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Frost in May by Antonia White
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Frost in May (1933)

by Antonia White

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Frost in May Quartet (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6451615,063 (3.88)222
  1. 20
    The Land of Spices by Kate O'Brien (Sakerfalcon)
    Sakerfalcon: Young girls at convent schools, trying to fit in.
  2. 00
    How Far Can You Go? by David Lodge (crittergirl)
    crittergirl: Novels with protagonists who struggle with Catholic doctrine
  3. 00
    Amandine by Marlena de Blasi (lahochstetler)
    lahochstetler: Books about young girls growing up in convents
  4. 00
    The Ant Heap by Margit Kaffka (christiguc)
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» See also 222 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
Frost in May is a school-book about a young girl moving into adolescence in a repressive Catholic convent school. In an interview White said that this book, her first, was her own story. While White writes well, I found the heavy dose of Roman Catholicism, the focus on breaking the girls' wills, and the enclosed, repressive atmosphere a bit much. I may have to go back and re-read The Secret Garden, Heidi or Eight Cousins as an antidote. (read in 2010) ( )
  janeajones | Jan 9, 2015 |
The novel starts with Nanda arriving at the Convent of the Five Wounds Catholic boarding school at nine-years of age. Her father had recently converted to Catholicism and she quickly picks up that this makes her a second class Catholic, compared to those who come from long-standing Catholic families. Nanda is a clever and creative young person who quite normally craves close friends. However, creativity, free will and young women talking in groups of only two are all frowned on at the Convent. Nanda continues to be very devout but has doubts when she can't quite reach the level of emotional engagement with Catholic traditions that others claim. Antonia White writes brilliantly and constantly makes fun of the Catholic faith, beliefs and dogma, as Nanda struggles hard to accept. The Nuns main aim is to break any free spirited child and achieve unquestioning acceptance of Catholicism and they take this to extremes. The novel is all set in the convent, apart from one section at home at Christmas, and has the same stifling and incense-rich atmosphere of the convent. An excellent and interesting read. ( )
  Tifi | Sep 24, 2014 |
First line:
~Nanda was on her way to the Convent of the Five Wounds~

My first official read of a Virago Modern Classic, and I enjoyed it very much,. Perhaps enjoyed is not quite the right word since at times the book was horrifying in terms of the emotional abuse that the young protagonist suffered at the hands of the nuns at her convent school. But so well written! And I really felt for Nanda and the trials through which her faith never wavered.

I did find the story a little slow to latch on to and until about half way through I was wondering why I was bothering because so little seemed to be happening and I tend to prefer more action in my novels. However, the tide turned and I could hardly put the book down, wanting to find out what happened next and what the fate of our little girl was. A sad commentary on what we put young girls through at that time.

Overall I give this 3.5 stars
  ccookie | Mar 31, 2014 |
First line:
~Nanda was on her way to the Convent of the Five Wounds~

My first official read of a Virago Modern Classic, and I enjoyed it very much,. Perhaps enjoyed is not quite the right word since at times the book was horrifying in terms of the emotional abuse that the young protagonist suffered at the hands of the nuns at her convent school. But so well written! And I really felt for Nanda and the trials through which her faith never wavered.

I did find the story a little slow to latch on to and until about half way through I was wondering why I was bothering because so little seemed to be happening and I tend to prefer more action in my novels. However, the tide turned and I could hardly put the book down, wanting to find out what happened next and what the fate of our little girl was. A sad commentary on what we put young girls through at that time.

Overall I give this 3.5 stars
  ccookie | Mar 31, 2014 |
First line:
~Nanda was on her way to the Convent of the Five Wounds~

My first official read of a Virago Modern Classic, and I enjoyed it very much,. Perhaps enjoyed is not quite the right word since at times the book was horrifying in terms of the emotional abuse that the young protagonist suffered at the hands of the nuns at her convent school. But so well written! And I really felt for Nanda and the trials through which her faith never wavered.

I did find the story a little slow to latch on to and until about half way through I was wondering why I was bothering because so little seemed to be happening and I tend to prefer more action in my novels. However, the tide turned and I could hardly put the book down, wanting to find out what happened next and what the fate of our little girl was. A sad commentary on what we put young girls through at that time.

Overall I give this 3.5 stars ( )
  ccookie | Mar 10, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
Few other novels of our time, whatever the materials they have dealt in, have exhibited the clarity of purpose, the niceness of emphasis, the neatness of detail displayed by Miss White in "Frost in May."
added by christiguc | editNew York Times, Louis Kronenberger (pay site) (Mar 4, 1934)
 

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Antonia Whiteprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bowen, ElizabethIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Clec'h, Guy LeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hegewicz, EnriqueTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hōjō, FumioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johansson, GundlaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Juul, PiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meulen, Janneke van derTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rumler, IreneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Nanda was on her way to the Convent of the Five Wounds.
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Book description
From back cover: Nanda Gray, the daughter of a Catholic convert, is nine when, in 1908, she goes to the Convent of the Five Wounds. Quick-witted, resilient and enthusiastic, she eagerly adapts to this closed world, learning rigid conformity and subjection to authority. Passionate friendships are the only deviation from her total obedience. Convent life - the smell of beeswax and incense; the petty cruelty of the nuns; the glamour and eccentricity of Nanda's friends - is perfectly captured. But this is much more than a school story; it is a lyrical account of the death of a soul.
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Nanda Grey, the daughter of a convert, is just nine years old when she enters the convent of Five Wounds. Quick-witted and eager to please she is quickly absorbed into the closed world, where authority, self-control and rigid conformity rule.

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