Twelve year old Jacqueline is held captive for a quarter century in a mountain top Convent,by an evil, murdering, lust filled Mother Superior. Twists and turns lead to a reader satisfying conclusion. This book has been deemed controversial, and has been banned in a local book store chain in Central NH
'Mother Superior's secret,' has been translated into French and Spanish. The story is fictional. Though many readers swear there is too close a relationship to truth. The story unfolds on the eve of the German Army's Blitzkrieg across the French border in world war II.
After much thought all day after Sister mary Ellen left, Mother Superior entered the cells. She sat down on Jacqueline's cot close beside her.
"Jacqueline, I must speak with you; I have been speaking with Sister Mary-Ellen. She tells me there are rumors that the Germans may be leaving the village. The Americans may soon arrive and set us free. The occupation may soon be over. If that comes to pass we may soon have official word of your parents fate."
Jacqueline had waited to hear these words for so long; yet as they were spoken she could only hope they were true. "Mother, I believe they have long since passed to the other side for they were elderly when I was taken in so many years ago; and I am no longer a child. Even so, they are forever in my prayer and thoughts" She confided.
Mother Superior continued. "Remember, these are only rumors about the German's. As you know we have always been forbidden to hear much news about the outside world. Since thier invasion of our country it has been one rumor after another. The only decent thing they ever did for us was not to station the sodiers inside the Convent walls.It was enough to have the Colonel as long as we did. Thank the Lord he was sent forward with the fighting soldiers. We would have all been killed along with Mother Superior if he had stayed any longer than he did."
"Mother elizabeth!,You never told me she was killed; you only said she was taken away. And what of the Bishop; is he still alive?"
Thinking as fast as she could, Mother Superior suggested, "Perhaps, my angel, your memory has been erased by the yeas."
Jacqueline would not be told otherwise. "I am certain that I have never been told of her death,and now perhaps even the Bishop's. I pray every day that I will one day be able to leave these walls and once again see the outside world. I don't know how many years have passed since I have seen the full sun or have its rays touch my body. Mother, I can only now dream of the warmth and glow of it. I no longer fear or even care about the Germans. The time has come for me to return to my home."
Mother Superior grasped tighty onto Jacqueline's hands trying to reassure her.
"Jacqueline, I do feel strongly inside that chqange is coming, something for the better, and it may happen very soon.. We will pray together that the rumors this time are true after all. Come Jacquelne, kneel in front of me."
Jacqueline moved so abruptly she startled Mother Superior.
"No Mother; there will be no more of my kneeling in front of you, the time for that has long passed. But I will pray with you for the riddence of the Germans if you wish."
"yes, Jacqueline, if that is now to be all there is between us, then let us pray."
They sat on the cot facing a crucifix. Jacqueleine lowered her head and stared at the cold stone an dirt floor. Mother Superior closed her eyes and concentrated on setting the plans in motion for the swift demise of Jacqueline.
July 24 2003 The Telegram
Eric Marsh’s secret is a book that is hard for readers to find.
WRITER HAS difficulty getting book to the public.
By Inga Caldwell
It is easy to see why, Mother superior’s Secret, by Eric L. Marsh, is a controversial novel. Any book, fictional or not, that has the subject matter of pedophilia is bound to stir up the public, (take Lolita by Nabokov for instance). In light of the recent events surfacing about the Catholic Church, the controversy is heightened by the fact that the novel is about a “pedophile ring” in the catholic Clergy.
While this novel is no Lolita, it is fascinating, and the story is woven in such a way that it becomes believable, even if there are many coincidences.
In MOTHER SUPERIOR’S SECRET, on the eve of the German blitzkrieg across the border into France; Jacqueline; a French Catholic girl of twelve years is spirited up a forested and boulder strewn mountain side by her adoptive Jewish parents. The trek is harrowing because they are barely minutes ahead of the German army and turncoat border Villagers Jacqueline’s parents are trying to get the poor girl sanctuary within the walls of the mountain-top Convent and Rectory. After the heavy wooden door of the Castle is safely closed upon them the horror of horrors begins for poor Jacqueline. She is placed in a secret passageway by an evil Mother superior holds her captive for a quarter of a century, long after the ending of the second world war. The Mother Superior mentally and sexually abuses poor Jacqueline until an unexpected discovery of her captivity by her avenger; who was “untimely ripped” from his mother womb. This part (I wont give away too much but this part of the story reminded me of Macbeth; so I used the phrasing of Shakespeare.)
The one bothering characteristic of the novel was that the mother superior is so evil. She really has no redeeming qualities and that makes her seem unreal. The scariest,’ Bad guy’, is one a reader can identify with: one that can be understood; at least in part. While they do horrifying things one can feel sorry for them; and then you spend time trying to settle your thoughts.
When a writer can create a multifaceted character that pulls the readers emotional strings, then they have succeeded in creating a great work.
All in all this Novel was a good-thought provoking read and it seems unjust that it can not be sold in some regional book stores in the central New Hampshire area.
Who knows? This novel may one day be on the top of the charts. For now, it remains, Eric marsh’s secret.
Carole Burg, author of, Inside the nightmare
'Mother Superior's secret,' is a page turner from first page to last. It is a shocking story set in the dangerous countryside of ravaged, Nazi occupied France during world war II; yet it is extremely contemporary, a story that may well be read in today's headlines. The protagonist, twelve year old Jacqueline, faces unspeakable and horrific evils and her journey through terror holds the reader entirely captive from the first word.
The novel is exceptionally well written; the characters jump from the pages and the last page comes all too soon. Eric L. Marsh has created a thought-provoking-spellbinding novel with larger-than-life characters and a story readers will remember for a long time afterward.
Carole Burg, Author of, 'Inside the nightmare'
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