IN THIS VALE OF TEARS
Book Two of Winterbine Tetralogy.
Virginia Pearson and the beautiful Aine O’Riordan are among a group of young women entering the convent of the Sisters of the Suffering Savour. From the start, strange happenings torment the sensitive and withdrawn Aine O’Riordan. Virginia tries to comfort her, but the dark mysterious events leave Aine shattered, and force her to give up her desire to join the religious life. With deep sorrow she leaves behind her dear friend to deal with the unexplained happenings and an atmosphere of foreboding that seems infect the life of the convent.
Virginia (later Sister Agnes), suspicious of fellow postulant Margaret McGuigan’s (later Sister Catherine) role in all this, enters into a barely suppressed conflict with her through their religious training to their university course in 1962. The intrusion of Virginia Pearson’s former fiancé – and senior lecturer – into her life as Sister Agnes adds an unexpected problem.
During this time, Aine was lured into the world of fashion modelling. Aine now married with a little daughter and seemingly unaware of where personable photographer Harry is leading her, unwittingly plays a connecting role in the deepening conflict and the continuing mysteries that see Virginia and Aine each rushing towards a crisis.
The themes of the ‘Goddess’, neo-paganism, the occult and Gnosticism are a thread through the story. The ideological conflicts of the 1960s form the background to the story.