sporadic afifair. Is this afl&ir a matter ofnconvenience or great love? One is forcednto conclude that human beings have anway of justifying their needs in such anway that they can accept their own duplicityn(others have gone over this samenterrain very thoroughly before). Anwoman is lonely, feels neglected by hernhusband and jealous of his first wife, sonshe adds another triangle to an alreadyntriangular relationship. Later she maneuversnher daughter into acting as a mediatornin the parents’ menage. It seems tonbe simply a case of prolonged adolescence;nlike a jealous child, the womannamasses love the way children hoardnblocks. If this Jewish mother is meant tonbe a sympathetic character (and I thinknMs. Monsky intends her so), her enigmaticnmorality is, at best, diflScult. Shenmay justify her amorality to herself, butnone doubts that others will find her conductnanything but pathetically neurotic.nThe third heroine is a woman seennonly in relation to other people. Whennshe tries to be alone she is constantiyninterrupted by visitors or phone calls;nshe represents the reality of women asnhelpmeets, servants for family andnfl-iends. Again we see an adult woman,nthe mother of a five-year-old daughter,nreturning home to her mother for supportnand approval. There are powerfulnand wrenching scenes between mothernand daughter, but most of them tend tonread like slightly fictionalized narrationsnfrom psychology textbooks. She wantsnvery much to understand how hernmother could have endured for so manynyears a marriage that was demeaningnand oppressive; at the same time, shenwants her mother to approve of hernplans for a divorce. When her mothernrefuses to cooperate, she sulks and ragesnand wallovre in guilt and anger, the responsesnof a child. None of her familialnrelations, in feet, prove particularly supportive.nWhen she goes dancing with ancousin, she is shocked and repulsed bynhis sexual advances. After confiding in andivorced female cousin about her ownnsexual problems, she later discoversnthat this cousin is having an alfeir vwthn30inChronicles of Culturenthe husband of her own best friend.nThere are many such sordid episodes,nepisodes designed to evoke rage andnpity for the lot of women today. But innall this the reality of choice is omitted.nMost marriages these days are events ofnfi-ee choice, and one does rather tire ofnwomen (and men) who refuse to acceptnthe consequences of their own actions.nIf each of these novels is a “woman’snnovel,” one must conclude that womennare still exploring the theme of femalenNo Time for SaintsnMary Gilligan Wong: Nun: A Memoir;nHarcourt Brace Jovanovich; SannDiego.nby Edward N. PetersnIt is not easy to offer interesting commentarynon a boring book. And Nun,nmore than informative or scandalous, isnboring. Mary Gilligan Wong’s memoir—nsomething between a diary and a jjsychotherapeuticnnotebook—^may be of interestnto Mary Gilligan Wong, but it willnhardly interest anyone else. Modestly,nWong opens with the moving Anouilhnsoliloquy in which St. Thomas a Becketnejsplains why he chose to leave the abbeynand return to public life; Wong apparentlynfeels her situation and Becket’s to benanalogous. But whereas Becket gave upnthe quiet contemplation of God, leavingna life of utter poverty, Wong gave up pizzeriasnand apartment living, groupencounternsessions and dates with formernpriests. And while Becket went to a lifenof righteous strife and eventual murdernin the cathedral, Wong went to practicenpsychology in California and (to judgenfrom a photo on the Nun dustcover) tonfrolic on the beach with a husband andntwo children. Becket made his decisionnin a spirit of sacrifice and love, Wongnmade hers out of disillusiormient andnMr. Peters is an adviser to the YoungnCatholic Committee.nnnvictimization in a male-dominated society.nBut if women are victims, hownmuch does the victim collaborate withnthe victimizer? None of these womennaccept much responsibility for theirnown lives. What realities do womennneed to face before they have the freedomnand equality they want? Don’t wenall, male and female, black and white,nultimately have a similar goal: trying tonmake sense of the chaotic realitiesnaround us. Dncontempt. Thus does analogy becomenpretension.nNot surprisingly, Wong’s memoirs arennearly devoid of serious intellectual content.nFor example, in a brief history ofnher religious order, Wong suggests thatnthe French Revolution exposed a wholengeneration to “cynicism and disbelief”nAnd one can only smile at Wong’s accountnof a fiiend’s chastisement for whatnWong described as the latter’s attemptnat intellectual development—^readingnNewsweek Is such a source of sagacitynseriously to be considered when it laternopines that the Baltimore catechism wasnan “obvious” failure, or that it would be an”travesty” to teach basic Church doctrinento hi^ school teenagers more interestednin trendy social theory?nNot all of her observations are of suchna general nature; her fevorite subject isnherself Wong thinks it important to notenthat in convent dining rooms, if onenleaves one’s coffee cup upside down itnmeans one does not want coffee. She recallsnthat in her first elementary schoolnteaching assignment she had manynclasses, short lunch breaks, and little timento get to know individual students. Andnseveral tedious pages are devoted to annaccount of her first trip to a beauty salon.nNow, at the risk of betraying some insensitivitynto a young girl’s discovery ofntable etiquette, a young teacher’s firstntaste of professional frustration, or anyoung woman’s experimentation withn