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The Bell (original 1958; edition 2004)
by Iris Murdoch
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English
Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141186690, Paperback)
A lay community of thoroughly mixed-up people is encamped outside Imber Abbey, home of an order of sequestered nuns. A new bell is being installed when suddenly the old bell, a legendary symbol of religion and magic, is rediscovered. And then things begin to change. Meanwhile the wise old Abbess watches and prays and exercises discreet authority. And everyone, or almost everyone, hopes to be saved, whatever that may mean. Originally published in 1958, this funny, sad, and moving novel is about religion, sex, and the fight between good and evil.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:04 -0400)
The story of a lay community of mixed-up people encamped outside Imber Abbey, home of an enclosed order of nuns, including Dora Greenfield, an erring wife who returns to her husband, and Michael Meade, who is confronted by his homosexual former lover.
(summary from another edition)