'One of the great British novels of the twentieth century: a narrative of extraordinary reach, power and beauty' - Sarah Waters
The nuns who enter a medieval Norfolk convent are told to renounce the world, but the world still finds ways to trouble them, whether it is through fire, floods, pestilence, a collapsing spire, jealous rivalries, a priest with a secret or a plague of caterpillars. As we follow their daily lives over three centuries, this masterpiece of historical fiction re-creates a world run by women.
'As an act of imagined history this novel has few rivals. Also, as it happens, a work of high, frequent comedy' - George Steiner, The Times Literary Supplement
'Spellbinding . . . One starts rereading as soon as one has reached the last page' - Sunday Times
'Magnificent' - Philip Hensher, Daily Telegraph