×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Sister Teresa
     

Sister Teresa

by Barbara Mujica, Barbara Louise Mujica
 
Spoiled with beauty, riches, and adoration, a young girl from Ávila is sent to a convent by her parents to learn discipline, but discovers instead an unparelleled spiritual fervor -- one so powerful as to be condemned as sinful by some. She is Saint Teresa -- known as a mystic, reformer and founder of convents, and the author of numerous texts that introduced

Overview

Spoiled with beauty, riches, and adoration, a young girl from Ávila is sent to a convent by her parents to learn discipline, but discovers instead an unparelleled spiritual fervor -- one so powerful as to be condemned as sinful by some. She is Saint Teresa -- known as a mystic, reformer and founder of convents, and the author of numerous texts that introduced her radical religious ideas and practices to a society suffering through the repressive throes of the Spanish Inquisition. In Barbara Mujica�s masterful tale, her story -- her days of youthful romance, her sensual fits of spiritual rapture, secret heritage as a Jewish convert to Catholicism, cloak-and-dagger political dealings, struggles against sexual blackmail, and mysterious illness -- unfolds with a tumultuous urgency. Blending fact with fiction in vivid detail, painstakingly researched and beautifully rendered, Mujica�s tale conjures a brilliant picture of sisterhood, faith, the terror of religious persecution, the miracle of salvation, and one woman�s challenge to the power of strict orthodoxy, a challenge that consisted of a crime of passion -- her own personal relationship with God.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

While not a conventional hagiography, this engaging novel depicts Teresa of Ávila as an extraordinary woman whose visions, church reform ideas and writing may well have been inspired by God. Mujica, a Georgetown University Spanish professor and two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, presents Teresa as a very human saint-in-the-making: by turns coquettish, self-loathing, desperately ill, politically masterful, blisteringly witty and, above all, God-obsessed. Though the events of Teresa's life, particularly her conversion and, later, her founding of the barefoot order of Carmelite nuns, are interesting, Mujica's fictional narrator, Sister Angelica, steals the show. Depicted as Teresa's maid who later becomes her best friend, Angelica becomes a nun when a potential husband rejects her because she knows how to read. Much to her delight, taking the veil transforms her from a humble member of the servant class to a respected medic who is often treated as well as an aristocrat. Angelica's down-to-earth narration is a good choice for the story of an overwrought saint, and her matter-of-fact description of the staggering realities of life in 16th-century Spain give the novel an earthy appeal. Despite the many ugly historical events, such as the Spanish Inquisition, that figure into the story, it is surprisingly light and entertaining. (Mar.)

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Teresa of Avila (1515-82), Spain's most popular saint, was sent by her family to live in a convent when she was a teen. During her life as a nun, she suffered from chronic illness and constant surveillance by the Spanish Inquisition. Teresa was a woman of many parts-mystic, aesthete, religious reformer, theologian, and intellectual. Mujica's (Spanish, Georgetown Univ.) novelization of Teresa's life, recorded by Teresa's poor (but conveniently literate) servant and life companion, Sister Angelica, makes Teresa even more-sensual, sexual, histrionic, and protofeminist. Unfortunately, while Teresa's life would be a marvelous subject for a novel, this telling, like Mujica's Frida, suffers from some serious flaws. The eroticism and lesbianism are laid on rather thickly and the abundance of late 20th-century colloquialisms (e.g., "bullshit," "swishy," "stickler for detail") are distracting; nor is Teresa's feminism believable. Not recommended.-Mary Margaret Benson, Linfield Coll. Lib., McMinnville, OR Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A lifelong friend remembers Teresa of Avila, "Spain's most beloved saint," in this richly entertaining historical novel from Mujica (Spanish/Georgetown Univ.; Frida, 2001, etc.). Teresa de Cepeda y Ahumada was born in Avila in 1515. She would become famous as a mystic, an author and a monastic reformer. Although her unorthodoxy drew the attention of the Inquisition, she was canonized in 1622. This is her life, as remembered by her (fictional) friend and fellow nun, Angelica del Sagrado Coraz-n. Sister Angelica is a clever creation. By telling Teresa's story from this unknown nun's perspective, Mujica spares herself the trouble of competing with one of Christianity's most prolific self-chroniclers. And because Angelica is writing for posterity-for a future audience that might not know much about convent life or Catholic theology-the reader is treated to Angelica's concise, matter-of-fact lessons on such matters as the reforms of the Council of Trent and the differences between Carmelites and Jesuits, material that a lesser historical novelist might turn into painfully improbable expository dialogue. The real brilliance of Angelica, though, is that she is the perfect complement to her famous friend. God tells Teresa to found convents. He tells Angelica to have a second helping of mutton stew. While Teresa engages in ecstatic communion with Jesus, Angelica-the daughter of a seamstress-wonders how angels' wings fit through their robes. An earthy, humanizing portrait. Agent: Anna Ghosh/Scovil Chichak Galen Literary Agency

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781585678341
Publisher:
Overlook
Publication date:
03/22/2007
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
6.26(w) x 9.23(h) x 1.27(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews