Thursday, January 17, 2013

58. The Nun

The Nun
Denis Diderot
1796
Around 190 pages













I, for one, am shocked that I am getting out two book blog posts in one week.  This is pretty much due to the fact that I am really sick and cannot motivate myself to get out of my bed.  However, I am choosing to focus on my reading efficiency and not my laziness.

First off, I want to remind everyone of the countdown.  One more book after this and we are done with the 1700s!!!  Of course, I love this era but I love the 1800s just a bit more.  I mean, Shelley, Austen, Doyle, and the Bronte sisters!  Talk about a party!

Sigh.  I need to get more friends.

But that is a topic for another time.  This novel centers on Suzanne, an illegitimate child who is condemned to become a nun.  In this way, the mother can "atone" the sin of having Suzanne in the first place.  However, Suzanne does not want to become a nun and is pretty much tortured by all the other nuns for saying so.  Oh yes, and there is a lesbian subplot.

I really enjoyed this book.  In old novels, you always read about women joining convents after something traumatic happens but you never actually read about what happens in the convents.  Not that I am saying in most convents women put glass in your clothes and lay down hot metal objects that you will step on in the dark.  I am just saying that it is interesting to hear a story take place in that setting.  Actually, come to think of it, I have never been to a convent so for all I know that is a standard practice.

Of course, the main female character is a bit annoying.  She often laments about being so beautiful and refuses to say anything bad about the nuns that torture her. Still, it is worth a read; it is not that long and the plot moves along nicely.  Farewell, Diderot; we had a good time.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

The novel is written in epistolary form with Suzanne begging a Marquis to help her.  Diderot never meant for this to become a book; he just sent the letters to the Marquis de Croismare as a prank.  He later adjusted the letters to a novel format.


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