A story about following your heart, Caitlin Fuldseth
Penguin Random House New Zealand
October 22, 2021
The Calling by Fleur Beale is a well written book about a 15 year old girl named Molly, a Catholic whose mother’s dying wish was for her to become a nun. Molly has spent every day of her life since her mother passed caring for her father and her three younger brothers.
In order to keep the peace after marrying a woman who refuses to live in a house with a Catholic, Molly’s father gives her an ultimatum. She can give up her religious beliefs or she can marry the man across the road and leave her home for good.
Molly decides that she does not want either of the options. She takes the money her father gives her as a dowry, and uses it to get herself across the country to Mother Mary Joseph Aubert. This is the nun that Molly’s mother wished her to follow. Molly makes the journey and gets to the convent in one piece.
However life as a nun-in-training is not all as she hopes. Molly finds that there are more chores to do than she expected, less praying and worship and no tea at all apart from one cup on Sundays after church.
Molly is struggling to accept that she gave up her family, friends and old way of life to please her deceased mother. She is really upset that her father has disowned her because of her leaving. In all, Molly is not sure that this is what she needs to do with her life. She loves God and wishes to serve Him; however, being a nun is not everything she has hoped for.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book; I really liked the setting. I have only read a few books that were based in the 1890’s and I absolutely loved seeing how women lived in different times. I really enjoyed the religious side to this story as well; it was interesting to see how women lived as nuns and the strict timetable and rules they had to follow. I found it really interesting as I had never seen or read about that kind of thing.
I would recommend The Calling to people around the age of 14, as there are some things in that only an older audience can appreciate, like life experience. I would recommend this book to people who like adventure, risk and religion. It would be a great read for those who enjoy history and learning about how people lived in historical times.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Molly’s story, and found it hard to put down as it was extremely interesting. I think Molly is an amazingly strong young woman who is a perfect role model for anyone who has to make a decision. She chooses to follow her heart and leave behind what makes her unhappy. I really respect Molly and her journey and it is because of this that I would recommend The Calling by Fleur Beale to anyone who will listen.
- Caitlin Fuldseth is 16, and lives in Palmerston North