44 pages 1 hour read

Nina de Gramont

The Christie Affair

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2022

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Pages 179-233Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Part 2

Pages 179-191 Summary: “Here Lies Sister Mary”

Nan sleeps in a dormitory above the nursery where the newborn babies are kept. She wakes to Bess crying, and they talk about Bess’s experience with Father Joseph. She thought that as her belly grew the priest would lose interest, but he has not. Bess contemplates suicide, and Nan tells her about her sister Colleen. Bess tells Nan about her family. Then they talk about their unborn babies, and Nan dreams of the life she could have with Finbarr and their child.

Later, Nan approaches Mary Clare, who is younger and kinder than the other nuns, to send a letter from her to Finbarr. Bess tells the nun that she is feeling ill and thinks she may be close to labor. Mary Clare disagrees but allows her to go upstairs for a rest. As they go upstairs, Father Joseph stops them and calls Bess into his office. She pleads with the nun to help her, but she refuses. She waits outside while the priest assaults Bess and then leads her upstairs. Bess quickly becomes sick as she gives birth. Finally, she recovers just as her American man arrives, but her baby does not survive.

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