Author(s): Jacqueline Yallop
Imagine "The Secret Scripture" crossed with "The Reader": in this shattering novel set in Nazi-occupied France, Jacqueline Yallop has spun a story of collaboration, betrayal, illicit love, faith and aching desire. In a convent in rural France, three ageing nuns remain. Cloistered within her failing faith and her failing body, Sister Bernard navigates each day by the simple markers domesticity; but when the convent is threatened with closure the soft threads of piety and daily existence unravel. What lies beneath are Sister Bernard's terrible memories of wartime disgrace; of a German soldiers' bet turning lust into a love that deafened the heavens, of the full horror of both war and motherhood, and of a furious God who begun to sulk. Obedience is the story of a woman in a spinning world, and her attempts to keep her bearings. It draws its power from the grey spaces between guilt and innocence, the power of memory and how the aching need to love, and be loved, can cause good people to do terrible things. It is suitable for admirers of Bernard Schlink's "The Reader", "The Secret Scripture" by Sebastian Barry, "Snowdrops" by A.D.Miller and the novels of Penelope Fitzgerald.
Jacqueline Yallop read English at Oxford and did her PhD in nineteenth century literature at Sheffield University. She has worked as the Curator for the John Ruskin Museum in Sheffield and writes on the Victorians. She is the author of the non-fiction work Magpies, Squirrels and Thieves and the novel Kissing Alice. She currently lives in France.