my take: This is a quiet novel that runs deep. Agnes, the cleaner, appears to be a blank slate upon whom several townspeople project their fears, sorrows, needs, and trials. As her story is told between her present life in Chartres and her younger years in a convent (pay attention to the chapter titles) we learn the events that shaped Agnes and brought her to the Cathedral.
I try not to glean any information about a book before reading … so I skip the back cover and flaps to avoid learning anything about the plot (why do they give away important information?!) After reading, I learned (from the back flap) that the author is a Jungian psychotherapist … which explains the profundity of this seemingly simple read. Knowledge that may enhance the reading experience.
Scads of topics to discuss in this psychological treasure trove: religion and doubt, intellect, paganism, psychological treatments, abandonment, belonging … to name a few. We book chicks had a good discussion. And carrot cake.
my source: Festival of Faith and Writing 2016 author, Book Chicks March 2016 pick
my verdict: Good read – I wish I’d read before I visited the Cathedral last spring.