From the blurb on the back of this book, I will not serve sounded like a bit of a mix between something by Antonia White and Olivia (schoolgirl in love with teacher expelled from a convent school). In fact, when I opened the book I found that it had been translated from the French by Antonia White.
It is a book about Sylvie, 17 years old. She has fallen in love with one of the nuns at the convent where she has been studying and is expelled. The book opens with a number of letters from Sylvie to Julienne, the nun, trying to sort out her feelings. But Julienne is advised by the convent to remain silent, which she does, until Sylvie deliberately makes herself ill in an attempt to get her attention back again. The book also uses extracts from Sylvie's journal and letters to her cousin Claude to build up the story, and the reader is forced to consider huge and weighty themes of religion, love and obsession. But because the writing, and White's translation is so lyrical and beautiful, the book is an absolutely lovely to read.
There is an absolutely lovely review of this book by Fleur Fisher here...
It's just been published once by Virago, in an original green cover, and I think it is comparatively rare.