The novel dramatizes the life of Sister Beatrice, a St. Augustinian sister living in Genadendorp (the place of Mercy), Northern Cape, South Africa. Like Cinderella, from the moment she puts on the fluffy pink slippers, her life changes fundamentally.
She leaves the convent and the sanatorium, marries and by a twist of fate returns to the same town about three years later where she fulfils herself as wife and mother. At the same time she retains a burning interest in the Church and the current events of Vatican 11 (1962-5). After the death of her husband Matthew, she develops a new interest in the startling and unnerving history revealed in the Gnostic Gospels contained in the Dead Sea scrolls and the Nag Hammadi.
Jesus’ life, His betrayal and His crucifixion are revealed in an astonishing new light. The theme of betrayal touches her personally. Her own son betrays her. Though initially she is rescued by her Prince Matthew, she unlike Cinderella is left alone to deal with her own negative feelings and actions and the impact they’ve had on her personal relationships. Eventually she comes to terms with the betrayal and journeys to the true spirituality which is the God within.
Key words to describe the novel:
epic, religious, mystical, mythical, psychological, transformative
My role as story teller
My friend Sandy told me a story about a nun who in a moment of truth tried on the fluffy pink slippers of a sedated maternity patient in the convent hospital where her father sometimes consulted as a doctor. After that, the nun left the convent and the town, married and then coincidentally returned to the place where she’d once lived as a nun.
As a child at Loreto Convent in Cape Town, I attended chapel every morning. While writing the novel I researched the daily life of a nun at the St. Augustine College of South Africa’s library in Linden, Johannesburg. For me the research is always a priority to give the novel credibility and depth
My role as Jungian
I studied Jungian psychology for almost 20 years, not as an academic but as a hands-on experience and observation. So the mystical aspect of the Cinderella story becomes significant as a universal story, an archetype or experience common to all.