The White Ladies of Worcester may be downloaded for free in our ebook catalog.
It is the 12th century in the city of Worcester, England. At the Nunnery of the White Ladies, old lay-sister Mary Antony performs her daily ritual. As the nuns return from Vespers through the underground passage into the cloisters, she counts them in her unique way--dropping one pea for each nun from her hand into a bag. Today the count is different. Today the nuns pass, all the peas drop into the bag, and then one more nun passes by.
Who is this intruder? Could Mary Antony's senses be failing her? Or is it the ghost of Sister Agatha who, many years before, was accidentally locked into the underground passageway and suffered an untimely death?
The White Ladies of Worcester is another winner from Florence Barclay, author of The Rosary. As in The Rosary, Barclay pulls you into the action of the novel straight away. The rest of the story revolves around the Prioress of the nunnery who, in her youth, was deserted by her betrothed. The depth of her anguish sends her to the nunnery, and she eventually rises to the top of the ranks. Later events unfold to make the Prioress question the vows she took, while others try to sway her decisions with their own interests in mind.
Barclay invents some wonderful, developed characters here. Our hero, the knight Hugh d'Argent, is strong and burley--a guy you wouldn't want to mess with. But he's easily the most sensitive guy in the novel. Unlike Fanny Burney's heroes that you want to slap for being so whiny, Hugh has strong emotions but always acts sensibly, which makes one love him all the better.
As I made my casting recommendations for The Rosary, I also have some in mind for The White Ladies.
This is my favorite character in the book, and I imagine she would also be the most fun to enact. She's quite old, and she's got an attitude. Someone like Jessica Tandy would be great, however it appears she is no longer with us.