SAN FRANCISCO, DECEMBER 1958
Sister Marie scurried along the dark corridor as fast as her pudgy little legs would carry her. Even though she would never admit it to the other nuns, alone in the cloisters at night she often got scared. This evening was worse than usual. A storm had knocked the electricity out again, and the flame from her candle cast eerie silhouettes on the stone walls, as though shadow demons lined the path on either side, lying in wait for her to pass.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want,” she murmured under her breath, trying to draw courage from the words....
COUNTY CORK, IRELAND, JULY 1946
“Stop! Not here—someone might see!”
Franny broke from the man’s embrace, struggling to sit up in the long grass. Her breaths were coming short and fast, although it wasn’t all due to the fear of being caught. Wanting was written across the girl’s flushed cheeks. But she was determined not to give in to her desire. Before marriage, it was a mortal sin, and while she liked to think she was too sophisticated to believe the Church’s teachings, it was hard to ignore seventeen years of sermons.
Still lying on his back, Sean...