The Cinnamon Walls of the Incarnation Convent


When I saw that Robin Cadwallader had recently published a novel titled ‘The Book of Colours’, I went back to my novel ‘The White Garden’ in which there is a long section called ‘The Book of Colours’. This one of mine is narrated by St Teresa of Avila. She is reflecting on moments in her life, taking as her prompt her memories of different colours.

Here is her piece on ‘The Cinnamon Walls of the Incarnation Convent’:

“I crossed the humped bridge over the little stream, and soon I saw the elms, their bare branches black amongst the snow, etched against the cinnamon walls of the Incarnation. I paused, small, and I drew in my breath. The crisp air entered my throat and lungs, and I felt an intense pain. Summoning all my resolve, I crossed the vestibule where the floor was cobbled and the walls where as white as the fallen snow. A great tangle of bell ropes hung from the beams of the roof. I pulled on a rope and the bell rang, and I was admitted through the huge studded door – after much clinking of keys and scraping of bolts.”

2 thoughts on “The Cinnamon Walls of the Incarnation Convent

  1. Dear Carmel, I think that The White Garden is such a wonderful book and thank you for refreshing my recollection of St Teresa’s voice in it. It’s wonderful. Sarah Ferber


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