Having read Susan Mumm's previous book Stolen Daughters, Virgin Mothers, I looked eagerly for a book that documented further the effort of Anglican women journeying to freedom and the light. I do not know if she sees in her documentation the incipent seeds of destruction within the order itself.
Reading the memories of the first sisters was heart rendering. Their work among the sick and ill in the slums of London revealed a heroic dedication exceeding those of the Good Samaritian. But one of those same sisters revealed the fundamental change from the first generation sister to the second. Paraphasing what she said... the work came first and then the prayers.. as she observed later in life the reverse had become true in the second generation. The rituals became more important than the help rendered to those laying on the wayside. The seeds of destruction were taking root under the guise of piety. They forgot the ideal expressed by another founder of an Anglican religious order, John Mason Neale, "to work is to pray." Like All Saints his order had another destructive seed growing as revealed in the book Grey Sparrows, where a sister left to found another order and in doing so returned to the mission of her orginal religious society.
Perhaps a return to the scriptual injunction of the meaninglessness of ritual prayers, recited devotions when the true message is to love mercy and walk humbly with God is the ingredients of true religious life. Ms. Mumm documented a social and religious tradgedy whether she knows it or not.