Five for Sorrow Ten for Joy Author:Rumer Godden In this splendid new novel Rumer Godden returns to the theme of the religious life, which has inspired some of her most successful novels. She now moves to the world of the French Dominican Sisters of Bethanie, who work among the whores, drug addicts, and vagrants of the great cities. — The heroine is Lise, an English girl who, aftert he libreat... more »ion of Paris, falls into bad company and, after a period in one of Paris's smartest brothels, becomes a successful madam -- La Balafree, the Scarred One. The story of her prison sentence, her conversion, and her agonizing work among women whose experience outdid even her own is also the story of one woman's searing confrontation with her faith and, above all, herself.
The Sisters of Bethanie, whose real-life prototypes Rumer Godden has reserached and knows in depth, provide a background to match Lise's own narrative: whether in cloistered serenity or in raw contact with the harshest realities of twientieth-century life, they stand an undimmed beacon.
The title FIVE FOR SORROW, TEN FOR JOW derives from the sequenced beads of the roasary, and it is a rosary glinting sliver amid dirt and debris that becomes the very symbol of Lise's tragedy and final triumph.« less