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The Breath of Peace #7, in The Hawk and the Dove series by Penelope Wilcock
Set in 14th Century Yorkshire, in the days of Chaucer, The Hawk and the Dove series explores the realities of being human in any age…seeking power and exulting in pride v. practicing humility and charity.
In this 7th installment, the former Father William deals with his own weaknesses and the difficulties of married life. Both he and his bride turn to her brother, Abbot John, for advice. But the Abbot also needs to seek advice on handling the complexities of life in community.
Number of Pages: 176
Vendor: Lion Fiction
Publication Date: 2016
|Dimensions: 7.75 X 5.00 (inches)|
Series: Hawk and the Dove
lcjohnson1988IndianaAge: 45-54Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5the 7th is a great taleJune 2, 2016lcjohnson1988IndianaAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4This seventh book in The Hawk and the Dove Series finds William de Bulmer as a husband to Madeleine for a little over a year. Their married life started out wonderful, but now they seem to squabble all the time and they are both tired of it. William thinks he is a failure as a husband as he cant seem to do anything right, but spending thirty years as a monk has hardly prepared him for life outside the monastery. Madeleine seems to find fault with everything he does and isnt shy about telling him so!
Abbot John, Madeleines brother, is in a quandary. His cellarer has died and he has no one to fill the position. William was in training for the same when he was a monk, but after he left the monastery to marry Madeleine no one took his place as assistant. So Abbot John contacts William to see if he can bring their account books up to date and check on the status of all things financial for the monastery and train a replacement. Oh and by the way did William have any ideas on who might fill the position? William is grateful for the respite away from Madeleine, whom he still deeply loves, but cant seem to find a peaceful way to live with. Upon Williams return home, Madeleine makes her own journey to see her brother, seeking marital counsel.
A beautiful picture of marital life is explained by Abbot John using scripture. That was my favorite part of the book. I also liked how transparent William has become, even though he doesnt like it. What a change from when readers first met him! I would have liked to have spent more time with the familiar monks at the monastery than this story did, but that is just a personal preference. Abbot John is growing in his role as leader of this quiet community that inspires peace in both Madeleine and William. His advice and spiritual insight is spot on in the story. Im looking forward to book eight, so stay tuned for more of the monastic life at St. Alcuins!
VeraNorth CarolinaAge: Over 65Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Interesting look at monastic lifeMay 30, 2016VeraNorth CarolinaAge: Over 65Gender: femaleQuality: 3Value: 0Meets Expectations: 4This is a short book of around 200 pages but it is not a short read. At times it seemed as though I was sloughing through wondering if I would ever get to the end or the meat of the story.
I found Penelope Wilcock an interesting read and certainly gifted in speaking to the issue of scripturally based peace and mutual submission.
The story began - this is set during medieval times - with William and Madeleine married and eaking out a living on their homestead. Though they had an inheritance, life was hard and the loss of 4 of their 6 hens was a real issue. There was strident friction between them and I saw it mostly as caused by Madeleine. However, William has a dark side that rears its head in response.
After 30 years cloistered as a monk, William forsook his vows and wed Madeleine. Marrying late in life is hard under the best of circumstances and adjustments from a life of cloistered quiet and peace to wedded companionship certainly was difficult for William and Madeleine as well.
Being called to help the Abby set accounts right and lend guidance to selection of a new monk to care for the accounts, William went to the Abby. While there, he met with the head monk which is the Abbot and who is also the brother of Madeleine. Counsel and prayer resulted in William discovering a "breath of peace" that can and should exist in their married life.
I can recommend the book but caution that it is a somewhat slow read.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Kregel Publishing to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own. I was not compensated.