The land of spices

Front Cover
Penguin Books, 1941 - Fiction - 285 pages
29 Reviews
Behind the high, closed walls of a convent in the Irish countryside, the lives of its inhabitants are gently marked by the daily rituals of spiritual life. Watching over Anna, her sensitive and poetic young charge, the Mother Superior revisits her childhood relationship with her father. As Anna develops from a six-year-old to a scholarship candidate, Helen comes to understand her own heart and makes peace with her past.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Her prose is eloquent and satisfying. - Goodreads
I admire him as a writer and speaker and book critic. - Goodreads
From there rises the theme of humility and judgment. - Goodreads
Most of the plot is told in memories. - Goodreads

Review: The Land of Spices

User Review  - Fred - Goodreads

O'Brien folds this story with great care and precision--sort of a literary origami. Her prose is eloquent and satisfying. If you are drawn, however, to fast-paced stories with outrageous characters in ... Read full review

Review: The Land of Spices

User Review  - Deodand - Goodreads

2.5 stars. This book is a very odd duck. It hasn't aged well. The title isn't reflective of the content - and yes, I've heard the joke that there are two things wrong with the title of the movie Naked ... Read full review


The First Chapter the holy habit
The Second Chapter vocation
The Third Chapter in the parlour

11 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1941)

Kate O'Brien (1897-1974), one of Ireland's greatest and best-loved writers, was born in Limerick. As well as writing plays, travel and biography, she published nine beloved novels.

Bibliographic information