Monday, September 19, 2011
The Hardest Thing to Do by Penelope Wilcock
Step back in time and into a medieval monastery, and step into the relationships and challenges that a group of priests and novitiates face within that community. This fourth installment of Ms. Wilcock’s Hawk and Dove series is a wonderfully written novel that again takes you back in time to a Benedictine monastery in medieval England. The book begins with the journey of the newly installed Abbott to St. Alcuin’s and takes you on the journey that the whole community faces when they take in an adversary of Peregrine’s ( the prior Abbott). This is a book filled with relationship and struggle. I found myself smiling to myself at times, struggling with the monks at times, and hoping for certain resolutions….. Was I disappointed? By far not.
I do recommend that a new reader to this series pick up the prior books and read them. They are beneficial to understanding some of the nuances….but this book can stand on its own as well. I really appreciated the Liturgical calendar, the monastery day schedule, and the list of characters.
One thing that I have missed in this book and the previous, is the mother telling her daughter the stories of the monastery. I loved how she integrated the two.
Overall, I think this book and the whole series is a work that I recommend to anyone, especially those who love historical fiction. It is a book that anyone can relate to, which makes it even more appealing.
This book was provided by Crossway for review, and I was not required to give a positive review. The review is my opinion.