In a convent in rural France, only three ageing nuns remain. Cloistered within a failing faith and a failing body, Sister Bernard navigates her days by the simple markers of domesticity and religion; but when the convent is threatened with closure, the soft threads of her piety begin to unravel. As Sister Bernard’s memories emerge, a terrible story of wartime disgrace is revealed; of a German soldier, of the horror of war and motherhood, and of a furious God who begins to sulk.  




The repercussions from a nun’s wartime love affair inform this compelling novel about guilt, complicity and missed chances…Obedience begins as a novel of slow intense observation and opens out into a novel of huge scope and profound questioning.
Alexandra Harris, The Sunday Times

A work of great originality, devastating in its impact… As powerful as it is subtle, a novel of gripping emotional and psychological intensity.” Stephanie Cross, Daily Mail


[A] spellbinding tale of betrayal and illicit desire…it is the human experience of love, desire, guilt and loneliness that are at the heart of the novel. The Independent

A disturbing, coolly elegant convent-set fiction…Yallop is a powerful and seductive writer.” Sunday Telegraph

Lose yourself in Obedience, Jacqueline Yallop’s haunting tale of wartime secrets.

Grazie “10 Hot Reads”

[A] powerful wrenching tale. Very impressive.

Alice O’Keefe, The Bookseller (UK)




Published in the UK by Atlantic Books, August 2011. ISBN 0857891014; paperback September 2012. ISBN 9780857891037

Published in the USA by Penguin, January 2012. ISBN 9780143120674