The Adventures of Novice Number Nine begins with a nighttime ride into the desert wilderness with 23 year old Anne joining a small order of strict Trappistine nuns. Leaving the laid-back lifestyle of Southern California, Anne rises at 3:15 at the sound of a hand bell and learns to chant, meditate, grow vegetables, can food, bake bread and fashion handcrafts, learning firsthand the meaning of ora et labora.
Anne’s upbringing follows her into the cloister where piecing together a mosaic of the Lady of Guadalupe, competitive matches of ping-pong with a visiting abbot and a wayward hot-air balloon unintentionally help her. Yet Anne struggles with the chaos of growing up with a father who found his spirits in a bottle instead of a church.
The dangerous elements in the desert: severe heat, wild boars, rattlesnakes and lightning strikes she sees as God-given lessons that help her come to terms with her past.