"The Mother" is an intriguing and marvellously written book. Its note of worthiness lies in the psychological study of the three main characters: the mother, Maria Maddalena, of the young parish priest; Paul, the priest himself; and Agnes, the rich lonely woman who irrupts into the lives of both mother and son. The actual plot takes place in a very short time - barely two days - it is so interwoven with the mental conflicts, and so forced by circumstances, that the novel may be compared to an ancient Greek tragedy. Throughout the story, Paul fights his human desires and desperately tries to cling to the convened rule of celibacy in the priesthood despite the fact that such a condition has not been appointed by God in any way. He lacks the ambition to be a good priest because the choice was not his own but his mother’s. His oath was taken before he really knew his ambition in life; his role was vested on to him by others and conditioned by society. He realises that he loves Agnes and does not want to serve the Church but cannot decide in front of his mother’s distress. The story is quite believable and the ending comes as a not so unlikely surprise. In what is probably her greatest masterpiece, the 1926 Nobel Laureate tells us in this novel that avoiding one’s true call in life may have consequences and that the disposing of the aberrant conditions that cause people to sin is perhaps the greatest misdeed of all.