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"Back from a tour of duty in Vietnam, Benny Flinn, eldest son in a large Irish-American family, strives to find his bearings amid the everyday life of 1973 New England. At a Benedictine abbey in rural New Hampshire, Sister Clare, a young novice, confronts day-to-day realities of a cloistered existence. Linking these two is Isabelle Howell, a college student soon to discover that she must chart the course of her own life in a way she could not have imagined"--P.  of cover.