Catherine Coldstream


In stock

Here is a memoir of twelve years as a contemplative nun in a silent monastery. ‘Cloistered’ takes the reader deep into the hidden world of a traditional Carmelite monastery as it approaches the third Millennium and tells the story of an intense personal journey into and out of an enclosed life of poverty, chastity and obedience. Finding an apparently perfect world at Akenside Priory, and a haven after the loss of her father, Catherine Coldstream trusts herself to a group of twenty silent women, believing she is trusting herself to God. As the beauty and mystery of an ancient way of life enfolds her, she surrenders herself wholly to its power, only to find that all is not as it seems behind the Order’s closed doors.

ISBN: 9781784745059 Category:


‘A profoundly moving memoir which gripped me’ Mark Haddon

Discover Catherine Coldstream’s evocative account of life as a nun in the 1990s, and the dramatic events which led to her flight from the monastery.

After the shock of her father’s death, twenty-four-year-old Catherine was left grieving and alone. A search for meaning led her to Roman Catholicism and the nuns of Akenside Priory.

Here she found a tight-knit community of dedicated women and peace in an ancient way of life. But as she surrenders to her final vows, all is not as it seems behind the Priory’s closed doors. Power struggles erupt – with far-reaching consequences for those within.

Catherine comes to realise that divine authority is mediated through flawed and all-too-human channels. She is faced with a dilemma: should she protect the serenity she has found, or speak out?

A love song to a lost community and an honest account of her twelve years in the Order, Cloistered is also a cautionary tale about what can happen when good people cut themselves off from the wider world.

‘Immersive, beautifully observed’ Katherine May

I admired [Cloistered] enormously’ Sarah Perry

An intense and often theatrical read’ Financial Times

Additional information

Weight 0.561 kg
Dimensions 24.2 × 16.5 × 3.2 cm










271.9002 (edition:23)


General – Trade / Code: K

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