Obedience was short book, but still contained an intense, gripping story.
The story switches back and forth between Nazi occupied France during WWII and France in the present day. The story is also told from a few different perspectives, but the story is mostly about Sister Bernard. The book is about Bernard's short affair with a Nazi solider during the war, and the consequences it caused.
The present day story is of a 93 year old Bernard who, along with two other nuns, are being evacuated from an old rundown convent. We see she still struggles with what happened over sixty years ago.
Even with all the flashbacks to the war, I still felt like we didn't see everything, and this was on purpose, I suspect. After I finished the book, I didn't feel like I had a good grip on that part of the story. And with the present day story, some of the story lines almost felt unfinished, but not in a frustrating way. We are left to fill in the blanks.
A lot of the religious stuff flew over my head, but one of the things I got is that Sister Bernard felt god had been speaking to her, and then he stopped. She spent many a year trying to figure out why he stopped, what she had done, etc. I felt bad for her, but I'm not sure why I felt bad for her – because she thought god had been speaking to her or because she felt abandoned by him. Most of the people she came across in the story seemed to be doing the former.
A well told story, definitely. It was a fast read, but did not lack in quality.