The White Sister Board book – January 1, 1909
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- Board book : 335 pages
- Publisher : The MacMillan company (January 1, 1909)
- ASIN : B00TCS9ISG
- Customer Reviews:
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This story may strike a modern audience as a bit melodramatic, but it does hold one's attention with good pacing and well-defined characters. Crawford lived a long time in Italy. The Italian setting and culture flavors the story throughout. Angela Chiaromonte is a young woman whose mother died during her childhood and whose wealthy father dies as we begin the tale. Her fortune is stolen by a domineering aunt who uses legal technicalities and a bit of dishonesty to settle an old family grudge. This leaves the angelic young woman homeless and penniless, taken under care by her former tutor, the noble and French Madame Bernard. While with Bernard, Angela informally agrees to be married to a young military officer Giovanni Severi. By several plot twists, Giovanni is honor bound to take a dangerous military assignment to Africa during which he is believed to be killed. This forces Angela to a nunnery where she becomes a skilled nurse at the order of the White Sisters. Giovanni's brother Ugo Severi is wounded at a nearby Italian garrison and taken to the convent hospital for care. Giovanni escapes his captures and returns to Rome five years later, only to find his true love now a nun and promised to God.
This sets up the real issue of the story about one's commitment to God vs. one's more human desires. Each works hard to honorably uphold their commitments, but Giovanni feels life is not worth living without the girl he loves. Several other plot twists occur that send us rushing to Crawford's tidy climax.
While dated in many ways with the characters being duty and honor bound, I found this a most enjoyable reading experience. Although from this reader's perspective a century later I could have thought of other alternatives for the characters to pursue, theirs is a sweet romantic tale in which events and circumstance proves able to do what honor may not accomplish. Read the novel as a timepiece; and I think you will find it very sweet. The 1917 edition I had has still pictures from a silent movie made from the book. Enjoy!