For about five minutes back in 1987, I wanted to be a nun. This book is why.
I'm not Catholic, but Rumer Godden's fantastic novel about a career woman who leaves everything behind for a monastic life still appeals to me. I think it's because at heart, In This House of Brede is about things that are not specific to a contemplative life or even just to Catholicism. Love. Faith. Humility. Joy. Dame Philippa, the central character (though as this is a Rumer Godden novel, "central character" doesn't mean what it does elsewhere) makes this journey of faith that has relevance to any life; who doesn't have to overcome trials that seem mountainous only to us? Or learn to forgive someone who caused us incredible, unforgivable pain? This novel reminds me that truth doesn't have to come from your own religious tradition to make a difference to you.