What I Write
With Pen in Hand
My first novel, Becoming Clare, a coming-of-age tale about a young woman and her mother who refuses to accept her vocation as a nun, explores the nuanced difficulty of an unappreciated vocation while trying to separate from her family. Not an unusual circumstance. Saint Francis of Assisi and his spiritual sister, Saint Clare, encountered a similar situation and went on to found religious orders that would transform humanity.
The story explores the truth that love makes us vulnerable. Clare Balfour has to put her heart out into the world, imperfect as it is. Parents, siblings, relatives, and neighbors willingly tell the twenty-one year-old what is right for her as she brings to life a virgin’s promise.
Through the wisdom of an elderly nun, the sisters of Saint Catherine’s Monastery in the Catoctin Mountains of Maryland, and her best friend, Ellie, Clare discovers the kind of love she seeks encompasses more than imagined, one that requires a remarkable sacrifice.
My second novel, With Unveiled Faces, introduces deeper aspects of religious life in a contemplative order through Clare Balfour’s first year within the cloister as a postulant. Under the umbrage of a visiting nun from France, a dark soul who comes to Saint Catherine’s Monastery to assist with the unusual discovery of a Medieval text, Clare has to protect herself and her budding vocation. It’s enough to learn the subtle ways of convent life, and the misshapen intentions of a prying visitor makes the year even harder.