Holy Orders

Carolyn Thorman, Author Longstreet Press $18.95 (235p) ISBN 978-1-56352-026-6
This tepid, overplotted first novel about a nun who renounces her vows suffers from a depressing setting--the backward Lithuanian-American mining community of Shackle, W.Va.--and a narrator whose ruminations eventually prove wearisome. Thirtyish Sister Vida Zedonis reflects on the neglectful parents who drove her to God, thinks back on the year she spent in an Eastern European convent and realizes that the religious life doesn't provide the acceptance she craves. Focusing on her heroine's introspective musings, Thorman ( Fifty Years of Eternal Vigilance ) gives short shrift to such events as a suspicious death at the halfway house where Vida works, a meeting of religious zealots who wish to repeal Vatican II and an old friend's declaration of love for the nun. Controversy flares when Vida questions her sacred vows, hides from the police her knowledge of her grandfather's marijuana crop and wonders whether an institutionalized woman should have an abortion. These attempts at drama fail, however, to galvanize an essentially unimpressive tale. ( Sept. )
Reviewed on: 01/01/1970
Release date: 01/01/1955
Genre: Fiction
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