Monday, May 30, 2016

The Beautiful Thread (Hawk and the Dove series #8) By Penelope Wilcock

ISBN: 9781782641452|
$14.99 - Paperback - Lion Fiction
My thoughts: I have always loved to delve into history; and whether it is the history of the shaping of a country, the history of the church, or the history of a culture, I have found it interesting. In The Beautiful Thread we visit a Catholic Monastery in the 14th Century in Yorkshire (the time of Chaucer).

Penelope Wilcock writes in her 8-book series, The Hawk & the Dove, about monastic life in what is now England. She writes about the flawed men living lives set apart from the World in a monastery. Their lives filled with scheduled times for rising and going to bed. For periods of complete silence. Of work assigned and hopefully, joyfully done. Of designated times for prayer and study.

But they are flawed and many don't fit the mold. But still they try and they are guided by the monastery's leader, the Abbot John.

The author writes beautifully and descriptively placing the reader alongside the characters as they walk, talk, act, pray, and even fuss and fight a bit. They are, after all, flawed humans. But they are all seeking to live lives set apart for Christ their Savior.

The two main characters of The Beautiful Thread are William  de Bulmer who was once Abbot of the monastery but who left his life in the church to marry a wife. In the eyes of the church, he is an apostate and a doomed man  because this was the period in history when the church prevailed and church law condemed anyone such as William to death and suffering the worst of fates. The other main character is Abbot John who is a actually brother-in-law to William.

There is a lot of contemplative thought by the characters and soul-searching conversations in this book. At times the reading is slow primarily because this is a book more of thought than fast action.

This is a lovely book about finding The Beautiful Thread which is the love of Christ and showing love and kindness to each other. Readers come away from reading this with a feeling of having done a good thing to read it.

About the book: Abbot John has to face the consequences of his previous good deeds—and none go unpunished

In this eighth novel of the Hawk and the Dove series, William, has returned to St. Alcuins at Abbot John's request to help his replacement learn the ropes. But William's return coincides with a bishop's visitation, a regular event.

The bishop, a zealous churchman with a large entourage, has heard rumors of St. Alcuins having had in their community one William de Bulmer, who is said to have attempted suicide and left the order—attempted suicide is a felony and breaking monastic vows is a grave sin. The bishop wants to know where this man is so he can be arraigned before an ecclesiastical court, and wishes to discover what happened and what part Abbot John played in those events.

As the story unfolds, the beautiful thread of the gospel weaves quietly through the contrasting colors of human frailty, religious zeal, and social pretension.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Kregel Books on behalf of Lion Fiction to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own. I was not compensated for this review.


  1. Thanks for this! I read the first trilogy & loved the writing but didn't know there were eight books in the series.

  2. My brother-in-law is fascinated with this time period in British history. I'll have to pass this series along to him. Thanks so much for sharing this post and link-up at Booknificent Thursday on this week! Great to have you!


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