Short and mysterious, Dolores is a compelling, one-sitting read. I craved more – of Dolores herself, of how she really feels. But Curtis writes the close-up details of life in the convent with as much intensity as the burgeoning sexuality of a young girl, and the two elements chime in a strange harmony.
Curtis writes intelligently on her themes of sex and religion, and on the conflict between the two. Within the short pages of her novel, there is guilt, desire, duty, loss, but there is also, crucially for a character we have come to care deeply about, a sense that she will find an uneasy peace in her new life: “She no longer thought of leaving. She accepted that her fate – whatever that meant – was to be at the convent. And it felt like a large brick had been taken from her chest. She breathed more easily.”