It is 1610, and from her cell in the Abbey of Sainte Marie-de-la-Mer Soeur Auguste reminisces about her life with the players, troupes of masked and powdered young entertainers roaming the French countryside. She has sought refuge with her daughter among a community of nuns who share a life of seclusion and prayer. The solace of life in the abbey is suddenly shattered with the death of their elderly abbess and the arrival of a young replacement who aspires to greatness. Gone is their life of relaxed piety and comfort, replaced by the rigors of fasting, masses, and hard work. Rebellion is near when in walks Guy LeMerle, a flamboyant former player masquerading as priest. In a brief few months, he transforms the abbey into a play within itself, full of tragedy, revenge, suspicion, lust, and chaos. Soeur Auguste must restore the abbey to peace-by returning to her roots as a player. Harris (Chocolat; Five Quarters of the Orange) treats readers to a feast for the senses, an aromatic m lange of 17th-century France and its roiling Catholicism. A cleverly structured drama populated with timelessly colorful characters, this is sure to be a hit with the author's wide community of readers.