Black Narcissus

Black Narcissus

by Rumer Godden
©1939, Item: 92665
Hardcover, 294 pages
Not in stock

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The mountain soars above the lesser hills, vital, malignant, cold except when the sun on the snow suggests the spring fertility of massed azaleas. Did the mountain smile when the coifed Sisters took over the rambling summer palace from which no housekeeping could remove the memories of the women for whom it was built? Was it the mountain who sent the young prince to the mission school in his rainbow silks to put strange ideas into the Sisters' heads and make them think that anything could happen? Was it the mountain or the prince's Black Narcissus scent that made Sister Clodagh daydream of the man because of whom she had become an Anglican nun? What force made her link the man in her past with Dean, the dissolute Resident Agent? Is it the mountain that makes this story hard to describe and harder to forget?

from the dust jacket

Under the guidance of Sister Clodagh, the youngest Mother Superior in the history of their order, five European Sisters of the Servants of Mary leave their monastery in Darjeeling, India, and make their way to remote Mopu in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. There, in the opulent, abandoned palace where an Indian general housed his harem, the holy sisters hope to establish a school and a health clinic. Their aim is to help combat superstition, ignorance, and disease among the mistrusting natives in the village below, and to silence the doubts of their royal benefactor's agent, the hard-drinking and somewhat disreputable Mr. Dean.

But all too soon, the isolation, the ghosts and lurid history, and the literally breathtaking beauty of this high, lonely place in the Asian mountains begin to take a serious toll on Sister Clodagh and her fellow nuns. And their burdens may prove too heavy to bear, exposing a vulnerable humanity that threatens to undermine the best intentions of the purest hearts.

The basis for the Golden Globe and Academy Award-winning motion picture starring Deborah Kerr, as well as the new miniseries on FX starring Gemma Arterton, Black Narcissus has been universally praised for its poignancy, passion, and rich evocation of a time and place. An intensely human story of devotion, faith, and madness, this beloved novel by the New York Times-bestselling author of In This House of Brede stands among the finest fiction written in the twentieth century. It's been favorably compared to A Passage in India.

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