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Nineteen-year old Donna Yates is ripe with idealism and dreams when she enters a gruelling three-year training program under the supervision of the indomitable Sister Leclerc at Holy Cross Hospital, School of Nursing.

But her dreams are soon challenged as she comes up against the shocking realities of resident and hospital life. When physical and emotional strain of her first encounters with illness and death threaten to overwhelm her, Yates discovers undreamed of sources of strength.

Her newly emerging strength gets a workout when rioting mental patients threaten to turn a picnic into an orgy, and she discovers a fine line separates sanity from madness and comedy from tragedy.

Under strict rules and exacting standards of the French-speaking Grey Nuns from Montreal, Yates learns the true meaning of ‘vocation’. Holy Cross does more than turn out good nurses; it changes the lives of women who train there.

Yes, Sister is an intensely personal memoir with the pace and texture of a novel. Set against the sprawling beauty of western Canada, this coming of age story has a distinct subtext that cuts across time, gender, religion, and politics.

“This highly readable, sometimes graphic memoir is heart-wrenching and hilarious, filled with medical drama and timeless insights.” –Dierdre Gilbert, RN

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