In the days when it was the General's 'harem' palace, ladies with their retinues and rich clothes could be seen walking on the high windy terraces. At night, music floated out over villages and gorges far into the early hours. Now the General's son has bestowed it upon the disciplined Sisters of Mary. Beginning work in the orchards and opening a school and a dispensary for the mountain people, the small band of Sisters are depended for help on the English agent, Mr Dean. But his charm and insolent candour are disconcerting. When he says bluntly 'This is no place for a nunnery', it is as if he already knows their destiny . . . 'Black Narcissus . . . bears comparison with "A Passage to India" ' Arthur Koestler 'A very remarkable novel indeed. One in a thousand' " Observer" 'The writing is lovely, subtle, gentle, humorous and apprehensive' Hugh Walpole 'A genius for storytelling' "Evening Standard"