Sister Matthew and Sister Rose

By Carol Anne Douglas

Can two-novices in an old-fashioned convent beome involved despite the prohibition against particular friendships?

Maureen Collins, recently named Sister Matthew in the novitiate at St. Euphrosnye’s convent in Western Maryland in 1962, doubts the existence of God. She entered the convent for several reasons: she thinks being surrounded by believers might help her believe; she knows she’s attracted to women and wants to avoid pressure to date men and marry; and she feels guilty about something that happened when she was in high school.

She quickly falls in love with Rose Clancy, now Sister Rose, another novice who also is attracted to women. Rose is more religious, but she reciprocates Sister Matthew’s feelings. She grew up with an alcoholic mother and found a refuge among the nuns who taught her.

As the two move through postulancy and the novitiate, they encounter many challenges from the strict rules to memories of their respective pasts. The memory of an old murder intrudes in the present.

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