In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden
"The sight of the refectory was inviting: each place was laid with a snow-white napkin, a glass of wine, a bunch of grapes, a small wheaten loaf and a brown earthenware bowl of vegetable soup. Apricot puffs and cheese were laid along the side tables. When the nuns were seated, the Abbess came in, wearing a white apron and white sleeves and with her came the kitchener, Sister Priscilla, bearing a great silver silver salver of fish."
"The Abbess went to every nun, serving her and laying beside her plate a nosegay of small flowers: violets, wood anenomes, grape hyacinths, tiny ferns, pink heaths."
The right book at the right time. Joining this enclosed community of Benedictine nuns and following the peaceful, ordered measure of their days through the seasonal rituals and observances brought a solace that I'd been struggling to find in the books I'd picked up recently. I enjoyed the personal stories of the individual women but it was the beautiful descriptive passages of daily living, the garden through the seasons and the family of cats that I really loved.
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