The Divine Economy of Salvation

Publisher: Anchor Canada
In an assured and sophisticated debut novel, celebrated poet Priscila Uppal crafts a dark and suspenseful tale about the crimes of youth that haunt adult life.

When she is sent away to a Catholic boarding school, Angela H. finds comfort and rebellion with a group of girls who call themselves The Sisterhood. On the verge of becoming women, the girls taunt and tempt each other with their budding sexuality. Angela’s festering sadness and frustration find a shocking target when the rituals of The Sisterhood take a violent turn at the initiation of angelic Bella.

Tormented by her past, Angela seeks refuge in a religious life, hiding herself in the sheltered world of a convent. Now, twenty-five years later, buried evidence of Bella’s death has emerged, threatening to shatter the safety of Angela’s existence and her belief that the sins of the past can be redeemed.

With startling emotional depth, Priscila Uppal captures the innocence and cruelty of adolescence, and takes us inside the rarely explored and shadowy world of female religious life.


My name was Angela H. then. You may remember me. We went to school together at St. X. School for Girls. I had long brown hair, cut at the waist in a single straight swipe, and I used to wear a tiny silver chain with a faux-gold locket in the shape of a heart, a picture of my mother inside. We knew each other. We all did....
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Praise for The Divine Economy of Salvation:
“A luminous debut . . . haunting, gripping, and surprisingly nuanced: begins as a simple mystery and turns into a work of great depth and seriousness.” -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“To be this young and assured a storyteller, this insightful an observer of human nature is, if not the product of divine inspiration, at least very rare.” -- Ottawa Citizen

“In its confident voice and its unsparing, concisely powerful narrative — like Margaret Lawrence at her best -- Divine Economy is an impressive debut.” -- The Globe and Mail

“Uppal writes with a spare and sure effectiveness that is totally convincing and that Fraser Sutherland . . . likened to ‘Margaret Laurence at her best.’” -- Books in Canada

The Divine Economy of Salvation pours forth with all the power and passion of an oratorio.” -- The Toronto Star

Praise for Priscila Uppal:
“Her voice is coiled and powerful containing underlying passion, sometimes anger … simply beautiful.” -- National Post

“Just when it seemed poetry had become the orphan art of our day, along comes a young poet like Priscila Uppal to astonish.” -- Rosemary Sullivan