Abbess Otilia's Life and Death

The story of Otilia's tenure as abbess of a mediaeval nunnery is gorgeously presented as an illuminated manuscript. The text is slightly harder to read, but not badly so; it merely slows one down slightly and gives the story a bit more heft. Oddities in the language might be intentional, and the general tone of the writing does feel very suitably archaic without becoming difficult to parse. Each chapter, choices and all, occupies a two-page spread of the "book", which makes for a very neat and tidy impression. The notes in the margin were a nice touch. Top marks for presentation and format, I think.

It's basically a choice narrative, with perhaps two choices per chapter. One or two choices in earlier chapters do affect the outcome of later choices, but the general storyline is pretty well fixed. The objective, really, is to see how all these choices add up to an accounting of Otilia's life in the concluding chapter. It's not exactly a new or even a particularly deep use of the format, but it's charmingly done.

As a breakfast, it might be oatmeal porridge. Not very exciting on its own, but this meal's been lovingly prepared with cinnamon and raisins and honey, with a side of sharp, aged cheese and sweetened milk. That extra flavour makes all the difference.