about three feral nuns, forgotten by the outside world, living in a crumbling monastery on an island tending their sheep. They are visited by a modern priest with plans for the island........
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Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an original tale ( in contrast to plain "story") 24 Oct 1997
By areynesw@ozemail.com.au - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Marele Day is a young Australian writer. This book has come out here in Australia in a trade paperback format and so I have read it before it's published there. I finished the book in one day. It was indeed a lucky day for her readers when Marele Day decided to write not about crime and not featuring Claudia Valentine, P.I., Australian present day female private investigator. Mind you these books featuring Claudia are themselves pleasures to read especially if you are one interested in a city's atmosphere, topography, its citizens, how and where they live their lives and not just the intellectual challenge of the crimes. Lambs of God is completely different. Take three nuns living in isolation. They have developed their own rituals, an intertwining of the religious, the mysterious and the downright hilarious. There are very effective descriptions which give the reader a sense of place- a very old monastery, vegetation sprouting out of a statue of the virgin Mary's head, an island at high tide from which one can walk to the mainland at low tide. The name of this place is never divulged. Into this small triangle walks a priest with modern worldly motives. He has plans for the monastery which will change the nuns' strange world. So we are drawn in. The women with their strong spirituality and resourcefulness in the face of threat, the man bustling with businesslike scheming. One anticipates violence- it does not fall into that although tension is maintained. At times it is erotic in an innocent funny way. There are rituals of harvest, cooking, weaving, story telling - I felt like I had entered a different world altogether. Stories open on to other stories as the reader is let into each nun's mind then into the priest's. Who would think of breathing life into a mobile phone? It is done here and provides a twist the working of which will have you finishing the book in one day. The lambs of god of the title is another original feature of the community of three through which they have fashioned their version of a genealogy. This is a richly textured and original story, vastly satisfying in the reading. I couldn't classify it into any genre but it comes close to a psychological thriller in dreamily beautiful writing. There is talk of the book being made into a movie. I can only wish the movie will be as richly textured and satisfying as the book. That will be a complex task for all involved in its making!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Did anyone mention that it's hilarious? 3 July 2000
By Mary Whipple - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Although reviewers certainly have ample reason to praise the nuns' unusual combination of pagan and religious ritual, their imaginative story-telling, and the honest pleasure they find in their "cloistered" lives, not enough praise is given, in my opinion, to the quirky humor of this book. Whether you are an agnostic who chuckles to see religious practices carried to outrageous extremes or a devoutly Catholic believer with the healthy ability to recognize when true faith goes over the top, you will find this book a delight. Painted with a very broad brush, the novel will keep you smiling, even as you admire the author's skill in sympathetically creating a most unusual cloistered world.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The nuns teaching at Our Lady of Malibu were never like this 15 Feb 2001
By Joseph Haschka - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"They were unkempt, practically savages. Their teeth were yellow, their skin lined and leathery. They wore no shoes. Everything about them suggested that they let nature just take its course."
Such is the disconcerting observation concerning Sister Iphigenia, Sister Margarita, and Sister Carla by Father Ignatius in LAMBS OF GOD. (No immaculately white wimples here!) When I was a young lad attending Catholic elementary school, the nuns, though occasionally intimidating, were blessedly cut from different cloth.
Fr. Ignatius is the bishop's private secretary sent to reconnoiter the property of a deserted and forgotten island abbey (presumably in Ireland, though the book never states). The diocese wants to sell the site to a land developer, which has plans to create a posh resort. To the cleric's consternation, the abbey is still inhabited by the three named nuns and their flock of sheep. The sisters believe the sheep harbor the souls of the nunnery's deceased members. Isolation from the rest of the world has rendered the three just a little ... well, touched in the head, and their religious observances a peculiar blend of pagan and Christian. When Ignatius announces that the nuns are to be relocated and the sheep butchered, it doesn't go over well.
This novel by Marele Day is a gentle and low key fable of confrontation between the religious women, determined not to lose the only life they know, and the ambitious, young priest from the mainland. Managing to incapacitate the cleric and hold him incommunicado, it's their intent to "convert" him to their community lifestyle. On the other hand, Ignatius knows that to escape, he must divide and conquer, so to speak. In the course of this test of wills, we discover some deep and startling secrets harbored by the sisterhood. (It's a pointed reminder that beneath their habits and clerical garb, nuns and priests are "just folks". Perhaps this lesson is one of the novel's biggest strongpoints.)
While I like LAMBS OF GOD enough to recommend it, female readers will probably better appreciate it. The predicament in which our lone male hero finds himself is decidedly embarrassing, and not one to elicit much sympathy from passing Real Men. In recognition of this gender-based bias, I gave the book one more star than I would have otherwise. And this comes after accepting the precarious premise that the Holy Mother Church could lose total contact with a religious house - a material and financial asset, after all - and its residents during the last years of the 20th century when the storyline apparently unfolds. It illustrates the benefits of staying in touch.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ho! Ho! Ho! What a wild ride! 26 April 2003
By Cborges - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I loved this quirky novel because it kept surprising me. Like the mysterious convent buried in brambles, the secret lives of these nuns kept unfolding in ways that astonished me and made me laugh out loud. Magical-realism is a tricky genre, but Day certainly managed to dance along quite nicely within its bounds. I couldn't believe the relationship that developed between the nuns & the sheep or between the nuns and the priest. It was wonderfully bizarre and yet somehow very touching. The way Day explores the motif of being exiled from the world, and the way she contrasts this a natural lust to explore, deftly provides much to think about. It's a far-out book that people might not pull in people who want an ordinary plot, but for those readers who enjoy having their minds stretched and their funny bones tickled, this is a memorable book!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This beautifully constructed novel is a very good read! 26 Nov 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
What happens when the "real church" (with its emphasis on materialism and its patriarchal ideologies), invades the very spiritual world of Iphegenia, Margarita and Carla, nuns of an enclosed order, long forgotten by society. This interesting tale will keep you enthralled for hours, and you'll find yourself returning to its rich language again and again. The Christian metaphors in this text, blend well with the recounted fairytales and powerful female mythological Goddesses who inform every part of the nuns secluded lifestyle. This is a beautifully written book which recounts an excellent tale of the spiritual versus the material, patriarchal society versus alternative society. The ending is deliciously satisfying, and if I could, I'd give this novel six stars from five...READ THIS BOOK.
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